Literary Arts

Brown’s Program in Literary Arts provides a home for innovative writers of fiction, poetry, playwriting, screenwriting, literary translation, electronic writing and mixed media.  The concentration allows student writers to develop their skills in one or more genres while deepening their understanding of the craft of writing. Many courses in this concentration require a writing sample; students should consult a concentration advisor or the concentration website for strategies on getting into the appropriate course(s).

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree with concentration in Literary Arts will be expected to complete the following course work:

1. At least four creative writing workshops from among the following series: LITR 0100, LITR 0110, LITR 0210, LITR 0310, LITR 0610, LITR 1010, LITR 1110, and LITR 1150.  At least two genres must be covered within the four courses taken. An independent study in literary arts (LITR 1310) may count toward the workshop requirement. Other writing-intensive courses may also count, at the discretion of the advisor.

2. Six elective reading and research in literary arts courses, which must include:

  • a course in literary theory or the history of literary criticism
  • a course that primarily covers readings and research in literary arts created before 1800
  • a course that primarily covers readings and research in literary arts created between 1800 and 1900
  • a course that primarily covers readings and research in literary arts created after 1900

    These courses, selected in consultation with a concentration advisor, may come from (but are not limited to) the following departments: Africana Studies, American Civilization, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, Egyptology, French Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, Italian Studies, Judaic Studies, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures in English, Middle East Studies, Modern Culture and Media, Music, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Slavic Studies, South Asian Studies, Theatre, Speech and Dance, Visual Arts. With approval from the concentration advisor, courses covering pre-20th century time periods may be distributed in a variant manner, so long as they cover two distinct literary time periods that precede the 20th century

3. Among the ten required courses, at least four must be at the 1000-level or above. No more than a total of four classes (workshops or reading/research courses) may be taken outside of the Literary Arts Department at Brown (whether at another institution or within another department's curriculum). No more than two of the ten required courses for the concentration may also count toward fulfilling a second concentration.

4.  During the senior year, all students must take at least one course within the Literary Arts course offerings (courses with LITR designation by the Registrar, or courses approved by the concentration advisor).

Honors in Creative Writing: Course requirements are the same as those for the regular concentration (four workshops, six elective literature-reading courses), with the following changes and additions: honors candidates must include two 1000-level workshops or independent studies among their courses; and complete a thesis. Students who are enrolled in or have completed at least one 1000-level workshop (or independent study) may submit honors applications to the Literary Arts Department from the first day of the fall semester to 20 September. Interested students should obtain information from the office of the Literary Arts Department.