Bard College Catalogue 2012-13
Languages and Literature Overview
The Division of Languages and Literature offers majors in the areas of literature; written arts; and foreign languages, cultures, and literatures. All students in the division are encouraged to study languages other than English; foreign language instruction currently offered at Bard includes Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and ancient Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Interdisciplinary majors are also offered in Asian studies, classical studies, French studies, German studies, Italian studies, Jewish studies, Middle Eastern studies, Russian and Eurasian studies, and Spanish studies (see “Interdivisional Programs and Concentrations” in this catalogue).
Bard students who make the study of literature the central focus of their work explore specific periods (such as medieval or Renaissance Europe), relations among national literatures (in forms such as lyric poetry or the novel), or literature within the context of culture, history, or literary theory. The Literature Program also invites interdisciplinary 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.
Students in the Written Arts Program take workshops and tutorials in prose fiction or poetry and study a foreign language, in addition to completing the same course requirements as literature majors. Those who choose foreign languages can explore a range of interests and develop courses of study that bring together work in culture, history, and other fields.
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 and genres; 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.
Recent Senior Projects in Languages and Literature
- "And She Is Also Me’: Discovering the Womanist Critique in the Poetry of Brooks, Clifton, and Giovanni"
- "Confrontations: Short Stories about the Natural World"
- "Delinquent Palaces: The Imaginative Renegotiation of Domestic Space in the World of Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Stoddard, and Marilynne Robinson"
- "Elizabeth Bishop and the Life of Her Poetics"
- "Euripides’ Ion: Threads of Self in the Web of the Cosmo"
- "Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Power of Storytelling"
- "Revolutionary Ideologies and Poetic Realities: The Politics of Narrative Ambiguity in 20th-Century Russian and Mexican Fiction"
- "Translation of Bernard Werber’s Nos amis les Humains"