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Interdisciplinary Concentration in Classical and Early Modern British Literary Studies

Program Planner

The Interdisciplinary Concentration in Classical & Early Modern British Literary Studies is one of several interdisciplinary concentrations in Comparative Literary Studies. Through the systematic comparison of literary works from more than one culture or era, students of comparative literature develop a sophisticated understanding of what literature is and how it is culturally, politically, philosophically, and sociologically defined and influenced, exploring, from a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective, how and why literary texts are categorized (in terms of traditions, periods, genres and movements). Students who study comparative literature can employ the skills and information learned in their courses to supplement and further their careers in a wide range of fields, including education, law, creative writing, international business, marketing, librarianship, editing, technical writing, publishing, communications, translation, history, international studies, literature, and philosophy.

Students who complete the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Comparative Literary Studies may have also completed all the requirements for a Comparative Literature minor and, if so, should declare the minor in order to receive credit for it on their transcript.

Rationale for Concentration in Classical and Early Modern British Literary Studies

British writers of the Early Modern era saw themselves as participants in a renaissance of Classical learning and aesthetics (hence the traditional name of “Renaissance” for the period).   A comparative examination of Early Modern British literature in the context of its Classical precursors offers an opportunity to see both what the British “Renaissance” owed to the ancient world and how it differed from that source and model.

Faculty Sponsor

Glenn Steinberg (English)


Six courses as indicated below

General Course

Take one course from the following

  • GRE 201/Intermediate Greek
  • LAT 201/Intermediate Latin, or equivalent

Ancient History

Take one course from the following

  • CLS 301/Classical Greek Civilization*
  • CLS 302/Hellenistic World*
  • CLS 203/History of the Roman Republic *
  • CLS 304/History of the Roman Empire *
  • CLS 305/Ancient Christianity*
  • CLS 306/History of the Byzantine World
  • CLS 208/Late Antiquity*
  • CLS 211/Rome and the Barbarians in the Early Middle Ages*

Early Modern History

Take one course from the following

  • HIS 317/Europe in the Early Modern Period*
  • HIS 318/Early Modern European Expansion*

Ancient Literature

Take one course from the following

  • CLS 250/Introduction to Greek Mythology*
  • CLS 230/Classical Literary Traditions*
  • CLS 325/Sex and Gender in Greco-Roman Antiquity
  • GRE 310/Greek Tragedy
  • GRE 350/Homer’s Odyssey
  • LAT 310/The Age of Augustus
  • LAT 315/Vergil and the Impact of Empire

Early Modern British Literature

Take two courses from the following

  • LIT 251/British Literature to the Restoration*
  • LIT 321/Shakespeare: Sources & Contexts*
  • LIT 357/Early Modern British Literature*
  • LIT 358/British Literature Reformed, 1550-1700*
  • LIT 421/Shakespeare: Comedies & Histories*
  • LIT 422/Shakespeare: Tragedies & Romances*

*Courses without prerequisites.

In addition to courses required by this concentration, a student must complete one approved course in quantitative reasoning and one approved course in laboratory science to satisfy breadth requirements in liberal learning. Students should consult their major or open option advisors about how best to complete other liberal learning requirements.