The Pre-1900 Literature Requirement
At least 15 credits in the English major (language & literature
or creative writing) must be focused on Pre-1900 literature. These
ENGL; they cannot be literature courses taught by another department. These
credits may overlap with other English major requirements (with the exception
How do I know if a course will count towards the Pre-1900 Literature
By course title: There are several English courses where
the title of the course clearly indicates whether or not the class will be
focused on pre-1900 literature.
- For example, "English Literature: Later
Nineteenth Century" or "Colonial American Literature" will
always fall into this category.
By using your knowledge of literary history: It's our hope
that English majors will be able to recognize major authors and place them
into historical contexts (or to learn how to do so as they progress through
the major). Pre-majors and new majors may find Bartleby's,
Wikipedia, and this literature timeline
to be helpful resources.
- For example, "Romantic Poetry I" and "Romantic Poetry
are pre-1900 literature courses because the Romantic Period was from c.
1785 to 1830.
By reading course descriptions: ENGL special topics courses
can also be focused on Pre-1900 Literature. Take a look at the instructor
course descriptions, and required texts. If the
majority of the readings are from the 19th century or earlier, then the
course can usually count towards the requirement. Contact English
for confirmation. If the course meets the requirement, an adviser will post
an exception to your Degree Audit (DARS report).
- For example, in Spring Quarter 2010, ENGL 300, Reading Major Texts, was
a special topics course that counted as Pre-1900 lit in that particular
quarter, because the course focused on Herman Melville's "Bartleby,
the Scrivener." Whereas, in Autumn Quarter 2011, ENGL 300 students
read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Truman Capote's In
and David Shields's Reality Hunger, none of which are Pre-1900
Is there a list of Pre-1900 courses on your website?
No. Why not?
- English majors should be developing an understanding
of literary history;
- The English Department's course offerings are diverse
and vary from quarter-to-quarter. It would be difficult to maintain an exhaustive
- If we provided a list, many students would take only the courses
on that list without investigating other options, which could constitute
a missed opportunity to take a great class.