B.A. in World Literature

Public and Applied Humanities is proud to serve as the departmental home for the interdisciplinary BA in World Literature.

A collaboration between the College of Humanities and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the BA in World Literature offers students the opportunity to explore their interests in ancient and modern regional literatures such as Eastern Europe, West Africa, the Middle East and national literatures including Chinese, English and Latin with more topical studies (genre, period, gender, ethnicity, indigenous critique, cultural studies, postcolonial studies).

World literature is literature with an impact beyond its original language and cultural area. It is the product of intercultural historical events, and the circulation of ideas that connect people from across the globe. Combined with an intensive foreign language study, the BA in World Literature provides in-depth insight into the literatures that live on in those languages.

In an age of unprecedent integration of economic and social spheres all over the world, the BA in World Literature is designed to develop students’ ability to adapt and perform effectively within and across different cultural contexts. Cross-cultural literacy is increasingly becoming an indispensable qualification for international careers in diplomacy, foreign service, federal and state government positions, international business, media, tourism to cite just a few.

Major in World Language Literature

Students are required to have advanced proficiency in at least one language other than English. The requirement for upper-division in literature courses can be fulfilled in two or three different languages.

The World Literature major allows up to 15 units (5 courses) to count toward more than one major or minor.

Courses for the BA in World Literature are offered by a variety departments and programs on campus, and include the following:

The major consists of 36 total units comprised of:

Major Core: (15 units)

  • English 280 (3 units)
  • English 380 (3 units)
  • *5th/6th Semester Language Courses (6 units)
  • Senior Capstone Course (HUM) (3 units)

Upper division courses: (15 units)

  • Students should take upper-division literature courses (300/400-level courses) in at least two different regions of the world, with no more than 3 courses coming from a single region. No more than one of these regions may involve literature originally written in English. The courses must include texts or excerpts that are read in the original languages.  

Elective Courses: (6 units)

  • Elective courses may include courses in which only translation of literary texts are used. 

Minor in World Language Literature: 18 Units of Credit

  • 5th semester of a language other than English, or equivalent proficiency (3 Units)*
  • English 280 (3 units)
  • 1 Upper-division World Literature course focused on literature not written in English (3 units)
  • 3 Electives in two regions (9 units; 3 units must be upper division)

Degree Courses

Upper Division Courses

Courses for the BA in World Literature are offered by a variety departments and programs on campus, and include the following:

Africana Studies (AFAS)

  • 306   African-American Autobiographies: Women and Their Histories
  • 320   The African American Slave Narrative: History and Literature

Arabic (ARB)

  • 495A  Readings in Modern Arabic Prose
  • 495B  Readings: Classic Arabic Prose
  • 495C  Readings: Classical Arabic Poetry

Chinese (CHN)

  • 422  Introduction to Classical Chinese

English (ENGL)

  • 489B: Contemporary American Literature
  • 489A: Contemporary American Literature 
  • 488B: American Poetry: Twentieth Century 
  • 488A: American Poetry: Nineteenth Century 
  • 486: Topics in American Literature 
  • 484B: The American Novel: The Twentieth Century 
  • 484A: The American Novel:  The Nineteenth Century 
  • 483: Late 19th/Early 20th Century American Fiction 
  • 478: African American Literature
  • 477: Studies of Native American Literature
  • 473B: Modern British Literature
  • 473A: Modern British Literature
  • 466: Themes in Victorian Literature 
  • 465: Victorian Literature 
  • 460: Romantic Literature 
  • 458B: The English Novel
  • 458A: The English Novel 
  • 450: Literature of Restoration and Eighteenth Century 
  • 444: Milton  
  • 434B: Renaissance Literature 
  • 432: Renaissance Drama  
  • 431B: Shakespeare   
  • 431A: Shakespeare 
  • 427: Chaucer
  • 425B: Old English 
  • 425A: Old English: Introduction to Language and Literature
  • 424: Studies in Southwest Literature  
  • 419B: Non-Fiction Prose 
  • 419A: Non-Fiction Prose
  • 416: Advanced Literary Analysis 
  • 373C: British and American Literature:  From the Roots of Modernism to the Present 
  • 373B: British and American Literature:  Restoration to the 19th Century 
  • 373A: British and American Literature:  Beowulf to 1660 

French (FREN)

  • 443 Contemporary Francophone Literature and Cinema
  • 442 French Narratives and Film
  • 440 Topics in French Literature
  • 410 Film and Fiction  

German (GER)

  • 412 Tales of Love
  • 313 Studies in Genre

Greek (GRK)

  • 424: Homer
  • 422: Greek Drama
  • 400: Readings in Prose and Poetry

Italian (ITAL)

  • 410 Italian Fiction/Film
  • 431 The Divine Comedy by Dante

Japanese (JPN)

  • 405 Classical Japanese
  • 430 Haruki Murakami and the Literature of Modern Japan
  • 446A Pre-modern Japanese Literature: Court Literature to 1330.
  • 446B  Pre-modern Japanese Literature: Part 2—14th to 19th Centuries
  • 447A  Modern Japanese Literature: Meiji to World War Two
  • 447B  Modern Japanese Literature: Postwar and Contemporary Literature

Latin (LAT)

  • 430: Roman Drama
  • 421: Latin Literature of the Imperial Age
  • 415: Latin Love Poetry
  • 413: Augustan Literature

Middle Eastern & North African Studies (MENA)

  • 405 Classical Aramaic

Portuguese (PORT)

  • 350 Introduction to Genres and Literary Analysis
  • 401 Luso-Brazilian Literature-1900
  • 403 Contemporary Luso-Brazilian and Lusophone African Literatures: An Introduction
  • 449 Brazilian Literature in Film
  • 463 Topics in Luso-Brazilian Literature

