The Literature Program
Bard College Guide to Academic Programs & Concentrations

Course Requirements

A student planning to major in the Literature Program must take Literature 103, Introduction to Literary Studies, and at least one of the sequence courses in English, U.S., or comparative literature. These courses focus on close readings of literary texts and frequent preparation of critical papers.
 
To moderate, a student must take at least three additional courses in the Division of Languages and Literature. One of these courses may be a Written Arts course and one may be a language instruction course. No more than one writing workshop and one language instruction course can count toward the Moderation requirements.
 
For Moderation, the student submits a 10- to 12-page critical essay based on work for one of the sequence courses; the two short Moderation papers required of all students; and fiction or poetry if the student is a double major in the Written Arts Program. The first short paper reflects on the process that has led the student to this point in his or her studies; the second reflects on the student’s aspirations for work in the Upper College. The papers are evaluated by a board composed of the student’s adviser and two other members of the Literature Program faculty.
 
After Moderation, students must take a second sequence course from the same sequence as the first, although it need not be consecutive (for example, a student may take English Literature III and then English Literature I). The second sequence course must be taken prior to the start of the senior year. Students must also take at least one course that focuses on literature written before 1800 and at least one course that focuses on literature written after 1800. This requirement is in addition to the two sequence courses described above. Students are also expected to enroll in 300-level seminars and are strongly encouraged to take one world literature course and one junior seminar. All students must complete a Senior Project and enroll in Lit 405, the yearlong Senior Colloquium in Literature, in order to graduate.

Moderation Requirements

To moderate, a student must take at least three additional courses in the Division of Languages and Literature. One of these courses may be a Written Arts course and one may be a language instruction course. No more than one writing workshop and one language instruction course can count toward the Moderation requirements.
 
For Moderation, the student submits a 10- to 12-page critical essay based on work for one of the sequence courses; the two short Moderation papers required of all students; and fiction or poetry if the student is a double major in the Written Arts Program. The first short paper reflects on the process that has led the student to this point in his or her studies; the second reflects on the student’s aspirations for work in the Upper College. The papers are evaluated by a board composed of the student’s adviser and two other members of the Literature Program faculty.
 

Requirements for Graduate Study

Students contemplating graduate work in Literature might bear in mind that there is no equivalent to Bard’s Program in Literature with its combined offerings in literature, foreign languages, and creative writing. Instead, there are departments of English, departments of French, German, Italian, etc.., and departments of comparative literature.