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MIT Literature Section
MIT Literature Section

Literature has been a central experience for the majority of MIT's undergraduates for more than 25 years: over that time approximately 75 percent of all undergraduates have studied the subject.

Designed to serve students majoring, minoring, and concentrating in Literature as well as those students who may get to take only one or two Literature subjects while at the Institute, the Literature curriculum at MIT offers a wide range of undergraduate classes at Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Most classes are small and offer significant opportunity for student writing and speaking. Many classes focus on literature written in English, though we offer many others covering works in translation from antiquity to yesterday.

Notable for its interdisciplinary variety and for its openness to film and other forms of popular culture, the Literature program is also strong in traditional areas and historical periods such as Renaissance and the 19th Century. Most classes at all levels are offered once a year; many of the HASS-D introductory classes are offered every semester. Staffed by well-published, influential scholars and creative writers, the Literature faculty is recognized for its superior and committed teaching.

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Undergraduate Courses
MIT Course #Course Title
21L.000J Writing About Literature, Fall 2006
21L.001 Foundations of Western Culture I: Homer to Dante, Spring 2000
21L.002 Foundations of Western Culture II, Fall 2002
21L.002-2 Foundations of Western Culture II: Renaissance to Modernity, Spring 2003
21L.002-3 Foundations of Western Culture II: Modernism, Spring 2004
21L.003 Introduction to Fiction, Spring 2002
21L.003 Introduction to Fiction, Fall 2003
21L.004 Major Poets, Fall 2005
21L.004 Major Poets, Fall 2001
21L.005 Introduction to Drama, Fall 2004
21L.006 American Literature, Fall 2002
21L.007J After Columbus, Fall 2003
21L.009 Shakespeare, Spring 2004
21L.010 Writing About Literature, Fall 2006
21L.012 Forms of Western Narrative, Spring 2004
21L.015 Introduction to Media Studies, Fall 2005
21L.015 Introduction to Media Studies, Fall 2003
21L.310 Bestsellers: Detective Fiction, Fall 2006
21L.420 Literary Studies: The Legacy of England, Spring 2006
21L.421 Comedy, Fall 2001
21L.421 Comedy, Spring 2001
21L.422 Tragedy, Fall 2002
21L.423 Introduction to Anglo-American Folkmusic, Fall 2002
21L.430 Popular Narrative: Masterminds, Fall 2004
21L.432 Understanding Television, Spring 2003
21L.435 Shakespeare, Film and Media, Fall 2002
21L.448 Darwin and Design, Fall 2002
21L.448J Darwin and Design, Fall 2003
21L.449 End of Nature, Spring 2002
21L.450 Literature and Ethical Values, Fall 2002
21L.451 Introduction to Literary Theory, Spring 2004
21L.455 Classical Literature: The Golden Age of Augustan Rome, Fall 2004
21L.460 Medieval Literature: Dante, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Spring 2005
21L.460 Medieval Literature: Medieval Women Writers, Spring 2004
21L.470 Eighteenth-Century Literature: Versions of the Self in 18th-C Britain, Spring 2003
21L.471 Major English Novels, Spring 2004
21L.471 Major English Novels: Reading Romantic Fiction, Spring 2002
21L.472 Major European Novels, Fall 2001
21L.476 Romantic Poetry, Spring 2005
21L.481 Victorian Literature and Culture, Spring 2003
21L.485 20th-Century Fiction, Fall 2002
21L.486 Modern Drama, Spring 2006
21L.487 Modern Poetry, Spring 2002
21L.488 Contemporary Literature, Spring 2003
21L.489J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice, Spring 2004
21L.489J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice, Spring 2006
21L.489J Theory and Practice of Non-linear and Interactive Narrative, Spring 2003
21L.501 The American Novel, Fall 2002
21L.512 American Authors: American Women Authors, Spring 2003
21L.701 Literary Interpretation: Beyond the Limits of the Lyric, Fall 2006
21L.701 Literary Interpretation: Interpreting Poetry, Fall 2003
21L.701 Literary Interpretation: Literature and Photography: The Image, Fall 2005
21L.701 Literary Interpretation: Virginia Woolf's Shakespeare, Spring 2001
21L.702 Studies in Fiction: Stowe, Twain, and the Transformation of 19th-Century America, Fall 2004
21L.703 English Renaissance Drama: Theatre and Society in the Age of Shakespeare, Fall 2003
21L.703 Studies in Drama: Stoppard and Churchill, Spring 2004
21L.703 Studies in Drama: Theater and Science in a Time of War, Spring 2005
21L.704 Studies in Poetry - British Poetry and the Sciences of the Mind, Fall 2004
21L.704 Studies in Poetry: "Does Poetry Matter", Fall 2002
21L.704 Studies in Poetry: "What's the Use of Beauty?", Fall 2005
21L.704 Studies in Poetry: From the Sonneteers to the Metaphysicals, Spring 2006
21L.704 Studies in Poetry: Gender and Lyric -- Renaissance Men and Women Writing about Love, Spring 2003
21L.705 Major Authors: After the Masterpiece: Novels by Melville, Twain, Faulkner, and Morrison, Fall 2006
21L.705 Major Authors: Melville and Morrison, Fall 2003
21L.705 Major Authors: Oscar Wilde and the '90's, Spring 2003
21L.705 Masterworks in American Short Fiction, Fall 2005
21L.706 Studies in Film, Fall 2005
21L.707 Arthurian Literature and Celtic Colonization, Spring 2005
21L.707 Writing Early American Lives: Gender, Race, Nation, Faith, Fall 2005
21L.708 Technologies of Humanism, Spring 2003

Graduate Courses
MIT Course #Course Title
21L.430 Popular Narrative: Masterminds, Fall 2004
21L.489J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice, Spring 2006
21L.489J Theory and Practice of Non-linear and Interactive Narrative, Spring 2003