English Literature

The Department of Languages and Literature offers a major in English Literature, in which students take thirty credits worth of courses beyond the required core composition and world literature survey courses.  By taking courses in at least four of the six time periods listed below, students get an overview of the English literature of the last millennium.  They encounter some of the key works and authors of English literature within the social, political, and intellectual contexts in which they appeared.  Along the way, they are introduced to the various aesthetic and critical trends prevalent in these various contexts; this introduction culminates in a capstone course, Advanced Topics, which in LAS/Flatbush is dedicated to critical theory. 

In addition, students may take, as part of the major, courses in which they can practice and perfect their own writing, such as Advanced Expository Writing, Creative Writing, and Journalism.  In a new course recently added to the curriculum, The Development of the English Language, students may study the English language directly.

By the time they graduate, English majors will be well prepared for graduate studies in English literature and academic careers; for the many professions that require critical thinking and writing, such as law, public relations, advertising, editing, journalism, etc.; and, not least important, for their role as culturally literate, sensitive, and thoughtful members of society. 

Dr. Miriam Grossman serves as the chair of the English department in Flatbush.

Required Courses (6 Credits):

  • LLE 222N - Shakespeare - 3 credits
  • LLE 493N - Advanced Topics in English - 3 credits

Eight Electives From the Following (24 Credits):

Anglo-Saxon and Medieval

  • LLE 301N - Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Literature - 3 credits
  • LLE 302N - Chaucer - 3 credits


  • LLE 315N - Tudor and Stuart Drama - 3 credits

Seventeenth Century

  • LLE 332N - Milton - 3 credits
  • LLE 333N - Seventeenth Century Literature - 3 credits

Restoration and Eighteenth Century

  • LLE 345N - Restoration and Eighteenth Century Drama - 3 credits
  • LLE 346N - Restoration and Eighteenth Century Lit. - 3 credits

Nineteenth Century

  • LLE 351N - Romantic Poetry - 3 credits
  • LLE 352N - Victorian Literature - 3 credits
  • LLE 371N - American Literature before 1900 - 3 credits
  • LLE 319N - Works of Jane Austen - 3 credits

Modern and American

  • LLE 211N - Modern Drama - 3 credits
  • LLE 361N - The Modern British Novel - 3 credits
  • LLE 372N - The Modern American Novel - 3 credits
  • LLE 373N - Modern American Poetry - 3 credits
  • LLE 402N - Literature of the Holocaust - 3 credits

Total Credits in Program: 30

Please Note:

  • All English majors must take Modern Literature I and II (Flatbush) or at least two of the Literature/humanities survey courses (Manhattan)
  • At least one course must be taken in each of four of the six areas above.
  • English majors are urged to take courses in foreign languages. The department grants three credits toward the major to any student who either takes a foreign language course at 200 level or beyond, or (2) takes a course in a foreign literature at the 200 level or beyond. Students whose native tongue is not English will NOT be awarded credit toward the major for courses in their native language.
  • The Department grants three credits towards the English major to any student who successfully completes a Communication and Arts course at or beyond the 100 level (other than Fundamentals of Speech).
  • The Department grants three credits towards the English major to any student who successfully completes a course in Philosophy at the 100 level or beyond.
  • At least two courses in this degree program must be taken at the main campus in Manhattan.