Literature

[ major | minor | graduate program | courses | faculty ]

Administrative Office
Literature Building, Room 130
(858) 534-4618

Graduate Office
Literature Building, Rooms 115/139
(858) 534-3217

Undergraduate Office
Literature Building, Room 110
(858) 534-3210

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

The Department of Literature at UC San Diego is unique both conceptually and structurally in that it combines all literary study in a single department, enabling students to concentrate on single-language or national literatures, while at the same time facilitating student engagement in dialogue across literatures and languages. The department also houses undergraduate and graduate study in the craft and theory of creative writing. The department brings together writers, teachers, scholars, and students of several different languages and literatures, uniting them by the nature of the studies they pursue. This lends a comparative aspect to both undergraduate and graduate programs, which lead to the bachelor of arts, master of fine arts, the candidate in philosophy, and doctor of philosophy degrees. All literature students require knowledge of a second language. Courses are offered not only in the literatures themselves but also in the theoretical aspects of literature and—often in cooperation with other departments—in the relationship of literary study to other disciplines such as philosophy, visual arts, music, sociology, history, psychology, linguistics, and communication. With special permission, undergraduates may take graduate courses for credit, and graduate students may also take undergraduate courses for credit.

The Mandeville Special Collections Library, located in the Geisel Library, offers the undergraduate and graduate literature student an excellent range of resources, including single-author collections, rare and out-of-print books, tapes, maps, and historical archives. Of special interest are the Southworth Collection of Spanish Civil War materials, the Hill Collection of South Pacific Voyages, the Don Cameron Allen Renaissance collection, and the Archive for New Poetry. Within the latter collection are an extensive series of single-author archives, including the papers of Paul Blackburn, Donald Allen, Lew Welch, Charles Reznikoff, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg, and others. The Archive for New Poetry is one of the largest collections of contemporary poetry in the United States. Graduate students also have access, facilitated by travel grants, to all other University of California research collections.

Literature majors in languages are trained

Literature majors in writing are trained

Careers for Literature Majors

Literature majors develop skills and perspectives that prepare them for careers in education and numerous other professions. The writing, analytical, and cultural breadth of majors makes them attractive as preparation for professional schools as well as advanced graduate studies. A degree in literature provides a strong background for the LSAT and law school. Medical schools seek out students who are prepared not only in the sciences, but also in the humanities and writing. The business world seeks college-trained English majors, and international corporations actively recruit students with a specialty in French, German, Italian, Russian, or Spanish. Literature majors’ skills also prepare them for work in advertising, editing, publishing, journalism, communications, mass media, and other professions where writers and editors are in demand. The knowledge of a second language and culture provides literature majors with a decided career advantage.

Secondary School English Teaching

The literature department offers an excellent preparation for teaching English/ESL in secondary schools. Suggested majors include Literatures of the World, Literatures in English, US Latino/a and Latin American Literatures, and Literature/Writing. If you are interested in receiving a California teaching credential from UC San Diego, contact Education Studies (EDS) for information about prerequisites and professional preparation requirements. Please consult EDS and the Department of Literature early in your academic career to plan an appropriate literature curriculum.

The Undergraduate Program

The Major in Literature

There are eleven majors available to students within the Department of Literature: Literatures in Cultural Studies, English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, US Latino/a and Latin American Literatures, Literatures of the World, Writing, and the composite major in two literatures. Requirements vary from major to major as described below. Once a student has decided upon a major in literature, he or she is required to meet regularly with an adviser in the Department of Literature. Worksheets defining major requirements are available in the literature undergraduate office to help students organize their course work.

All departmental courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the literature major, including courses in the secondary literature, must be taken for a letter grade. No grade below C– is acceptable for a course taken in the major.

At least six of the upper-division courses for the major, including a minimum of four in the primary literature, must be taken at UC San Diego.

Lower-Division Preparation

Lower-division requirements vary, depending on the literature major in which the student elects to concentrate. However, the department strongly recommends that, as part of the freshman/sophomore course work, students who have chosen or are considering a major in literature begin an appropriate lower-division language sequence in the Departments of Linguistics or Literature. All literature majors require knowledge of a second language.

Secondary Language and Literature

In order to broaden their preparation, all students in literature must undertake study of a secondary language. The range of languages includes ASL, Classical Greek, Hebrew, and Latin, as well as the previously mentioned French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, and for those concentrating in a foreign literature, English is also an option. Students will satisfy this requirement by completing the lower-division course sequence in a second language, through the designated terminal lower-division course in that language as outlined below. Students should consult an adviser to confirm the selection of the specific courses that will be taken to satisfy the secondary language and literature requirement.

