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Advisors — Professors CRAMER, DOBSON; Assistant Professor THAKUR;
Adjunct Associate Professor HUGHES

This major will be revised in light of 2013 changes to the English major. The description below applies to students enrolled as of 2012-13; others should consult the major advisors.


This major starts from the observation that English and classics reinforce each other. Classical genres underlie modern poetry, drama, and fiction. Most writers in English, into the 20th century, have studied classical languages (at least Latin) and literature, so that classics is an important interpretive context for them. Moreover, English literature responds to classics in ways that are important for classics itself. We therefore allow students to complete slightly less work in each department than they would need to graduate with the single major. Normal requirements are between 10 and 14 units as follows:

Introduction to Literary Study and to Poetry: English 250/Comparative Literature 210 Introduction to Literary Theory (one unit) and English 221 Introduction to Poetry; English 480 (Senior Seminar, one-two units) plus either English 485 (Senior Project) or Classics 431 (Senior Thesis); the classics department written and oral examination over the department’s reading list; English courses at the 300 or 400 level covering three of the following five periods: Medieval-Renaissance, Shakespeare, 1660–1830, 1830–1914, 20th century; English or classics courses covering the genres of poetry, drama, and narrative fiction; one year’s work beyond the intermediate level in one classical language (normally two .5 unit courses at the 300 level in extended format).

Total units required: 10–14, assuming that Latin or Greek is begun in college, that the classical reading courses are done in extended format, and that the genres are covered in courses that also count under the period or classical reading requirement. Both departments strongly recommend study of a modern language to a level allowing literary reading.