at a glance

Major icon MAJOR Minor icon MINOR

The study of literature embodies a vision of life. In our literature program, you’ll explore the perennial themes of human experience and discover wisdom through the knowledge of those who came before. As literature is, in a way, the written record of human experience, it includes and synthesizes the higher sciences of theology, philosophy and history.

Careers: Education, Journalist, Writer, Paralegal, Interpreter

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Pursue the advancement of human culture, the promotion of dialogue between faith and reason and formation in the intellectual and moral virtues. In this program, you’ll dive into the greatest writers of Western tradition and explore life’s biggest questions: man’s purpose, the foundations of his knowledge, the basis of human community and man’s relationship with God.

light bulbFast Fact: You’ll connect with the greatest minds of western civilization and explore the works of ancient Greece, Medieval Europe, Shakespeare, Romanticism and beyond.

literature minor young man reading book skills you will gain

Skills you will gain with

A Literature DEGREE

  1. Sharpen your intellect. Read insightfully, appreciate deeply, understand clearly and appreciate the complexity and richness of human experience.
  2. Refine your expression. Learn to write skillfully to express, explain and argue your ideas clearly and thoroughly, and to persuade your listeners.
  3. Discover a more complete perspective. Learn to better understand yourself and the world by reading what the best authors have thought about the most important questions.
literature minor young man reading book skills you will gain


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A look into the


The Literature Department seeks the advancement of human culture, the promotion of dialogue between faith and reason, the formation of men and women in the intellectual and moral virtues of the Catholic faith. The Department seeks to aid in the formation of men and women who can read insightfully, appreciate deeply, understand clearly, and write skillfully to express, explain, argue, and persuade.

The University courses in literature introduce students to the classics of the West so that they may better understand themselves and their world by reading what the best authors have thought about the most important questions—questions about human purpose, the relationship between God and the human person and between man and woman, the foundations of knowledge, and the basis of human community.“One writes only half the book; the other half is with the reader.”

-Joseph Conrad

  1. With the best human minds, journey through time from the Iliad and the Odyssey through Medieval Literature, Shakespeare, Shakespeare in Performance, Eighteenth Century, Romanticism, Early Modern Literature, Modern Literature to 20th Century Literature.
  2. Present and former Literature majors and minors fill many important posts at Ave Maria, including resident advisor and newspaper editor. Many appear in the annual Shakespeare in Performance production on Campus.

In addition to the core curriculum, literature majors take the following courses

Required Courses for the Major

  • COMP 101 Composition
  • LITR 206 Shakespeare
  • LITR 223 Studies in Genre I
  • LITR 224 Studies in Genre II
  • LITR 230 Survey of American Literature
  • LITR 360 Survey of English Literature
  • LITR 491 Capstone in Literature
  • Three electives (including at least one elective in Medieval or Renaissance Literature and one elective in 18th-Century or Modern Literature)
Click the button to view our typical 4-year plan.

Literature is a great program for those who love the classics and want to spend their college years studying great works of literature and the language behind them. Students who have earned a degree in Literature might end up working in many different careers, from writing to teaching to academia.

Literature Majors and Minors understand life and express themselves clearly so others will understand. These abilities come from confronting the literary efforts of the best human minds from across the centuries. No Major or Minor other than Literature brings the full range of human experience so clearly into focus. In every field of endeavor, these qualities of understanding and expression bring Literature Majors and Minors to the front where they can be heard.

Examples of career possibilities include the professions where understanding and expression are most useful, such as business, law, teaching, and many others.

Click on the following link to view the top ten careers with a Literature or English degree

Deana Basile Kelly, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Literature and Modern Languages (Italian)

Education: B.A., Political Science & Italian Studies, University of New Hampshire; M.A., Literature & Culture, Boston College; Ph.D., Italian Literature & Linguistics, University of Toronto
Office: Canizaro Library 254
Phone: (239) 304-7188

Maria Boersma, M.A.

Adjunct Instructor of Composition

Education: B.A., Politics, Ave Maria University; M.A., English, St. Bonaventure University

Travis Curtright, Ph.D.

Chair of the Humanities Department, Director of Shakespeare in Performance, Professor of Humanities & Literature

Education: B.A., Philosophy, University of Dallas; M.A. Literature, University of Dallas; Ph.D., Literature, University of Dallas
Office: Canizaro Library 219
Phone: (239) 280-1612

Kirsten Hall, Ph.D.

Director of the Literature Program, Assistant Professor of Literature

Education: B.A., English, Hillsdale College; M.A., English, University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D., English, University of Texas at Austin
Office: Henkels 2047
Phone: (239) 304-7959

Gavin Hurley, Ph.D.

Director of the Writing Program, Assistant Professor of Literature and Communication

Education: B.A., Philosophy, Saint Joseph’s University; M.A., Writing Arts, Rowan University; Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, Writing & Rhetoric
Office: Henkels 2052
Phone: (239) 280-1662

Lylas Rommel, Ph.D.

Adjunct Instructor of Literature

Education: B.A., English, University of Kentucky; M.A., English, University of Kentucky; M.A., Greek, Loyola University; M.A., English, University of Dallas; Ph.D., Literature, University of Dallas

LITR 223 Studies in Genre I
4 Literature Electives

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Catholic Culture

The spiritual life on campus is the beating heart of Ave. Whether it’s attending Mass, receiving the sacraments, participating in retreats or getting spiritual direction, you’ll find the spiritual support you need from the priests and staff of Campus Ministry.

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With AMU’s core curriculum, you’ll not only achieve breadth of knowledge, but also depth of knowledge. You’ll encounter the truth about God and His creation more completely through the dynamic interplay of all of the liberal arts, including theology and natural science.

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Sunny skies, warm temperatures, a beautiful campus. What more could you want? How about a community-like atmosphere, quality instructors who care about your success, a wealth of spiritual activities, expert career guidance… and that’s only the beginning. Imagine your future at AMU. It all starts by filling out our free application today.


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