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

Sequence Courses

  • LIT 204 Comparative Literature: Ancient Quarrels, Literature and Critique in Classical Antiquity
  • LIT 204A Comparative Literature I
  • LIT 204B Comparative Literature II
  • LIT 204C Comparative Literature III
  • LIT 250 English Literature I
  • LIT 251 English Literature II
  • LIT 252 English Literature III
  • LIT 257 American Literature I
  • LIT 258 American Literature II
  • LIT 259 American Literature III

Introduction Course Samples

  • LIT 103 Introduction to Literary Studies
  • LIT 2026 Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • LIT 2207 Reading as Writing as Reading: Exploring the Contemporary
  • LIT 2607 Introduction to Literary Theory

100/200-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 130 Anna Karenina
  • LIT 2002 Americans Abroad
  • LIT 2016 The Great American Indian Novel
  • LIT 206 Sympathy for the Devil: Goethe's Faust
  • LIT 2119 Shakespeare's Tragedies and the Problem of Government
  • LIT 2191 Media & Metropolis in Modern Japan
  • LIT 2281 The Practice of Courage: From Martyrs to Suicide Bombers
  • LIT 2282 The Practice of Courage: Heroism or Hurbris?
  • LIT 2318 Poetry & Aesthetics in Victorian England
  • LIT 232 Middle Eastern Cinemas
  • LIT 2324 Freudian Psychoanalysis, Language and Literature
  • LIT 2401 The Canterbury Tales
  • LIT 2414 The Book Before Print
  • LIT/THTR 250 Dramatic Structure

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3048 Extraordinary Bodies: Disability in American Fiction and Culture
  • LIT 3315 The Art of Misbehaving in Renaissance England
  • LIT 333 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction
  • LIT 405 Senior Colloquium: Literature
  • LIT/THTR 336 Female Infernos: Parks, Churchill, Jelinek

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 2031 Ten Plays that Shook the World
  • LIT 2159 Into the Whirlwind: Literary Greatness and Gambles
  • LIT 3045 Irish Writing and the Nationality of Literature

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 3043 Melville 
  • LIT 3139 Geographies of Unease: Literature and the Dynamics of Cultural and Social Reproduction
  • LIT 3252 The Danger of Romance
  • LIT 379 Emily Dickinson