The Invention of Literature

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The Invention of Literature: Concentration in Literary History and the English Language

Required Courses:

ENGLIT 0505: How to Do Things with Literature I

ENGLIT 0506: How to Do Things with Literature II

ENGLIT 1900: Project Seminar in research methods

ENGLIT 1910: Senior Seminar

Historical Period courses:

Choose any two period courses from your concentration (see the list below).


Choose any six elective courses; at least four of them should come from the Invention of Literature concentration. Students can apply for approval from the Literature Director to count an elective not previously listed in a given area of concentration.

  • All electives must be 0500-level or above, and at least three of them must be at the 1000-level. Download an easy-to-use chart of 1000-level courses and the requirements they satisfy.
  • Students may take up to two courses from the other programs in English (Writing, Film, Composition) designated within their area of concentration. Approved courses are listed below; students can apply for special approval from the Literature Director to count others.
  • At least one course should fulfill the breadth of study requirement (marked with *). Depending on the syllabus and instructor, one of your required courses or a Special Topics course may fulfill this requirement—simply ask your advisor.

Note: Courses such as ENGLIT 1901: Independent Study, ENGLIT 1904: Undergraduate TA, and ENGLIT 1907: Literature Internship may count toward any concentration, depending on the nature of the student’s work. Please consult the advising office for proper credit.

Below are the regular, designated courses for this concentration. We’ll update this list often and will add new courses in the coming years, too. Some titles have been changed; if you think you have already taken a course in a concentration under its old title, consult the course listing (ENGLIT xxxx) to verify that it’s the same one.


  • ENGLIT 0500: Intro to Critical Reading
  • ENGLIT 0510: Making the Book
  • ENGLIT 0515 Contemporary African American Poetry*
  • ENGLIT 0550: Introduction to Popular Culture
  • ENGLIT 0560: Children and Culture
  • ENGLIT 0562: Childhood’s Books
  • ENGLIT 0570: American Literature
  • ENGLIT 0572 Introduction to African Literature*
  • ENGLIT 0580: Introduction to Shakespeare
  • ENGLIT 0590: Formative Masterpieces
  • ENGLIT 0597: Bible as Literature
  • ENGLIT 0610: Women and Literature
  • ENGLIT 0620: Graphic Novel*
  • ENGLIT 0621 Introduction to African-American Literature: Debates and Approaches*
  • ENGLIT 0625: Detective Fiction
  • ENGLIT 0626: Science Fiction
  • ENGLIT 0630: Sexuality and Representation*
  • ENGLIT 0636: Gothic Imagination
  • ENGLIT 0640: Allegory
  • ENGLIT 0641: Tragedy
  • ENGLIT 0642: Comedy
  • ENGLIT 0643: Satire
  • ENGLIT 0644: Myth and Folktale
  • ENGLIT 0645: Fantasy
  • ENGLIT 0646: Apocalypse
  • ENGLIT 0710: Contemporary Environmental Literature
  • ENGLIT 0720: Global Fictions*
  • ENGLIT 1001: Interactive Literature
  • ENGLIT 1005: Literature and the Environment
  • ENGLIT 1020: History of Literary Criticism
  • ENGLIT 1023: Contemporary Critical Theory
  • ENGLIT 1115: Chaucer
  • ENGLIT 1126: Advanced Shakespeare
  • ENGLIT 1127: Shakespeare on Film
  • ENGLIT 1181: Victorian Novel
  • ENGLIT 1255: Theater and Activism
  • ENGLIT 1272: The Roaring Twenties—Farmers, Factory Workers, Financiers, Flappers, and Film Stars: Avant-Garde and Mass Culture
  • ENGLIT 1383 Literature and Colonialism*
  • ENGLIT 1384: Banned Books*
  • ENGLIT 1406: U.S. Latino Literature*
  • ENGLIT 1412: Secret Pittsburgh
  • ENGLIT 1587: Utopian Literature
  • ENGLIT 1612: The African Novel*
  • ENGLIT 1715: Global Black Literature*
  • ENGLIT 1738: Irish Literature

Period Courses in this area:

  • ENGLIT 1010: Magical Nature Before the Modern World
  • ENGLIT 1100: Medieval Imagination
  • ENGLIT 1101: The Invention of English
  • ENGLIT 1125: Masterpieces of Renaissance Literature
  • ENGLIT 1128: Shakespeare’s Sexualities
  • ENGLIT 1135: Literature, Media, and Science in the Age of Shakespeare
  • ENGLIT 1150: Enlightenment to Revolution
  • ENGLIT 1170: Romantic Nature
  • ENGLIT 1175: 19th Century British Literature
  • ENGLIT 1200: Colonies to Nation in American Literature
  • ENGLIT 1225: 19th Century African American Literature*
  • ENGLIT 1180: Humans, Animals, Machines in Victorian Literature
  • ENGLIT 1200: American Literature to 1860
  • ENGLIT 1220: Civil War to WWI in American Literature
  • ENGLIT 1227: Harlem Renaissance*
  • ENGLIT 1230: 20th Century African American Literature*
  • ENGLIT 1325: Modernism
  • ENGLIT 1350: Postmodern Literature
  • ENGLIT 1380: World Literature in English
  • ENGLIT 1382: Prized Books

Courses from other programs:

  • ENGCMP 1551: History and Politics of the English Language
  • ENGCMP 1552 Language, Literacy, and Learning
  • ENGWRT 0520: Introduction to Fiction Writing
  • ENGWRT 0530: Introduction to Poetry Writing
  • ENGWRT 0610: Introduction to Journalism and Nonfiction