literature

Literature is one of the pillars of a liberal education. By reading the imaginative prose and verse of authors from across the globe and through the centuries, we encounter humanity at its kindest and cruelest, in its hopes and fears, suffering and sublimity.

You can study literature in combination with the arts, sciences, and social sciences, as well as in humanities-intensive programs and courses. Cultural studies and study-abroad opportunities typically feature a substantial literature component.

How to Choose Your Path

You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.

Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).

If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.

Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.

Planned offerings for 2017–18
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
Adolescent Literature FR-SR
  • Summer
4
African/American: Afrofuturism JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Against all Odds: The Black Experience - Global Seasoning, Resistance, and Re-incarnation FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Against all Odds: The Black Experience - Studies in Resiliency, Ancient Egypt to Enslavement FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Aotearoa New Zealand: Native Decolonization in the Pacific Rim SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Astronomy and Cosmology: Stars and Stories FR-SR
  • Summer
4, 8, 12
Be Wilder: Writing from Wilderness FR-SR
  • Summer
8
Best of Both Worlds: A Fiction/Nonfiction Workshop FR-SR
  • Fall
8
Chekhov, Stanislavski, and Modern Drama FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
12
Children's Literature FR-SR
  • Summer
4
China at the Crossroad of Tradition and Modernity FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Countertextual Ecologies: Eco-Music FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Countertextual Ecologies: Eco-Poetics FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Countertextual Ecologies: Gastropoetics FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Countertextual Ecologies: Political Ecology FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Culture as History FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
8
Diversity and Dissent in Education and the Media FR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Face of the Other: Levinas, Postmodern Ethics, and Jewish Thought FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Framing Your Work: Projects in History, Art and the Humanities JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Greece and Italy: An Artistic and Literary Odyssey SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
How to Do Things with Words: poiesis and praxis FR-SO
  • Spring
16
Images of Japan: Arts, Literature, and Cinema FR-SR
  • Spring
12, 16
Imagined Futures: Indigenous Speculative Fiction FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Impossible Objects: Literature, Creative Writing, and Environmental Humanities FR-SR
  • Winter
16
Individual Study: Queer Studies, Performance SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Latin American Women Writers FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Life as Literature FR-SO
  • Fall
16
Madness and Creativity: The Psychological Link FR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Maritime Cultures of Northwest Washington FR-SR
  • Spring
12, 16
Mathematical Systems JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Narrative Silences: Literature, Film, and Book Arts JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Odd Jobs and Labors of Love: Literature, Work, and Power FR-SR
  • Spring
8
On Reading Well FR-SR
  • Winter
4
On Reading Well FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Poetic Truth: Plato’s Dialogues FR-SR
  • Summer
4, 8
Poetry New York FR-SR
  • Spring
12, 16
Reading: A Workshop FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Remix Reverse Remediate SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Reproduction: Gender, Race, and Power JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Salish Sea Cultures FR-SR
  • Spring
12
Seeds of Change: Food, Culture, and Work FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Shakespeare and Brecht FR-SR
  • Spring
12, 16
Slavic and Celtic Folklore: Heroic, Spiritual, Practical FR-SR
  • Spring
16
Student-Originated Studies: how to do things with words JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Student-Originated Studies: Literary Arts Capstone JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Student-Originated Studies: Nature Poetry SO-SR
  • Fall
8
The Ethical Imagination FR-SR
  • Summer
4
The Graphic Novel FR-SR
  • Summer
4, 8
The Graphic Novel SO-SR
  • Winter
8
Turning Water into Wine: Composing Essays, Crafting Fiction JR-SR
  • Winter
16
Undergraduate Research in the Humanities JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
0
What Are Schools For? FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
12, 16
With Liberty and Justice for Whom? JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Writing Beyond the Basics FR-SR
  • Summer
4, 8
Writing the Unthinkable: Literary and Philosophical Imaginations FR-SO
  • Spring
16
Planned offerings for 2018–19
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
Asian/American: Japanese Americans in the Pacific Northwest SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Cities and Suburbs: Advocacy and Writing for Social and Ecological Justice SO-SR
  • Fall
8
Combinatory Play: Creative Writing, Mathematics, and Improv FR-SO
  • Winter
  • Spring
12, 16
Common Ground: Politics, Faith, and Community FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Dangerous Readings FR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Epic Journeys: From Homer to Dante SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Existential Thought in Philosophy, Literature, and Arts SO-SR
  • Winter
8, 12, 16
Experiments in Text FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Flight of the Firebird: What Ignites Russia's Imagination in Literature and Culture SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Future History: Indigenous Speculative Fiction FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Gateways for Incarcerated Youth: Critical Literacy and Critical Numeracy SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Genes and Poems: Creating Form and Meaning FR-SO
  • Spring
16
Global/Local Realities and Alternative Visions JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Inscribing the Body: Embodiment and the Performance of Identity in Creative Writing FR-SR
  • Winter
4
Languages of Unsaying: Islam, Secularism, and American Poetry JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Literary Arts Foundations SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Nietzsche: The Wanderer and His Shadow JR-SR
  • Fall
12, 16
On Reading Well FR-SR
  • Fall
4
Shifting the Margins: Revolutionary Writing in Times of Crisis FR-SR
  • Spring
4
Student-Originated Studies: Literature, Philosophy, Myth/Religion and Writing SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Teachings of the Tree People: American Indian Culture FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
The Age of Irony: U.S. History in the 20th Century FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
12
The Spanish-Speaking World: Cultural Crossings SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Theme and Variations in Music and Biology FR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Undergraduate Research and Projects in Critical and Creative Practices SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
0
Undergraduate Research in the Humanities JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
0
Unmasking the Material World: Discovering Objects as Stories FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Utopian Dreams, Dystopian Nightmares SO-SR
  • Winter
8
Writing the South FR-SR
  • Spring
16