Building on common foundations, this degree offers two upper-level specializations: Multicultural U.S.-British Literature and World Literature.
At the Foundations level, requirements recognize the importance of firm grounding in Language Arts and Literary Interpretation. These emphases correlate with stress on skills foundations in current pedagogy. The Linguistic Foundations requirement recognizes the centrality of strong training in the history and structure of language as well as the formal grammar of English. The Literary Analysis requirement offers training in literary interpretation, close reading, knowledge of literary genres, social and historical contextualization of literature, and literary theory, today a sine qua non of competitive literature degrees .A three-course sequence in Literary Traditions includes historical surveys of British, U.S., European, and World literature and selected courses in classical foundations, genres, and such recent topics as postcolonialism.
Multicultural U.S./British Literature Specialization
The Multicultural U.S./British Literature Specialization is rooted in recent trends in literary theory and interpretation, which view U.S./British literature as expressing diverse national, cultural, and gender perspectives within a common tradition. Multicultural U.S./British Literature includes texts from both the U.S. and U.K. by writers of different ethnicities, genders, sexualities, classes, and ability/disability status. Multicultural literature focuses on the complexity of two countries in which people of many different cultures cohabit. Such fields as African American Literature, Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States, Women’s Literature, and LGBTQ Literature, increasingly prominent in English studies since 1990, form the core of this specialization. This specialization enhances the competitiveness of students applying to graduate English programs or continuing to a variety of careers.
World Literature Specialization
The World Literature Specialization studies literature in English from outside the U.S./U.K. as well as other literatures in translation. This specialization speaks to the increasing integration of international literary culture and to an increasing emphasis on global culture. It is directly relevant to the sizeable number of Old Westbury students from postcolonial English speaking cultures and to others with an interest in world culture. It helps prepare students for graduate study in such fields as Postcolonial Studies, the Literature of the African Diaspora, and others, and for varied careers.
The Senior Seminar requirement for each specialization offers an integrated capstone experience for students in this degree program. The Senior Seminar requirement begins with Senior Seminar I—research and Writing, an intensive preparation for the Senior Thesis including study of advanced research methods, seminar presentations, and a semester-length writing project. Senior Seminar II—Thesis provides a semester-long thesis writing project with a common curriculum of reading and research.
Total Credits Required: 120 (90 in the liberal arts)
A. Liberal Education
Refer to the College's Liberal Education Curriculum Bulletin for specific requirements.
B. Major Requirements:
All students in the major take a set of platform courses (levels 1 - 3) and complete the Senior Seminar sequence (level 5). Students choose one of two specializations, U.S. -British Multicultural Literature or World Literature, at level 4. Summaries of the areas and credits are as follows:
EMS for all courses at 3000 level or above.
- At least 2 courses primarily in literature written before 1800 (for the U.S., 1900)
- At least 1 course in each of: British Literature; U.S. Literature; and World Literature. Either EL3500 or 3510 may be used to satisfy the British or U.S. Literature requirement, but not both.
A maximum of one grade of C-, and no grade below C-, may be counted toward satisfying the Major requirements.
Note: Not all courses are offered in any semester. Consult course descriptions and online class schedules.
B.A. English 44 credits
Linguistic Foundations 4 credits
Literary Analysis 8 credits
Literary Traditions 12 credits
Specializations 12 credits
- U.S.- British Multicultural Literature
- World Literature
Senior Seminar 8 credits
Structure and Sequence of Courses:
1. Linguistic Foundations (choose one)
EL3100 Structure and Grammar of English
2. Literary Analysis (Choose Two)
EL3500 Literature Across Cultures I: Analysis & Interpretation
EL3510 Literature Across Cultures II: Theory
EL4400 Critical Theory
3. Literary Traditions (select one From Group A, one from Group B, and one from Group A, B, or C)
A - British and U.S. Literature:
EL3600 U.S. Literature I: Colonial to Civil War
EL3610 U.S. Literature II: Civil War to Present
EL3800 English Literature I: Beowulf to 18th Century, inclusive of Shakespeare
EL3810 English Literature II: Romantics to Present
B - World Literature:
- EL3560 Literatures of Europe Part I
- EL3561 Literatures of Europe Part II
- EL3700 Survey of World Literature
C - Genres and Traditions, Multicultural and World Literature:
- EL3950 Creative Non-Fiction
- EL4200 Biblical-Classical Influences on Multicultural Literature
- EL4300 20th - Century Literature: Colonialism and Postcolonialism
- EL4311 Greek Drama
- EL4312 Greek Mythology
- EL4325 Shakespeare: Selected Plays
- EL4402 Sin and Sexuality in Literature
- EL4500 Topics in British/US Literature
- EL4510 Modern Drama and Theater
- EL4520 Reading and Writing the Short Story
4. Specialization: Choose Multicultural U.S.-British Literature Or World Literature
Multicultural U.S.-British Literature Specialization:
A. Electives. Choose any two from these groups:
- EL4030 Women & Narrative
- EL4050 Lesbian & Gay Literature
- EL4060 Literature of Class & Class Consciousness
- EL4080 Extraordinary Bodies: Disability in Literature
- ML3410 Latino Writers in the U.S.
- EL3811 Survey of African American Literature
- EL4000 Native American Literature
- EL4010 Harlem Renaissance
- EL4015 Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States
- EL4020 Asian American Literature
- EL4040 Black Women Writers
- EL4070 Topics in African American Literature
- EL4090 African American Novel
- EL4091 African American Poetry & Plays
- EL4405 Caribbean Literature
- EL4550 Modern English Literature 1890–1960
- EL4560 Multicultural British Literature Since 1960
B. Required for all students in the specialization:
EL4800 Major Authors
World Literature Specialization:
Note: Non-English Literature are read in translation.
A. Surveys- Choose One:
- EL3865 Literature of Asia
- EL3870 Literatures of Africa
- EL/ML3880 Masterpieces of Hispanic Literature
B. Electives- Choose two:
- EL4405 Caribbean Literature
- EL4600 Literature of India
- EL4630 Latin American Literature
- EL4640 French Literature
- EL4650 Literature of Russia and Eastern Europe
5. SENIOR SEMINARS
- EL5000 Senior Seminar- Research & Writing*
- EL5010 Senior Seminar- Thesis
* Prerequisite for EL5000: EMS, Senior Standing. Prerequisite for EL5010: EMS, Completion of EL5000.