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Literature

  • Analyzes, Interprets, and Critiques Literature
  • Provides Lively Discussion and Debate
  • Develops Cultural Aptitude

These courses provide the opportunity to read and discuss novels, short stories, memoirs, plays, and poetry. You will explore classic and contemporary literature from ancient texts to current bestsellers as you gain skills to analyze, interpret, and critique writing; develop cultural aptitude; and participate in nuanced discussions and lively debates.

American Noir Novels

Discover the nightmarish alleys, world-weary heroes, and femme fatales of the American noir literary genre.

2017 Summer
2 sections

Bob Dylan: American Culture's Defiant Prophet

Explore poetic songwriter Bob Dylan’s extensive oeuvre, and discuss how his Nobel Prize win changes our sense of literature as a category.

2017 Summer
1 section

Detective Narratives: From Sherlock Holmes to Inspector Morse and Beyond

This course introduces the genre of detective fiction from its origins in the 19th century to present-day rewritings of the form.

2017 Summer
1 section

Greek Lyric Poetry

Read representative surviving texts of ancient Greek lyric poetry by luminaries of Greece’s earliest enlightenment.

2017 Summer
1 section

John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga: Men and Women in the Edwardian Age

Read John Galsworthy’s Forsyte Saga, and discuss the rapidly changing Edwardian England of its time.

2017 Summer
1 section

Literature for the 21st Century

Discover a generation of authors likely to set literary trends well into the 21st century.

2017 Summer
1 section

Reading Dante's Inferno

Examine Dante’s Inferno and its key themes, overall message, and place in cultural and literary history.

2017 Summer
1 section

Brilliant Minds

Read examples of works in which brilliant minds use their gifts to entertain, inspire, engage, and enlighten us.

2017 Spring
1 section

Kafka and Company: Art or Life?

Examine the choice between art and life faced by creative individuals by reading the works of Kafka, Maugham, Goethe, and more.

2017 Spring
1 section

Masterpieces of 19th-Century Fiction

Study five major 19th-century classics of literature that have passed the test of time.

2017 Spring
1 section

Novels for a Changing America: From The Great Gatsby to Bright Lights, Big City

Read and discuss 10 short novels that voice the aspirations of American society and register the diversity of the American experience.

2017 Spring
1 section

Novels with a Social Conscience

Examine eight novels that use moving, memorable stories to illuminate the injustices evident in cultures and communities.

2017 Spring
1 section

Shakespeare's Histories: Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, and Henry V

Explore Shakespeare’s plays Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, and Henry V and the cultural forces that helped to shape them.

2017 Spring
1 section

The Global Short Story

Read and discuss global short stories that are capable of translating experience across cultures and mingling artistic experimentation with mission.

2017 Spring
1 section

The Irish Short Story: Oscar Wilde to Edna O'Brien

Read and discuss short stories by classic and contemporary Irish writers, and explore Ireland’s great heritage of storytelling.

2017 Spring
1 section

The Novel Today

Discuss major new work by today’s top writers, including emerging novelists, award-winners, and established favorites.

2017 Spring
3 sections

Women Fiction Writers

By reading some of their acclaimed novels, explore how female authors see the world and portray their distinctive experiences.

2017 Spring
1 section

Eyes on the Prize: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Plays of the 21st Century

Read and discuss recent plays that have won playwriting’s top prize, and as a class, attend a Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

2017 Spring
1 section

Literature and Medicine: Reading and Writing About Illness and Healing

Read and discuss selections of both fiction and nonfiction that deal with illness, recovery, and healing.

2017 Spring
1 section

Pots and Pens: Writing Women in Latin America

Read and discuss selected works by Latin American women writers that display their sustained engagement with women-centered issues.

2017 Spring
1 section

Reading the World: Selections from The New Yorker, Charlie Hebdo, and Beyond

Discuss articles from a wide range of magazines, including The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and Charlie Hebdo.

2017 Spring
1 section

Anthony Trollope: Exploring the Palliser Novels

Examine Anthony Trollope’s penetrating insights on political and social issues in his Palliser novels.

Don Quixote: An Adventure in Reading

Explore the richness and complexity of Don Quixote within the socio-political-cultural framework of turn-of-the-17th-century Spain.

Global Crime: Novels, Documentaries, and True Stories

Deepen your knowledge of current events, criminology, psychology, and storytelling’s power by exploring narratives of crime and punishment.

Images of Women

Explore how female writers, from Edith Wharton to Elena Ferrante, have created rich, complex, varied portraits of women.

Lover or Fighter? Reading Virgil's Aeneid

Read and analyze Virgil’s Aeneid, a thrilling epic and an exploration of the devastation of war.

Moby-Dick: An Appreciation

Read and discuss Melville’s classic novel and venture into the New York neighborhoods where the author and his characters toiled.

New 20th-Century Classics

Delve into the emerging classics of 20th-century literature.

Plays with a Social Conscience

Examine how five well-known playwrights bring moving, memorable stories to the stage and illuminate injustices evident in culture and communities.

Reading James Joyce's Ulysses

Through close reading of passages in class, master the difficult styles in Ulysses, considered by some to be the greatest novel ever written.

Reading Shakespeare: King Lear and Twelfth Night

Explore two of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays, King Lear and Twelfth Night, and the cultural forces that helped to shape them.

Robert Frost: A Poet Who Took "The Road Not Taken"

Delve deeper into the meaning of Robert Frost’s poems, explore the complexities of his personal life, and discover how they are interwoven.

Shakespearean Controversies: The Merchant of Venice and The Taming of the Shrew

Examine two of Shakespeare’s controversial masterpieces and the cultural forces that helped to shape them.

The Australian Novel and the Modern World

Study great Australian authors who incarnate in their work Australia’s aspirations and ideals, as well as its failures and tragedies.

The Greatest Journey of Them All: Reading Homer's Odyssey

Relive—or enjoy for the first time—the fabulous adventures of Odysseus as he journeys home to his wife and son after the Trojan War.

The Short Story: American Masterpieces of the 20th Century

Explore a diversity of styles, content, and demographics as a way of appreciating the expansive range that American short fiction achieves.

Why Paris?

Through readings, examine how Paris serves as an international symbol of freedom to some while representing oppression and racism to others.