Concentration A: Major in Literary Studies

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Major Planning Guide (PDF)


The Literary Studies concentration offers students a deep engagement with literary history and an understanding of literature as a form of cultural production. Many of our literary studies courses take a new central focus each semester; the list at right provides a sampling of some of the special topics that students have studied in these courses in recent years. 

  • Take All Four Core Courses
    English 120: Introduction to the Major
    English 220: Literature, Identity, Representation
    English 225: Introduction to Language Analysis
    English 320: Practical Criticism*
    *English 320 a pre-requisite for most upper division literature major requirements
  • Take Sixteen Units from the Following Courses, Twelve of Which Must Be Upper-Division Units
    English 230 or 231: Survey of British Literature
    English 240: World Literature
    English 325: History of the English Language
    English 330: Topics in American Literature
    English 342: Topics in Shakespeare
    English 350: Topics in British Literature
    English 360: Topics in Literature/Language
    English 370: Literature of Power and Place
    English 420: Advanced Topics in Critical Theory
    English 465: Multicultural Issues in Language and Literature
    English 480: Special Topics (with a literature topic)
  • Take One of the Following Courses from the Writing Practices Concentration (B)
    English 211: Introduction to Creative Writing
    English 311: Environmental Writing
    English 314: Creative Writing: Nonfiction*
    English 315: Creative Writing: Fiction*
    English 316: Creative Writing: Poetry*
    English 422: Advanced Research Writing
    English 450: Tutoring Developing Writers
    English 460: Literary Editing and Publishing
    English 461: Professional Concerns in Writing and Editing
    English 480: Special Topics (with a writing topic)
    *ENGL 211 a pre-requisite
  • Take One of the Following Courses from the Teaching Language Arts Concentration (C)
    English 328: Structure of American English
    English 336: American Ethnic Literature
    English 344: Young Adult Literature
    English 406: Theory of Composition
    English 426: Communication in Writing II
    English 435: Introduction to English as a Second/Foreign Language
    English 436: Integrating Language & Content in English
    • Take One Year of a Language Other Than English Taken at the College Level
    • Take English 490: Senior Portfolio Seminar Capstone Course 


Special Topics

We offer the largest variety of special topics courses of any English Department in the CSU.  This practice enriches our major in all areas, but especially in literary studies. Here are just some of the topics courses we have offered in recent years:

  • Literature, Media and Culture
  • Decolonizing British Literature: How to Grow an Empire
  • Crime and Capitalism in Modern British Literature
  • Caribbean Literature
  • Graphic Novels and Comics
  • Satire in a Post-Irony World
  • Collaborative Writing
  • Women in Literature: Witchcraft and Witches
  • Palestinian Literature
  • Latinx Literature
  • Multicultural Queer Narratives
  • Shakespeare and Metamorphosis
  • Shakespeare and the Body
  • Sexology and Literary Scandal
  • Black Britain
  • Poetry and Protest
  • Power in/and of the Home
  • Afrofuturism and Chicanx Futurism
  • Literature of North Africa and the Middle East
  • Speculative Fiction: Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Marxist Literary Theory
  • Politics and Aesthetics
  • Performing Race and Gender
  • Modern Arabic Literature