The terminal course for each secondary language is as follows: American Sign Language 1E; French (LTFR) 50; German (LTGM) 2C; Hebrew (JUDA) 3 (see “Jewish Studies”); Italian (LTIT) 50; Greek (LTGK) 3; Latin (LTLA) 3; Russian (LTRU) 2B; Spanish (LTSP), choice of 50A, 50B, or 50C. For majors concentrating on a foreign language, English (LTEN), choice of 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, or 29. Alternative secondary languages are subject to approval and petition.

Intensive Track Option

The department also offers an intensive secondary language and literature track, which will be noted on the student’s transcript. This track is encouraged for students who intend to attend graduate school or are interested in international careers. In addition to the secondary language requirements above, students in the intensive track will complete at least two upper-division literature courses taught in the language used to fulfill their secondary language requirement. Students should consult with the faculty adviser for that language when choosing their upper-division course for the intensive track.

The department also offers a bilingual major that allows students to do half their course work in English and half in Spanish: the US Latino/a and Latin American literatures major.

All departmental courses taken to satisfy the requirements of the literature major, including courses in the secondary literature, must be taken for a letter grade. No grade below C– is acceptable for a course taken in the major.

At least six of the upper-division courses for the major, including a minimum of four in the primary literature, must be taken at UC San Diego.

Writing Component in Literature Courses

It is the departmental expectation that students in lower-division courses will write a minimum of 2,500 words per course. In upper-division courses the minimum requirement is 4,000 words per course.

Honors Program

The department offers a special program of advanced study for outstanding undergraduates majoring in literature. Admission to this program requires an overall GPA of 3.5, a literature major GPA of 3.7, and enrollment in one of the literature capstone courses (LTWR 194 for writing majors and LTWL 194 for all other majors) at the beginning of the senior year. During fall quarter, students meeting these requirements will be invited to participate in the Honors Program. Interested students who anticipate that they will not meet the established criteria may petition to participate in the program. During the winter quarter of their senior year, all honors students will write their theses (LT__ 196), under the supervision of a faculty member who specializes in the literature of the student’s primary concentration. The Honors Program concludes with each student presenting his or her thesis at the Honors Program conference (within the department). Students from this program will also be recommended for the Burckhardt and Williams Prizes, which are awarded for outstanding achievement in the literature major. The capstone course and thesis course may be applied toward the primary concentration in the literature major, if applicable.  

Special Studies

These upper-division independent study opportunities are intended for advanced students, able to work on their own, and interested in a topic not normally covered by departmental offerings.

Students with upper-division standing, a departmental GPA of at least 3.0, an overall GPA of at least 2.5, and completion of lower-division prerequisites in the subject, are eligible to take special studies courses (198s and 199s). Those not satisfying these criteria may, with justification supported by the proposed special studies instructor, petition for an exception to the regulation. 198s and 199s require at least 4,000 words of writing or an equivalent project as determined by the instructor. Information and Special Studies Enrollment forms are available in the literature undergraduate office. Enrollment requires departmental approval. Special studies courses may not be taken for a grade. These courses may not be used to satisfy upper-division requirements for majors or minors.

Study Abroad

Study abroad can significantly enhance a student’s major, particularly in ways in which it relates to international issues. Literature students are encouraged to study abroad before their senior year. Students who take Education Abroad Program or Opportunities Abroad Program (EAP/OAP) courses in a country appropriate to their major may use up to five upper-division courses to satisfy major requirements and up to three toward a minor. For composite majors in literature, six courses from abroad may apply, with no more than four toward either one of the two concentrations. These must be approved by the department after they have been entered on the student’s official record at UC San Diego. The approval process is described in a handout on receiving transfer credit, available in the Literature Undergraduate Office. Before leaving to study abroad, students should meet with an adviser to identify which EAP courses are appropriate to fulfill the major or minor requirements.

Information on EAP/OAP is given in the “Education Abroad Program” section of the UC San Diego General Catalog. Interested students should contact the Study Abroad UC San Diego Office in the International Center and visit its website at http://studyabroad.ucsd.edu/. Financial aid can be used for EAP/OAP study, and special study-abroad scholarships are also available.

