2018-2019 Catalog

BA in English: Literature Option Learning Outcomes

  1. British Literature:  Students will demonstrate through class discussion and writing their ability to contextualize a given work of British literature historically.  They will describe the development and change of this body of literature over time, from Anglo-Saxon literature to the present.  Students will demonstrate an awareness of the social, historical, and cultural elements of these changes.  Example:  how would you explain how you know that this work of literature was written in Early Modern England?  What literary qualities (such as type of text, diction, use of imagery, and cultural references) mark it as such?
  2. American Literature:  Students will demonstrate through class discussion and writing their ability to contextualize a given work of American literature historically.  They will describe the development and change of this body of literature over time, from pre-colonial literature to the present.  Students will demonstrate an awareness of the social, historical, literary historical, and cultural elements of these changes.  Example:  how would you explain how you know that this work of literature was written in post-colonial America? What literary qualities (such as type of text, diction, use of imagery, and cultural references) mark it as such?
  3. World Literature:  Students will demonstrate, through class discussion and writing, their knowledge of specific works of world literature over time from the ancient world to the present, and the relation of such works to the bodies of British and American literature.
  4. Genres of Literature:  Students will demonstrate, through class discussion and writing, their ability to identify the major genres of literature, to distinguish the features of each genre, and to explain the influence of genre on a given text.  The genres shall include, but are not limited to:  poetry (both narrative and lyric), epic, drama (tragedy, comedy, history and mixed genres such as dramatic romance), fiction (short and novel-length).  Given a text, students will state its genre and identify the features that thus mark it, stating at least two ways in which the genre has shaped this particular text.
  5. Literary Criticism:  Students will demonstrate, through class discussion and writing, their ability to describe a number of contemporary and historical schools of literary criticism, such as Formalism, Deconstruction, Cultural, New Historical, and Gender/Feminist.  Students will successfully apply one or more of these approaches to a given text, demonstrating what the approach can reveal about that text.
  6. Specialized topics:  Students will be able to discuss cogently, both orally and in writing:  important concepts, themes, and traditions growing out of a specialized area of study.  Students will conduct and write up (with appropriate documentation) research on a given topic within the literary subfield. 
  7. Major Authors:  Students will demonstrate knowledge of specific works by major authors such as Shakespeare, Chaucer and Milton and their significance in the canon of British and American literature.  Students will demonstrate their ability to analyze these works in the context of the author’s complete works and as influential texts.
  8. Literature of Ethnicity, Race, and Gender:  Students will demonstrate their knowledge from a given group such as African American, Chicano/a or women writers.  Students will demonstrate their ability to analyze these works not only in customary terms such as style and genre, but also in their cultural and historical contexts as texts produced by non-canonical or underrepresented writers.
  9. Structure of English:  Students will demonstrate through class discussions and writing their knowledge of the structure and meaning of English sentences, utilizing either traditional models of grammar or the generative-transformational model.
  10. Reading:  Students will demonstrate their ability to read literary texts on a number of different levels, such as literal comprehension, aesthetic responsiveness, and informed awareness of the literary traditions and varied critical perspectives within which it may be read.  Given a specific text, students will demonstrate in class discussion and writing their ability to describe that text’s formal qualities such as plot or genre, at least one critical lens through which it may be interpreted, and the context—historical, cultural, and literary tradition—which informs it.
  11. Writing:  Students will demonstrate through formal (essays, extended documented essays, exams) and informal writing their ability to analyze and respond to literature in a variety of written forms.  They will demonstrate an ability to observe the conventions of each type of writing, as well as the conventions of standard written English.  Students will be able to formulate a thesis about a given text, support that thesis with appropriate evidence, and structure a piece of writing with introduction, body, and conclusion as appropriate.
  12. Research, Written Argumentation, and Documentation: Students will demonstrate in writing their ability to locate appropriate sources, both print and electronic, and both primary and secondary, for the study of a given text.  They will be able to evaluate the authority of a given source.  In writing, students will demonstrate their ability to formulate an argument about a text using these sources as support for their points.  They will demonstrate their ability to document these sources using MLA style for such documentation.