Literature embodies a vision of life. For those who wish to explore the perennial themes of human experience, the study of literature is an essential part of an education. The University faculty holds that a close reading of great literary works imparts wisdom and is one of the modes of perceiving truth; that literature is best understood not only in relation to theology, philosophy, and history, but also as synthesizing and ordering the insights of these modes of knowledge. Literary study’s special interest in perspective, form, tone, nuance, setting, wit, and irony goes far in shaping a subtle intelligence that appreciates the complexity and fulsomeness of human experience.
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.
Thus, the sequence of courses required for the degree sets out a method of reading, analyzing, and writing that brings students into an imaginative participation in some of the greatest writers in the Western tradition and liberates them to pursue reading and critical thinking on their own. Because of the vast variety of literary forms, techniques, historical contexts, and individual authorial visions, course content will be fluid, depending on students’ interests and pedagogical needs. In all cases, however, Literature classes will focus on close reading and analytic and researched argumentative writing.
Explore the Literature Program
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 and understand clearly; as well as, 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.”
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, 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)
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 including: Business, Law, Teaching, and many others.
Click on the following link to view the top ten careers with a Literature or English degree http://www.catalogs.com/info/bestof/top-10-careers-with-an-english-degree
Deana Basile Kelly, Ph.D.
Maria Boersma, M.A.
Adjunct Instructor of Composition
Education: B.A., Politics, Ave Maria University; M.A., English, St. Bonaventure University