Individual Programs

Literature/Cultural Studies

Literatures in English

Literatures in French

Literatures in German

Literatures in Italian

Literatures in Russian

Literatures in Spanish

Literature/US Latino/a and Latin American Literatures

Literatures of the World

Literature/Writing

Composite Major

Individual Program Requirements

Primary Concentration in Cultural Studies

The Literature/Cultural Studies major aims to provide students with broad cultural literacy and critical thinking skills—in language, visual media, social practices, and theories of interpretation—which are basic, necessary cornerstones of a humanities education. With four focus areas—visual culture, popular cultures, culture and globalization, and social identities—the undergraduate major in Literature/Cultural Studies, on the one hand, offers literacy in a range of traditional and modern cultural forms (from literature and texts, to film, art, and visual culture) and methods for interpreting these cultural forms, and on the other hand, prepares students to engage with a society whose “culture” is, and will become increasingly, diverse, international, and multilingual.

  1. Three lower-division courses:
    1. LTCS 50 and 52
    2. Third course may be selected from: LTEN 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 60; LTWL 4A-B-C-D-F-M; TWS 21-22-23-24-25-26; or LTWL 19A-B-C.
  2. Six upper-division LTCS courses (one of each from the four a–d focus areas):
    1. Reading Visual Culture: LTCS 170, 171, 172, 173
    2. Popular Cultures: LTCS 110, 111, 114, 118
    3. Culture and Globalization: LTCS 125, 133, 140, 141, 145
    4. Social Identities: LTCS 130, 131, 132, 135
    Note: At least one upper-division LTCS methods course is recommended and will fulfill the upper-division requirement: LTCS 100, 102, 120, 155.
  3. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than English. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.
  4. The remaining upper-division electives, to total twelve upper-division courses, can be drawn from these existing Department of Literature courses:
    1. Literatures in English: LTEN 150, 160, 178, 180, 181, 183, 184,185,186,187,188, 189
    2. Literatures in French: LTFR 145,164, 170
    3. Literatures in Italian: LTIT 122, 140, 150
    4. Literatures in Korean: LTKO 100
    5. Literatures in Spanish: LTSP 123, 137, 150A, 150B, 154, 170, 174, 175, 176, 177
    6. Literature/Theory: LTTH 110, 115, 150
    7. Literatures of the World: LTAF 110, 120, LTAM 100, 101, 102, 108, 109, 111, 130, 132, LTEA 120A, 120B, 120C, 120D, 138, 142, 143, 144, 145, LTWL 110B, 114, 116, 120, 124, 141, 155, 160, 180, 181, 183, 184, 185
    8. Literature/Writing: LTWR 110, 113, 115, 119, 121

Primary Concentration in Literatures in English

  1. Six lower-division courses:
    1. LTEN 21, 22, 23, 25, and 26
    2. One of the following: LTEN 27, 28, or 29
  2. Eight upper-division courses from literatures in English offerings, including a course from each of the following four a–d categories:
    1. British Literature before 1660
    2. British Literature after 1660
    3. US Literature before 1860
    4. US Literature after 1860
  3. One upper-division course in the history of criticism or in literary/cultural theory and methods from among the following: LTTH 110; LTTH 115; or LTCS 100.
  4. Three upper-division courses in comparative breadth, consisting of the following:
    1. One course in Literatures of the Americas (LTAM)
    2. One course in Literatures of Europe (LTEU)
    3. One elective course from Literatures of Africa (LTAF), Literatures of the Americas (LTAM), Literatures of East Asia (LTEA), Literatures of Europe (LTEU), or Literatures of the World (LTWL)
  5. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than English. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.

Primary Concentration in US Latino/a and Latin American Literatures

  1. Two lower-division courses:
    1. LTSP 50B. Readings in Latin American Literature or LTSP 50C. Readings in Latin American Topics
    2. LTEN 29 or TWS 22
  2. Five upper-division courses from Latin American literature offerings taught in Spanish. At least one of these courses must deal with literature written before 1900. Courses must be chosen from this list:

    LTSP 130B, LTSP 133, LTSP 134, LTSP 135A, LTSP 136, LTSP 137, LTSP 138, LTSP 140, LTSP 141, LTSP 142, LTSP 162, LTSP 170, LTSP 171, LTSP 172, LTSP 174, LTSP 175, LTSP 176, LTSP 177

  3. Five upper-division courses dealing with Latino/a- Chicano/a cultural production; these literature courses may be Literatures in English courses, Literature of the Americas courses, or Cultural Studies courses, all taught in English. Courses must be chosen from this list:

    LTEN 169, LTEN 170, LTEN 178, LTEN 180, LTAM 100, LTAM 101, LTAM 105, LTAM 106, LTAM 107, LTAM 108, LTAM 109, LTAM 110, LTAM 111, LTAM 130, LTAM 140

  4. Two additional upper-division courses from the Department of Literature for a total of twelve upper-division courses. Students may petition to have up to two relevant courses from other departments or programs count toward this requirement.

