In addition to meeting general degree requirements, literature majors must complete a minimum of 10 literature courses, plus an 8-credit senior project, as outlined below.

  • LIT 2450/Colloquium I: Studies in Literature*
    *Generally taken in the second year; transfer students who want to major in literature must complete this course during their first semester at Purchase.
  • Three courses in the literature sequence (courses that emphasize issues of history and period): One each from sequence I (before 1750), II (1750–1900), and III (1900–present)
  • One course in Shakespeare
  • At least three elective literature courses (see notes below)
  • LIT 4450/Colloquium II: Advanced Studies in Literature*
    *Generally taken in the second semester of the junior year
  • LIT 4885/Senior Project Seminar
  • SPJ 4990/Senior Project I
  • SPJ 4991/Senior Project II

Of the 10 literature courses:

  • No more than two may be taken through the School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education, with permission of advisor.
  • At least five must be at the 3000 or 4000 level (LIT 4450 counts toward this requirement; LIT 4885 does not).
  • At least four must be taken at Purchase College.
  • Students may not use the required Shakespeare course to satisfy the Sequence I requirement. For example, THP 2205 may be taken to fulfill the Sequence I requirement or the Shakespeare course requirement, but not both.
  • Certain courses in language and culture and in theatre and performance (THP prefix) may fulfill the requirements. These courses are cross-referenced in the list of literature courses.
  • Students may count toward the major up to 8 credits of writing courses at the 3000 or 4000 level. Writing courses at the 2000 level may not be counted toward the major requirements.
  • All courses taken to satisfy major requirements, excluding the senior project, must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

  Course Sequences for the Major and Minor

For the minor in literature: Comparative literature courses in the sequences are indicated with an asterisk.

  Sequence I: Before 1750

HIS 2120/Princes, Priests, and Peasants*
LIT 2080/The Ancient Epic*
LIT 3127/Early Modern English Poetry
LIT 3140/Medieval English Literature*
LIT 3142/Chivalry and Romance (added Fall 2017)
LIT 3150/Chaucer
LIT 3155/Renaissance in England
LIT 3160/Literature of the High Middle Ages*
LIT 3220/The Renaissance in Europe*
LIT 3250/Milton
LIT 3822/Dread, Sadness, and Grief in Early English Literature
LIT 3825/British Poetry I: Beginnings to 1650
LIT 4050/The Bible in Medieval and Early Modern Literature*
LIT 4180/Dante and Medieval Culture*
PHI 3205/Shakespeare and Philosophy
SPA 3705/Cervantes (in English)
THP 2205/Shakespeare Then and Now*
THP 2885/Theatre Histories I*
THP 3140/Medieval and Renaissance English Drama*

  Sequence II: 1750–1900
LIT 2375/Classics of European Fiction*
LIT 2560/Survey of U.S. Literature I
LIT 2570/Survey of U.S. Literature II
LIT 3003/Dostoevsky and Tolstoy*
LIT 3082/19th-Century British Literature and Empire
LIT 3121/Comparative 19th-Century Novel*
LIT 3271/The Age of Reason
LIT 3315/The 19th-Century Novel in the U.S.
LIT 3320/The 19th-Century British Novel
LIT 3330/Romanticism I
LIT 3340/Romanticism II
LIT 3355/Romanticism and Empire
LIT 3369/Victorian Poetry
LIT 3540/Emerson
LIT 3581/Realism and Naturalism in U.S. Literature
LIT 3630/Melville
LIT 3673/Austen
LIT 4675/George Eliot and Henry James
LIT 4685/Whitman and Dickinson
  Sequence III: 1900–Present
HIS 3180/British Culture and Society in the 20th Century
HIS 3424/Modern and Postcolonial France*
FRE 3710/Classics of French Literature on Film
JST 3709/Theatrical Representations of the Holocaust*
LIT 1190/Modernism: The 20th Century*
LIT 2195/Italian American Literature and Popular Culture
LIT 2675/Literature and the City*
LIT 2825/Modernism and the Metropolis*
LIT 2872/The Golden Land: American Jewish Literature and Film
LIT 3007/Visions of Dystopia (added Spring 2018)
LIT 3043/Toni Morrison (added Fall 2017)
LIT 3093/Immigration and Ethnicity in U.S. Literature
LIT 3195/The Vietnam War in U.S. Literature and Film
LIT 3215/South Asian Literature*
LIT 3226/Literature of Decolonization in South Asia* (reinstated Spring 2018)
LIT 3265/Kafka
LIT 3266/Kafka to Roth*
LIT 3310/Modern Poetry in the U.S. and Latin America*
LIT 3380/Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
LIT 3415/Global Metafictions*
LIT 3420/Modern Poetry*
LIT 3427/20th-Century World Literature (added Fall 2017)
LIT 3432/The Roaring Twenties
LIT 3490/James Joyce
LIT 3532/Body, Race, Performance*
LIT 3555/Modern British Literature
LIT 3575/Virginia Woolf
LIT 3605/Jazz and the Literary Imagination
LIT 3633/The Beat Generation (added Fall 2017)
LIT 3635/Reviewing the Contemporary Novel
LIT 3680/Surrealism and Its Legacy*
LIT 3685/Modern Novel of Latin America (in English)*
LIT 3695/Contemporary U.S. Literature
LIT 3721/Contemporary Jewish American Fiction (added Spring 2017)
LIT 3725/Literature of the Holocaust*
LIT 3745/Identity and Self-Fashioning
LIT 3839/The Modern Novel*
LIT 3845/Zora Neale Hurston
LIT 4190/Williams and Faulkner
LIT 4240/Science Fiction (added Fall 2017)
LIT 4690/Contemporary U.S. Poetry
SPA 3370/Lettered Cities: The Literatures of Latin American Cities
THP 2600/American Drama: From O’Neill to Albee
THP 3495/Black American Drama
THP 3690/American Theatre in Our Time
THP 3750/European Drama in Our Time*
  Examples of Other Comparative Literature Courses

Please note that these courses do not fulfill the sequence requirement.
ARH 3040/Vermeer in the World
FRE 3067/French Caribbean Literature
LAC 3250/Space as Construction
LIT 1065/Only Connect: Difference and Otherness in Literature
LIT 1140/The West and Others
LIT 1150/Border Crossings
LIT 2387/Literature of the South Asian Diaspora
LIT 2590/Mythologies
LIT 3025/Women and Film
LIT 3047/Literature and Film of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
LIT 3157/Novel Pairings
LIT 3267/Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Kafka: The Short Stories
LIT 3396/Fiction of Eastern Europe
LIT 3415/Global Metafictions 
LIT 3427/20th Century World Literature
LIT 3676/Short Narrative
LIT 3940/Literature of War
PHI 2835/Happiness: Philosophy, Film, Literature
POL 3307/Politics and Memoir
SPA 3687/The Idea of Latin America
THP 3250/Theories of Drama and Performance
THP 3427/European Drama in Our Time

Updates to the 2016–18 Purchase College Catalog:

Language and notes revised to clarify requirements (no curricular revision), 03/23/17 and 4/05/17

Effective Spring 2017:

  • LIT 3890/Literature Junior Seminar (1 credit) is no longer required (discontinued).