Few disciplines better symbolize the rich tradition of the liberal arts than the study of literature, and our Literature AOC at New College is no exception. Offering both the breadth and depth you would expect from one of the nation's top-ranked liberal arts colleges as well as the level of individualized attention and mentorship that are hallmarks of New College, our program prepares students with the analytic, critical thinking and communications skills required in almost any career.
This concentration allows students to study literature from diverse national and linguistic traditions, gaining a familiarity with genre and periodization across literary fields and an understanding of literary works in a comparative context. Our curriculum includes surveys of literary history and courses that focus on specific historical periods, genres, or thematic questions. The AOC serves students wishing to study literature broadly, including works written in English as well as in other languages; most courses are taught in English (English translation) and some are offered for students who can read foreign languages in the original.
The requirements and procedures for areas of concentration in specific literary traditions (Chinese, English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, and Classics) are distinct from those given below. Students should see the catalog entries regarding these other areas of concentration and consult their sponsors and literature faculty members about which concentration is best for them.
The Area of Concentration in Literature involves the following requirements:
These requirements should be met through a balanced program of courses and tutorials (generally 10-12 courses, from the introductory level through advanced seminars, ISPs and tutorials), including work in at least three linguistic traditions either in the original or in translation. Students planning to undertake the concentration should work in close consultation with a sponsor from the literature faculty. Students are admitted to the AOC by application in the 5th semester (see below).
The language requirement (point 5 above) may be met by:
Early in the first module of the fifth semester, the student submits to the Literature faculty an application for an Area of Concentration in Literature (available from the Humanities Division or through the NCF Portal). Check with any Literature faculty member regarding the deadline for submission of the application, which is earlier than the deadline for submission of the Collegewide Provisional Area of Concentration form. If a student chooses a split or interdisciplinary Area of Concentration of which “Literature” is one part, she or he must also submit an application to the Literature faculty.
The faculty meets and considers the applications, reviewing each student’s progress in meeting the requirements and plans for future study. If the student is admitted to the AOC, the faculty will make stipulations as to further work the student needs to complete the program. In cases of split or interdisciplinary concentrations, appropriate adaptations of the Literature requirements will be approved by faculty consensus.
After admission to the AOC, the student completes the Collegewide Provisional Area of Concentration form, in consultation with their sponsor, and submits it to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline. The faculty signatures required on this form may be provided by any Literature faculty members.
As a student in Literature at New College, you have access to faculty members who cover the gamut from our language and literature programs, including Classics, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish. All hold Ph.D.s from the country’s leading research institutions, and all are accomplished teachers, advisors and published authors. They are also expert mentors who are willing to help students with information about graduate school options and careers, and many continue to advise and write recommendations for students long after graduation.
“Our narrative evaluation system means that we know our students well and can write detailed and personalized evaluations several years post graduation,” said one faculty member in the AOC. “We even serve as mentors to students whose graduate degrees are in other disciplines, and former students often become our colleagues.”
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These pathways show how you could complete the AOC requirements within four years at New College or within two years after earning an associate’s degree. Please consult with your academic adviser to determine the most appropriate courses for your area of concentration.