Literature Major Concentrations

The purpose of the upper-division area of concentration is to help students shape a coherent program of study. The department provides several defined concentrations, described below. For all concentrations except national/transnational literatures, texts may be read in the original or in translation.

National/Transnational Literatures
These concentrations examine literature within the framework of particular languages or national and regional traditions. National/transnational concentrations require that texts be read in the original language.

  • English-Language Literatures
    The study of American and British literature, as well as literatures of other English-speaking peoples around the world.
  • French Literature
    The study of French and Francophone literatures, languages, and cultural practices of France, Africa, and the Caribbean.
  • German Literature
    The study of the literature, language, and cultural practices of the German-speaking areas of central Europe including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
  • Greek and Latin literatures
    The study of the literature, languages, and cultural practices of ancient Greece and Rome. Students may choose to concentrate in Greek or Latin or both.
  • Italian Literature
    The study of Italian literature, language, and cultural practices from the Middle Ages to the present.
  • Spanish/Latin American/Latino Literatures
    The study of literatures, language, and cultural practices of Spain, Latin America, and Latino populations in the United States.

Creative Writing
The concentration in Creative Writing offers a sequence of workshops, from introductory through advanced levels, in both poetry and fiction. Creative Writing is the only Literature concentration that is selective. Interested students are required to take at least one lower-division workshop at UC Santa Cruz before applying to the Creative Writing concentration.  For more information, see: Creative Writing Concentration.

Modern Literary Studies
The study of literature of the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. This concentration examines ways in which modernity in general and literary modernism and postmodernism in particular emerge and develop in different countries and cultures.

Pre- and Early Modern Studies
The interdisciplinary study of literatures and cultures from antiquity through the early eighteenth century, especially in Europe. This concentration includes the study of popular culture and everyday life as well as readings in masterpieces of classical, medieval, early modern (Renaissance), and neo-classical literature.

World Literature and Cultural Studies
The study of literature and cultural production both within a global context and within specific histories and economies. Courses move beyond the literary text to include nonverbal forms of representation such as social movements and everyday life practices.