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English Degree (B.A.), Literature Concentration

Why Choose a Concentration in Literature?

The study of literature provides, through rigorous analysis of major literary works, a unique experience in recognizing, evaluating, and articulating human values, motives, and qualities.

What makes us great

  • Our literature students complete a capstone project
Requirements for the Concentration in Literature

Requirements For All English Majors

  1. A minimum of 45 credits is required within the English major.
  2. Completion of at least two college semesters of one foreign language is required, unless during high school the student has (a) completed three years of study of one foreign language, or (b) completed two years of study in each of two foreign languages. A student may also satisfy the foreign language requirement by passing a proficiency examination designed nationally and administered locally.
  3. Students who transfer into the English major from other institutions must complete 21 credit hours in English at Westfield State University.

Students may satisfy three of the required six credits in the Literary and Philosophical analysis area of the core with any of the courses on the following list. English Education students may satisfy all 6 of the required Literary and Philosophical analysis credits with courses from this list.

  • ENGL 0112 - Introduction to Black American Literature
  • ENGL 0115 - Introduction to Native American Literature
  • ENGL 0117 - Introduction to Asian American Literature
  • ENGL 0210 - British Literature to 1603
  • ENGL 0211 - British Literature 1603-1780
  • ENGL 0212 - British Literature from 1780 to the Present
  • ENGL 0216 - American Literature to 1865
  • ENGL 0217 - American Literature Since 1865
  • ENGL 0218 - Postcolonial Literature and Theory

Requirements for the Literature Concentration - 45 Credits

    Literature - 36 Credits

    Students will take a total of twelve courses (36 credits) according to the following distribution:

      A total of four courses (12 credits) from 100- and 200-level:

        Maximum of 1 course from the 100-level including:

        • ENGL 0112 - Introduction to Black American Literature
        • ENGL 0115 - Introduction to Native American Literature
        • ENGL 0117 - Introduction to Asian American Literature

        Minimum of 2 literature survey courses from the 200-level including:

        • ENGL 0210 - British Literature to 1603
        • ENGL 0211 - British Literature 1603-1780
        • ENGL 0212 - British Literature from 1780 to the Present
        • ENGL 0216 - American Literature to 1865
        • ENGL 0217 - American Literature Since 1865
        • ENGL 0218 - Postcolonial Literature and Theory

        Required

        • ENGL 0295 - Gateway to Advanced Literary Study

        Genre, Period, and Diverse Literary Traditions - 24 Credits

        A total of eight courses (24 credits) from 300-level, which are distributed across the three fields listed below.  Students would be required to take courses in at least two sub-fields in all three fields.  No double-dipping is allowed for courses.  ENGL 0397 may be used in any of the fields below with approval from the Chair.

          Genre

            Poetry

            • ENGL 0314 - Milton
            • ENGL 0376 - Modern British and American Poetry
            • ENGL 0382 - Contemporary Poetry

            Prose

            • ENGL 0300 - Development of the Novel
            • ENGL 0311 - The British Novel
            • ENGL 0323 - The American Novel
            • ENGL 0372 - History of Prose

            Drama

            • ENGL 0317 - Shakespeare: Tragedies and Histories
            • ENGL 0318 - Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances
            • ENGL 0364 - American Drama
            • ENGL 0365 - Dramatic Theory and Criticism
            • ENGL 0366 - Drama of the Western World
            • ENGL 0370 - Modern Drama

            Period

              Early Modern and/or Medieval

              • ENGL 0313 - Medieval English Literature
              • ENGL 0317 - Shakespeare: Tragedies and Histories
              • ENGL 0318 - Shakespeare: Comedies and Romances
              • ENGL 0348 - History of the English Language

              Restoration, 18th century, romanticism, Victorianism, and/or 19th century

              • ENGL 0314 - Milton
              • ENGL 0319 - Victorian Literature
              • ENGL 0332 - Romantic Literature
              • ENGL 0339 - Literature of the Eighteenth Century

              20th century/21st century

              • ENGL 0327 - Contemporary Cross-Cultural Literature
              • ENGL 0330 - An Introduction to Modern Literary Criticism
              • ENGL 0367 - Film Theory and Criticism
              • ENGL 0370 - Modern Drama
              • ENGL 0376 - Modern British and American Poetry
              • ENGL 0382 - Contemporary Poetry
              • ENGL 0391 - Special Studies in Film
              • ENGL 0393 - History and Development of Motion Pictures

              Diverse Literary Traditions

                Gender and sexuality

                • ENGL 0312 - Queer Literatures and Theory
                • ENGL 0326 - Advanced Studies in Global Women's Literature

                Race and ethnicity

                • ENGL 0324 - Advanced Studies in Black American Literature
                • ENGL 0325 - Advanced Studies in Native American Literature
                • ENGL 0333 - Advanced Studies in Asian American Literature

                Postcolonial/the Global South

                • ENGL 0327 - Contemporary Cross-Cultural Literature

                Special themes/methodologies

                • ENGL 0330 - An Introduction to Modern Literary Criticism
                • ENGL 0341 - Seminar in Major British and American Authors
                • ENGL 0365 - Dramatic Theory and Criticism
                • ENGL 0367 - Film Theory and Criticism
                • ENGL 0393 - History and Development of Motion Pictures

                Note

                * English Literature Concentration majors must take at least one pre-1800 course (at either the 200 or 300-level) from the following list:  ENGL 0210, 0313, 0314, 0317, 0318, 0339, 0348 or 0397 (depedning on topic and if approved by Chair).

                  Writing - 6 Credits

                  Student will take any two of the following writing courses:

                  • ENGL 0246 - Creative Writing
                  • ENGL 0275 - Journalism I
                  • ENGL 0276 - Writing About the Arts
                  • ENGL 0285 - Basics of Film Writing
                  • ENGL 0303 - Persuasive Communication
                  • ENGL 0305 - Grant Writing
                  • ENGL 0331 - Special Topics in Professional Writing
                  • ENGL 0334 - Special Topics in Rhetoric
                  • ENGL 0335 - Special Topics in Creative Writing
                  • ENGL 0340 - Creative Non-Fiction
                  • ENGL 0345 - Writing Fiction
                  • ENGL 0346 - Writing Poetry
                  • ENGL 0347 - Advanced Critical Writing
                  • ENGL 0361 - Advanced Poetry Writing
                  • ENGL 0371 - Playwriting
                  • ENGL 0375 - Journalism II
                  • ENGL 0377 - Feature Writing
                  • ENGL 0381 - Advanced Prose Writing
                  • ENGL 0384 - Special Topics in Journalism
                  • ENGL 0385 - Screenwriting for Feature Film
                  • ENGL 0388 - Special Topics in Writing
                  • ENGL 0394 - News Editing
                  • ENGL 0395 - Sports Writing

                  Capstone Experience - 3 Credits

                  Students will have one capstone experience in their senior year.  This capstone experience might be an internship, independent study, or an additional upper-level literature or writing class linked to their plans after college.  In all cases, students must submit a rationale to their advisor and to the department chair for their proposed capstone experience, explicitly linking their goals for the capstone experience to post-college plans, whether those plans include graduate studies or career.

                    Additional Graduation Requirements

                    All students must meet the University Graduation Requirements and complete a common core of studies, distributed among the different academic areas as detailed in the Common Core .