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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 0100A,LITR 0100B, LITR 0110A, LITR 0110B, LITR 0110D, LITR 0110E, the various courses under LITR 0210, LITR 0310, LITR 0610, LITR 1010, LITR 1110, LITR 1150/1151 and LITR 1410 . At least two genres must be covered within the four courses taken. An independent study in literary arts (LITR 1310 and LITR 1510) 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 before 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. At least six classes (workshops and reading/research courses) that shall count toward the concentration must be taken at Brown through the Literary Arts Department; up to one of the six LITR courses may be a course taken in another department but cross-listed by Literary Arts. 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 25 September. Interested students should obtain information from the office of the Literary Arts Department.