Literature and History Program



The Literature and History program offers students the opportunity to learn about cultural developments throughout the world as seen through the lens of literature. The mission of the department is based on the belief that skillful, self-conscious reading, writing, and thinking form the foundation for a life well-lived. Literature studied with a heightened sensibility of historical undercurrents helps us comprehend our own and others’ cultures and values. The program invites students into a community of writers engaged in exploring literature’s potential to transform the world.

As such, the program focuses on cultivating exceptional strength in both the areas of analytic thought and moral responsibility to oneself and to others.  It prepares students for careers in education as well as for graduate studies in English, history, law,  journalism,  policy studies, and many other fields in which rigorous thinking skills and effective communication are of primary importance.

To this end, the department offers not only the major in Literature and History but also a minor in each field.


Admission Requirements

Students wishing to join the program in Literature and History will demonstrate competency in the general education requirements at Hellenic in English and history:  English Composition I and II, World History I and II, and one History elective and one Literature elective.


Degree Requirements

Literature and History is a concentration that is interdisciplinary, and as such, features the study of literary history, the interpretation of a worldwide diversity of texts that reflect historical discourse, and individualized mentoring in the craft of writing. With a grounding in the general education courses in English and history, the students proceed to learn literary and historical criticism as well as writing skills, as one undivided whole.

In addition, a student pursuing the concentration in Literature and History must first declare a major in Liberal Studies (see course offerings in the catalog). In this way the student will engage a broad range of texts in the humanities as a foundation for the more specific emphasis on literature and history. Included in the core requirements, are the Focus Seminar and the Senior Thesis, two-semester courses each.  In the context of class discussion, and based on what creative spread of interests the student has developed over the previous three years,  an individual writing project emerges. Focus Seminars I and II are the courses that provide the support for the writing of the senior thesis occurring at the same time.

In addition to the General Education requirements, students will complete the following courses in addition to a selection from the electives offered each semester:

Literature and History Core Requirements
1) Survey of British Literature
2) American Literature
3) Biblical Heritage I (fulfills Religion Elective)
4) Focus Seminar I
5) Focus Seminar II
6) Movements in Art, Music,  and Literature
7) Travels in Greece from Pausanias to Durrell
8) Modern European Literature
9) Senior Thesis I
10) Senior Thesis II
11) The Writer as Historian
12) French I and II

The Literature and History Major will choose 7 courses among the following electives
1) The Industrial Revolution and British Literature
2) Shakespeare Seminar
3) Coming of Age: The American Renaissance
4) Women Writers in the Modern Era
5) Race and Literature in America from the Early to Modern Periods
6) Post-Colonial Literature
7) Russian Literature
8) Greek-American Literature
9)  Ethnic Literature in America
10) The Literature of War
11) Asian Studies