Primary Concentration in a Foreign Literature

Literatures in French
  1. Nine upper-division courses as follows:
    1. LTFR 115-116, Themes in French Intellectual and Literary History.
    2. Seven additional upper-division courses in French literature, including at least one course in each of the following periods: seventeenth or eighteenth century; nineteenth century; and twentieth century.
  2. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than French. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.
  3. Upper-division electives chosen from Department of Literature offerings to make a total of twelve upper-division courses.
Literatures in German
  1. Nine upper-division courses in German literature. Two of these should be in literature written before the year 1850.
  2. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than German. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.
  3. Upper-division electives chosen from Department of Literature offerings to make a total of twelve upper-division courses.
Literatures in Italian
  1. Nine upper-division courses in Italian literature as follows:
    1. LTIT 100, Introduction to Italian Literature
    2. LTIT 115, Medieval Studies
    3. LTIT 161, Advanced Stylistics and Conversation
    4. One course in Italian North American Culture
    5. Five additional upper-division courses in Italian literature taught in Italian
  2. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than Italian. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.
  3. Upper-division electives chosen from Department of Literature offerings to make a total of twelve upper-division courses.
Literatures in Russian
  1. LTRU 1A-B-C and 2A-B-C or their equivalent.
  2. Twelve upper-division courses in Russian:
    1. LTRU 104A-B-C
    2. LTRU 110A-B-C
    3. Six additional upper-division courses in Russian literature
  3. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than Russian. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.

Students in the Russian literature major are encouraged to participate in the Education Abroad Program (EAP) in Moscow and to investigate other options for foreign study through the Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP). By petition, credits earned through EAP/OAP can fulfill UC San Diego degree and major requirements.

Literatures in Spanish
  1. Two lower-division Spanish literature courses from below:
    1. LTSP 50A. Peninsular Literature
    2. LTSP 50B. Latin American Literature
    3. LTSP 50C. Latin American Literature
  2. Nine upper-division courses as follows:
    1. One course in Spanish Peninsular literature or Latin American literature before 1900, as follows:
      • Spanish Peninsular literature LTSP 100, 107, 115, 119AB, 119C, 122, or the following topics course when the topic is pre-twentieth-century literature: LTSP 123
      • Latin American literature before 1900: LTSP 116, 135A, or any of the following regional, genre, or topics courses when the topic is pre-twentieth-century literature: LTSP 134, 136, 137, 138, 140, 141, 142, 171, 173, 174, 175, 176, 177, 178
    2. Seven additional upper-division courses in Spanish, Latin American, and/or Chicano literature (taught in Spanish)
  3. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than Spanish. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.
  4. Upper-division electives from Department of Literature offerings, whether in Spanish or in another literature, to make a total of twelve upper-division courses.

Students majoring in Spanish can choose to concentrate on either Spanish or Latin American literature. All students, however, are encouraged to take courses in the various national literatures as well as in Chicano literature for a broad background in Spanish language literatures.

Students not having a solid linguistic base in Spanish are advised to take intermediate language courses from the LTSP 2 and 50 sequences for additional review of Spanish grammar, development of writing skills, and introduction to literary analysis. Only LTSP 50A and either 50B or 50C, however, can count toward the major.

Primary Concentration in Literatures of the World

The major in Literatures of the World allows students to expand the focus of their work beyond a single-language literature. They plan an individual program with options in regional studies (for example, Europe, the Americas, East Asia, Africa, Near East) and topical studies (for example, genre, period, gender, ethnic literature, literature and the visual arts, cultural studies, writing, Third World studies) as well as the single-language literatures.

  1. Lower division (three courses):

    A three-course sequence in literature chosen from any section in literature.

    Students can combine courses in an original national language/literature with courses in translation to satisfy this requirement, such as LTFR 2A and 2B plus LTWL 4A (Film and Fiction in Twentieth-Century Societies: French). Students may use either the Revelle College Humanities sequence (HUM 1–5) or Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Making of the Modern World (MMW 1–6) to satisfy the lower-division sequence for the LTWL major.

  2. Upper division (twelve courses):
    1. Six courses in a regional or single-language literature, to be taken in the original language(s) or in translation
    2. Four courses focused on a topic or another regional or single-language literature
    3. Two courses in non-European and non-US Literature; if satisfied under group (a) or group (b), any other two literature courses may be substituted.
  3. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language different from that of the primary literature. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.

At least two of the required twelve upper-division courses must be in literature written before 1850. No more than four courses in literature/writing (LTWR) may be taken as part of the world literatures major, and these will generally apply to Group 2.b.