Persian (PRS)

  • 496A  Topics in Classical and Ancient Persian Literature and Culture
  • 496B  Topics in Modern Persian Literature and Iranian Culture

Russian & Slavic Studies (RSSS)

  • 368A:  Literature III  
  • 368B:  Literature III  
  • 405A  Great Authors of the 19th Century
  • 405B  Great Authors of the 20th Century
  • 406A: Literature
  • 406B: Literature
  • 415  Advanced Topics in Russian Language, Literature and Linguistics (when topic is literature)
  • 468A: Literature IV
  • 468B: Literature IV

Spanish (SPAN)

  • 350 Readings in the Literary Genres
  • 400  Major Works in Spanish Literature
  • 401  Major Works in Latin American Literature
  • 402  Survey of Mexican Literature
  • 403  Major Works in Mexican and Mexican American Literature
  • 435  Cervantes’ Don Quixote
  • 437  Spanish Theater
  • 438  Spanish Poetry
  • 441  Children’s Literature in Spanish
  • 442  Spanish-American Theater
  • 445  Novel of the Mexican Revolution
  • 446  Mexican and Mexican-American Theater
  • 447  Contemporary Mexican Literature
  • 449A  Topics in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies
  • 449B  Topics in Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies
  • 449C  Topics in Mexican and Mexican-American Literature and Cultural Studies


Elective Courses

Africana Studies (AFAS)

  • 230   Intro to African Lit
  • 303   Black Womanist Writers
  • 310   Afro-Latin American Literature
  • 314   Caribbean Lit and Culture (West Indies)
  • 423   Topics in Caribbean Culture, Literature, and Identity

Arabic (ARB)

  • 448  Arabic Literature in English Translation

Chinese (CHN)

  • 429  Chinese Immigrant Lit and Film
  • 341  Writers and Society in Modern China
  • 340  Traditional Chinese Lit in English

Classics (CLAS)

  • 342  The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Epic Tradition
  • 346  Ancient Greek Drama
  • 351: The City Unmasked: Roman Comedy & Tragedy in its Cultural Context
  • 352  The Ancient Novel
  • 353  Heroes, Gods, Gore: Roman Epic in its Cultural Context

East Asian Studies (EAS)

  • 422: Asian American Literature

Education (TWL)

  • 386: Global Citizenship: Reading the World and the Word

English (ENGL)

  • 496A: Studies in Authors, Periods, Genres and Themes 
  • 479: Film, Genre, and Adaptation Theories 
  • 475: Modern Drama 
  • 472: Modern Fiction 
  • 471: Law and Literature
  • 470: Literature and Major Philosophers  
  • 449: Folklore    
  • 443: Mexican-American Literature in English 
  • 418: Women and Literature 
  • 411: Teaching of Literature
  • 400: Themes in Literature and Film
  • 379:  Literature and Film:History, Theory, Criticism  
  • 368:  Topics Environmental Literature and Rhetoric  
  • 351B:  Topics in LGBTQ and Queer of Color Texts  
  • 351A:  Introduction to LGBTQ and Queer of Color Texts 
  • 311: The Science Fiction Short Story 
  • 310: Studies in Genres 
  • 301B: The Literature of the Ancient Romans: Latin Literature in English Translation
  • 301A: The Literature of the Ancient Greeks: From Homer to the Novel
  • 300: Literature and Film 
  • 295A: British Life and Culture 
  • 279: Oral Tradition 
  • *278: American Indian Literature
  • 270: Topics in Literature
  • 267: Dramatic Literature
  • 265: Major American Writers 
  • 263: Topics in Children’s Literature
  • 260: Major British Writers
  • 248B: Introduction to Fairy Tales 
  • 248A: Introduction to Folklore 
  • 231: Shakespeare's Major Plays 
  • 220B: Literature of the Bible 
  • 220A: Literature of the Bible
  • 215: Elements of Craft in Creative Writing

French (FREN)

  • 195A Topics in French Culture, Literature, and Language
  • 245 African Lit in Translation
  • 282 The French Novel and Society
  • 284 French Theater in Translation

German Studies (GER)

  • 278 Medieval Answers to Contemporary Problems
  • 373 Women’s Fictions in Twentieth-Century Germany
  • 376 German-Jewish Writers
  • 411 Dealing with the Past
  • 455 Music and German Literature
  • 461/561 The Task of the Translator

Italian (ITAL)

  • 250A Italian Literature in Translation: The Middle Ages
  • 250B Italian Literature in Translation: The Renaissance
  • 250C Italian Literature in Translation: The Theater
  • 250D Italian Literature in Translation: The Novel

Japanese (JPN)

  • 310 Japanese Lit and War
  • 311 Death in Traditional Japanese Lit

Judaic Studies (JUS)

  • 438 The Book of Psalms
  • 435 Kabbalah and Jewish Mysticism
  • 409B Biblical Hebrew: Poetry
  • 409A Biblical Hebrew: Prose Texts
  • 348 Israeli Fiction and Poetry
  • 310 Apocalyptic Imagination

Middle Eastern & North African Studies (MENA)

  • 463  Gender Issues and Middle Eastern Literature

Religious Studies (RELI)

  • 300  Christian Literature and Thought
  • 309  Epistles of St. Paul
  • 350  Hindu Mythology
  • 412  Religion and Literature in South America

Russian & Slavic Studies (RSSS)

  • 328  Women in Russian Literature and Culture
  • 340  The Pen and the Sword: Russian Writers and Autocracy 1825-1905

Turkish (TURK)

  • 410 Topics in Turkish Language, Literature, Culture, History & Society I (when topic is literature)
  • 411 Topics in Turkish Language, Literature, Culture, History & Society II (when topic is literature)