The Literature Program


Course Offerings

The Literature Program at Bard offers courses in the following categories:
  • Sequence Courses
  • Introduction Courses
  • 100/200-Level Courses
  • 300- and 400-Level Courses
  • World Literature
  • Junior Seminar

Current Course List

Current Course List
Historical studies in the Comparative, English and American literature traditions are organized into sequences. Click the course titles below to see their descriptions.

Sequence Courses

  • LIT 204A Comparative Literature I
  • LIT 204C Comparative Literature III
  • LIT 251 English Literature II
  • LIT 252 English Literature III
  • LIT 258 American Literature II
  • LIT 259 American Literature III

Introduction Course Samples

  • LIT 103 Introduction to Literary Studies

100/200-Level Course Samples

  • LIT/GER 199 Kafka: Prague, Politics and the Fin-de Siecle
  • LIT 145 The Iliad of Homer
  • LIT 2005 Middlemarch: The Making of a Masterpiece
  • LIT 2016 The Great American Indian Novel
  • LIT 2110 Wise Fools: Madmen, Lunatics, and Other Literary Outcasts
  • Lit 2142 The Courage to Be: Achilles, Socrates, Antigone, Mother Courage
  • LIT 2183 Kundera: The Art of Fiction
  • LIT/JAPN 2216 Human Rights and Modern Japanese Literature
  • LIT 2331 Classic American Gothic
  • LIT 235 Introduction to Media
  • LIT 2421 Milton
  • LIT 243 Literature in the Digital Age
  • LIT 249 Arthurian Romance

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3028 Sound in American Literature
  • LIT 3206 Evidence
  • LIT 330 Innovative Novellas & Short Stories
  • LIT 331 Translation Workshop
  • LIT 333 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction
  • LIT 405 Senior Colloquium: Literature

World Literature Courses

World Literature courses explore the interrelations among literary cultures throughout the world. They pay special attention to such topics as translation, cultural difference, the emergence of diverse literary systems, and the relations between global sociopolitical issues and literary form.

Current World Literature Courses

  • LIT 2027 20th Century Latin American Poetry
  • LIT 2060 Modern Arabic Fiction
  • LIT 2159 Into the Whirlwind: Literary Greatness and Gambles
  • LIT 2185 The Politics and Practice of Cultural Production in Mena
  • LIT 2704 German Literature in 7 Dates
  • LIT 3045 Irish Writing and the Nationality of Literature
  • LIT 3101 The Roman Poetry Book

Junior Seminar in Literature

A junior seminar is specifically designed for moderated juniors preparing for senior project work in literature. Maximum enrollment is l5. Common expectations for all junior seminars are the following:

1) A 20-25 pp. paper will be written in the course of the semester, representing the student’s independent work.

2) The seminar will entail the students’ substantial exposure to a methodology other than close reading, that is, historical research, theory, or criticism and scholarship specific to the topic. By this means students grounded in close reading during their first two years will come to discover how to contextualize their ideas in significant ways. 

They will fine-tune their understanding of poetic techniques, or the forms of narrative of drama.   They will ask themselves how texts are vehicles for aesthetic and cultural values, as well as produce them. This is to study, in short, how literature participates in culture rather than simply serving as its reflection. They will also discover what literary analysis can tell us about the strengths and limitations of emerging textual practices (web-based research, distinguishing between primary sources and Wikipedia).

Students are expected to acquire competence in the methodology and to write the long paper within its framework.

3) The seminar will include short assignments and other work (such as discussion and writing practices that encourage exploratory and experimental ventures in the new area) that will help the students make progress toward the long paper, and secondarily encourage habits of collaborative work that may serve also as a support for the chapters of senior project.

Current Junior Seminar Courses

  • LIT 3019 Nabokov's Shorts: The Art of Conclusive Writing
  • LIT 3101 The Roman Poetry Book
  • LIT 3139 Geographies of Unease: Literature and the Dynamics of Cultural and Social Reproduction
  • LIT 3205 Dante
  • LIT 352 Shakespeare's Comedies