The literature major enables students to understand and appreciate our literary heritage and allows them to pursue their individual literary interests. The major requires a structured series of courses on the principal writers of English and American literature and permits a wide range of electives. Because it emphasizes close reading, careful analysis, and extensive experience in writing, the literature major has been found useful by students entering a variety of careers: law, government, business, journalism, and the film and television industry, as well as teaching.
The Literature Department is strongly committed to helping students improve their writing. To this end, a writing program is offered which is in part required, in part elected. The policy of Claremont McKenna College is that all freshmen are expected to take a one-semester course in English composition and literary analysis (Lit 10) during their first year at the College.
Literature majors take at least nine literature courses, distributed as follows:
1. Literature 57. British Writers I
2. Literature 58. British Writers II
3. Literature 100. Junior Seminar in Literary Criticism
This course should be taken when it is regularly offered, not through independent
study. Students who will be studying abroad during the junior year should plan ahead
to take the course as sophomores.
4. One single-author course (see listing below)
5. One course emphasizing literature before 1700 (see listing below)
6. One course emphasizing literature between 1700-1900 (see listing below)
7. One course in American literature (see listing below)
8.Two elective courses in literature
Some courses meeting the requirements under 4, 5, 6, and 7 are listed in more than one
category, but no course may be counted toward more than one requirement.