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Students in the Program in the Written Arts take workshops and tutorials in prose fiction or poetry, study a foreign language, and assume a second major (such as literature, philosophy, or physics) that compels their interest.
Those who choose foreign languages can explore a range of interests (such as Asian, French, German, or Latin American and Iberian studies) and develop majors that are fully interdivisional, bringing together work in culture, history, and other fields. Students may also major in the literature of a language other than English, from within an area studies program or as a literature major. All students in the division are encouraged to study languages other than English.
Like language area studies, the Literature Program invites interdivisional exploration in contexts such as Victorian, gender and sexuality, medieval, or Irish studies. Comparative studies of literature, other arts, and theories of literature are a regular part of course offerings.
Seniors must summon up imagination, knowledge, discipline, and independence for the Senior Project. Over the years, students have done translations of poetry and fiction; critical studies of traditional and contemporary literary figures, genres, and problems; and original work in critical theory. Many Senior Projects break new ground. With faculty permission, Senior Projects may take the form of a novel, poem sequence, play, or collection of short stories.