PURCHASE COLLEGE CATALOG 2016–18
Draft in progress
The Literature Program: Upper-Level Courses
The Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Literature
LIT 4050 / 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly) / Sequence I
Explores plays, prose works, poetry, and art from the early Middle Ages to c. 1650, in English or English translation, showing the varied influences of the Bible, especially the Christian New Testament and surrounding apocryphal traditions. Students are introduced to medieval, early modern, and contemporary approaches to the biblical text.
Dante and Medieval Culture
LIT 4180 / 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly) / Sequence I
A close reading of the Divine Comedy in the dual context of late medieval Italy and contemporary theoretical inquiry.
Williams and Faulkner
LIT 4190 / 4 credits / Alternate years / Sequence III
William Carlos Williams and William Faulkner were both deeply engaged with the historical myths of their time and place, and both were central influences in the evolution of American modernism. Readings concentrate on major novels by Faulkner and poetry by Williams.
LIT 4200 / 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly) / Sequence III
An exploration of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, a fresco of late 19th and early 20th-century Parisian society and culture. The course focuses on how Proust’s characterizations point to the triumph of the bourgeoisie and situates Proust’s modernity in his images, sentences, and meditations on memory and human behavior.
Nature in U.S. Literature
LIT 4350 / 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly)
Traces the history of Anglo-American nature poetry and prose, from the invention of “Nature” to the recently proclaimed death of “Nature,” as well as the recently developed field of literary ecocriticism.
Colloquium II: Advanced Studies in Literature
LIT 4450 / 4 credits / Every semester
A culminating course that draws together the work of the major and prepares students for and complements the senior project. Each course section addresses its own topic; in every section, readings include primary texts, secondary texts that illuminate the primary texts, and works that define the discipline of literature or its interdisciplinary extensions, including theory and cultural studies.
George Eliot and Henry James
LIT 4675 / 4 credits / Alternate years / Sequence II
An examination of two of the greatest novelists in the English language, George Eliot and Henry James. Topics include point-of-view and its relation to ethics; the nature of sympathy; melodrama and realism; and the representation of consciousness in literary form.
Whitman and Dickinson
LIT 4685 / 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly) / Sequence II
These two poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, dominate not only the American 19th century, but the entire history of poetry at length and in depth. Students also consider some of their marginal work (Whitman’s prose and Dickinson’s letters, for example).
Contemporary U.S. Poetry
LIT 4690 / 4 credits / Special topic (offered irregularly) / Sequence III
Here are poets who epitomize trends, possibilities, or radical departures—poets like Anne Sexton, Robert Lowell, John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, and James Merrill, among others—interesting not only in their context within the tradition, but for their manifold intrinsic excellences as well.
Senior Project Seminar
LIT 4885 / 2 credits / Fall
In this seminar, students are guided through the steps required to complete a senior project. Students refine their topic, create a list of secondary sources, write an annotated bibliography, and workshop their first chapter. Required for literature majors in conjunction with the first semester of their senior project.
Prerequisite: LIT 2450
Corequisite: SPJ 4990
Senior Project I and II
SPJ 4990 and 4991 / 4 credits (per semester) / Every year
Required for literature majors in their senior year. Two semesters (8 credits total).
For updates during 2016–2018, please visit www.purchase.edu/