Primary Concentration in Writing

The writing major is designed to provide direct experience in writing fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as well as engage the student writer in both the world of “writing culture”—public readings, publication, and the media—and literary theory and practical critique. An indispensable feature of this program is that it engages students with one another’s work, both critically and communally. Writing majors will move through a sequence of courses within (and between) genres in order to develop their own style and confidence in the work of writing and critique. Students who are interested in teaching writing will find this major an opportunity both for writing extensively and dealing critically with the act of written composition. The major requirements are as follows:

  1. LTWR 8A, 8B, and 8C.
  2. Three lower-division courses:
    1. LTEN 26
    2. Any two of the following: LTEN 21, 22, 23, 25, 27, 28, 29; TWS 21, 22, 23, 25, 26
  3. Twelve upper-division courses:
    1. Six upper-division courses in Literature/Writing from the writing workshop sequence (LTWR 100–129). These workshops may be repeated for credit (see course listing for number of times workshops may be repeated), but the requirement should show a range of writing experience in at least two major writing types. No other courses may be substituted for this basic requirement of six upper-division workshops.
    2. One course from the group numbered LTWR 140–148.
    3. Three upper-division courses in comparative breadth, consisting of the following:
      1. One course in Literatures of the Americas (LTAM)
      2. One course in Literatures of Europe (LTEU)
      3. One elective course from Literatures of Africa (LTAF), Literatures of the Americas (LTAM), Literatures of East Asia (LTEA), Literatures of Europe (LTEU), or Literatures of the World (LTWL)
    4. Two upper-division electives chosen from Department of Literature offerings, excluding LTWR 100–148 courses.
  4. At least one course in a secondary language or literature; that is, a course taught in a language other than English. See “Secondary Language and Literature” above.

Composite Major in Literature

The composite major in literature permits a student to develop a solid foundation in two literatures while remaining within one department. Because the UC San Diego Department of Literature houses literatures that are divided among different departments at most universities, our composite major allows students to coordinate their studies with a single, closely-knit group of faculty, and to arrange their program without repeating two different sets of major requirements. (For example, since a composite major necessarily combines literatures written in two different languages, it automatically fulfills the secondary language requirement for the literature major.)

Students pursuing a composite major work closely with an adviser to plan a program of study that meets the following requirements:

  1. Students will select two literatures of concentration (Literature 1 and Literature 2).
    1. One of the literatures must be in a language other than English.
    2. Both concentrations, however, can be in non-English literatures; thus a student can choose English and French, for example, or Russian and Spanish, French and Italian, German and Latin, Spanish and English, etc., but not Literatures of the World or Literature/Writing.
  2. Students will meet all lower-division major requirements for each of the two literatures of concentration. See specific “Primary Concentration” listings above; English, Spanish, and Russian, for example, all have lower-division requirements for the major.
  3. Students will take eight upper-division courses in each of the two selected literatures of concentration for a total of sixteen upper-division courses.
    1. These must satisfy the upper-division course requirements for each of the two majors. Thus, for example, if one of the concentrations is English, the student must include courses from each of the four stipulated categories; if one of the concentrations is Spanish, upper-division courses must include LTSP 130A and 130B.
    2. Beyond the upper-division requirements for each literature of concentration (Literature 1 and Literature 2), students will take a sufficient number of elective courses in each of the two literatures of concentration to make a total of eight upper-division courses in each chosen concentration.

Double Major within the Department of Literature in Literature/Writing and Another Literature

Students who wish to major both in Literature/Writing and in literature (any section) should see the department for information regarding appropriate double major requirements. Generally, all requirements for each major must be completed, though the secondary literature and two upper-division courses, where appropriate, may overlap from one major to the other.

Students must submit a double major petition for approval by the department and the student’s provost office.

The Minor in Literature

The department offers a wide range of possibilities for noncontiguous minors. The options include courses in a single regional or national literature, courses in more than one literature, and a combination of language and literature courses. The minors require seven courses. All courses taken to complete a literature minor must be taken for a letter grade. No grade below C– is acceptable. Advanced Placement (AP) credit will not satisfy minor requirements.

Please see the department undergraduate office for specific minor requirements.

Literatures of the World—seven literature courses, at least five of which must be upper division—usually 1) a two- or three-course lower-division sequence and 2) five upper-division courses with a single unifying theme. Students may use either the Revelle College Humanities sequence (HUM 1–5) or Eleanor Roosevelt College’s Making of the Modern World (MMW 1–6) to satisfy the lower-division sequence for the LTWL minor.

Writing minor—seven courses, at least five of which must be upper division. The minimum of five upper-division courses must cover at least two major writing genres, with course work chosen from writing courses (LTWR) numbered 100 through 148.

Please see the department for further information and specifics regarding minors in literature.