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Literature (21L) - Archived

Research and Teaching Output of the MIT Community

Literature (21L) - Archived


Literature has been a central experience for the majority of MIT's undergraduates for more than 25 years: over that time approximately 75 percent of all undergraduates have studied the subject.

Designed to serve students majoring, minoring, and concentrating in Literature as well as those students who may get to take only one or two Literature subjects while at the Institute, the Literature curriculum at MIT offers a wide range of undergraduate classes at Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Most classes are small and offer significant opportunity for student writing and speaking. Many classes focus on literature written in English, though we offer many others covering works in translation from antiquity to yesterday.

Notable for its interdisciplinary variety and for its openness to film and other forms of popular culture, the Literature program is also strong in traditional areas and historical periods such as Renaissance and the 19th Century. Most classes at all levels are offered once a year; many of the HASS-D introductory classes are offered every semester. Staffed by well-published, influential scholars and creative writers, the Literature faculty is recognized for its superior and committed teaching.

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Recent Submissions

  • Paradis, James (2002-12)
    In the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin gave us a model for understanding how natural objects and systems can evidence design without positing a designer: how purpose and mechanism can exist without intelligent agency. ...
  • Henderson, Diana; Sonenberg, Janet (2007-06)
    This class explores the creation (and creativity) of the modern scientific and cultural world through study of western Europe in the 17th century, the age of Descartes and Newton, Shakespeare, Rembrandt and Moliere. It ...
  • Kelley, Wyn (2002-12)
    This is a HASS –CI course. Like other communications-intensive courses in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, it allows students to produce 20 pages of polished writing with careful attention to revision. It also ...
  • Perry, Ruth; Ruckert, George (2002-12)
    This subject will introduce students to scholarship about folk music of the British Isles and North America. We will define the qualities of "folk music" and "folk poetry," including the narrative qualities of ballads, and ...
  • Henderson, Diana (2001-12)
    In this course we will sample the range of mainstream and experimental drama that has been composed during the past century. Half of these plays are now acknowledged to be influential "classics" of modern drama; the other ...