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Literatures in English Major Requirements

UC Merced’s Literatures in English program provides a balance of global and local literatures and of “canonical” texts and texts that have traditionally been marginalized, and classrooms are centered on students' experiences and creativity.

Hear students and faculty talk about our program here
Starting in fall 2023, students have been able to declare optional emphasis tracks in Literature and Social Justice or Literature and the Environment.

Lower-Division Major Requirements [16 units]:

Students take introductory courses at the lower division level that give them the skills to read literature and write about it.

ENG 010: Foundations of Literary Studies [Offered every semester]

• At least one lower-division seminar course (ENG 050-90)

These are courses like “Introduction to Poetry” and “Introduction to World Drama,” which focus on building close reading and writing skills. Seminars are capped at 24 people.

Two additional lower-division courses, which may be seminars or lectures (ENG 011-90)

Lower-division lectures include courses like “Introduction to Chicano Studies,” “Introduction to African-American Literature and Culture,” “Literature of Childhood,” and “Literature and Sexuality.” One course may be substituted with a course from ENG 105-89.

Students completing emphasis tracks in Literature and Social Justice or Literature and the Environment must ensure that two lower division courses are related to these tracks--lists of approved courses in the provided links.

Upper-Division Major Requirements [32 units]:

At the upper division level, our four required survey classes teach literature from around the world and provide students with an understanding of the broad sweep of literature written primarily in English, across space and time.

ENG 101: Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture, 800–1660
      [Offered in Fall 2024, Fall 2026]
ENG 102: Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century, 1660–1830
      [Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2025]
ENG 103: British and American Literature, 1830–1940
      [Offered in Fall 2023, Fall 2025]
ENG 104: Postwar, Postcolonial, Postmodern Literature and Culture: 1945 to the Present
      [Offered in Spring 2024, Spring 2026]*

Students also take several small elective seminars, which provide students a framework for understanding how literature matters in the real world, and how stories, narratives, and plays are an important force for social and political change.

• Three upper-division elective seminars (ENG 105-189)

Upper-division seminars include historical topics like “Romanticism and Apocalypse,” cultural and regional literatures like “Chicanx Literature” or “Literature of California,” thematic topics like “Human Rights and Literature” and "Theatre and Ecology," and author studies like “Advanced Shakespeare” or “Toni Morrison and James Baldwin”; students can substitute one of these with an independent or directed group study or internship (ENG 192, 195, 198). Seminars are capped at 24-30 people.

Students completing emphasis tracks in Literature and Social Justice or Literature and the Environment must ensure that all three upper division seminars are related to these tracks--lists of approved courses in the provided links.

ENG 190: Senior Thesis [Offered every semester]

Students take a topical seminar their senior year for which they write a 20-25 page researched thesis. Students admitted into the English Honors Program will take the year-long sequence ENG 193 and 194 in lieu of ENG 190, substituting one of their three upper-division seminars for ENG 193.

* For one survey course, students may substitute another class that covers a similar time period. Approved substitutions include:

101: ENG 020 Intro to Shakespeare, ENG 151 Advanced Shakespeare/Plays of Shakespeare, ENG 168: Shakespeare and Ecology, ENG 187: Shakespeare and Social Justice

102: ENG 107: “The Age of Enlightenment” in the Long Eighteenth Century, ENG 108: Romanticism and Apocalypse, ENG 109: Encounters with Islam in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Literature, ENG 110: British Romanticism and India, ENG 152: William Blake

103: ENG 018: Crime and Horror in Victorian Literature and Culture, ENG 135: Working Class Literature-British, ENG 138: Gothic Literature, ENG 153: Robert Louis Stevenson, ENG 154: Emily Dickinson: Her Poems, Her Letters, Her Life, ENG 156: Oscar Wilde, ENG 157: Virginia Woolf and EM Forster, ENG 158: The Brontës, ENG 159: Rudyard Kipling, ENG 160: Dickens: The Early Years, ENG 166: Nineteenth Century Drama and Adaptation

104: ENG 031: Introduction to African-American Literature and Culture, ENG 052: Politics and Prose of the Nobel Prize in Literature, ENG 060: Sci Fi and Climate Disaster, ENG 063: 20th Century Women Writers, ENG 113: US Latino/a Literature, ENG 115: Chicano/a Literature, ENG 120/CCST 120: Chicanx, Latinx & Indigenous Representation in Literature and Culture, ENG 132: Human Rights and Literature, ENG 133: Race, Law, and American Literature, ENG 134: Poetry and Justice, ENG 155: Toni Morrison and James Baldwin

Program Learning Outcomes

The following Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) serve as the basis for assessing program success for students majoring in English. At the time of graduation, UC Merced English majors are expected to:

1. Interpret texts with due sensitivity to both textual and contextual cues.
2. Articulate an appreciation of the aesthetic qualities of texts by the standards of their times and places.
3. Articulate an appreciation of the rich diversity of literatures and literary discourses in all their cultural, historical, and generic variety
4. Prepare and deliver clear and confident oral presentations.
5. Write cogently and with sensitivity to audience.
Updated 2021