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Undergraduate Program

Welcome from the Director of Undergraduate Studies


Professor Jin-Kyung Lee1. Why Literature?

The Department of Literature at UC, San Diego is a place where the study of history and culture takes place through our analytical and creative engagement with various kinds of texts, i.e., literature (poetry, fiction, drama), literary theories and philosophy, films and other visual and multimedia productions (TV dramas, musical videos, graffiti, photography among others). We believe that both the longer and more recent history of the globe and its citizens can be most effectively grasped and thoroughly appreciated through an access to their cultural achievements.

2. What Do You Offer?

We offer courses that can be grouped as eight distinct and yet overlapping and combinatory clusters.

• Language Studies (e.g. American Sign Language, Ancient Greek, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Latin, Russian, Spanish)
• Literary Studies (e.g. "Vampires in Literature," "Kafka," Asian American literature, South Asian Literatures in English)
• Film Studies (e.g. "Akira Kurosawa," Italian Cinema, "Woody Allen from Manhattan to Paris," "New European Cinema")
• Cultural Studies and Popular Culture Studies (e.g. "Urban Scenes in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan," "Reading American Television," "Bob Dylan," "Queer Subcultures")
• Creative Writing (in English and Spanish)
• Translation Studies (See Alchemy: Journal of Translation)
• National Histories and Cultures (e.g. The Harlem Renaissance, Philippine Literature, Russian-American Fiction, "Being Brazilian: Race, Cannibalization and Animality")
• "Transnational/Trans-regional/Trans-continental Histories and Culture Studies and Globalization Studies (e.g. "South Asian Traditions: Buddhism and Hinduism," European Modernism, Modern African Film and Literature, Latino/a American Studies and Latin American Literatures Major, Globalization and Culture, "Health, Global Warming and Public Education")

We offer education firmly grounded in historical knowledge, in the diverse cultures and cultural productions of the world and in our facultys concrete expertise on the fast changing globe. What does it mean to be a CRITICAL global citizen of the 21st Century for you?

3. What Can I do With a Literature Major?

• In addition to the window of knowledge and information about the globe, the Literature Department courses open up, they teach foundational skills, i.e., critical reading, thinking and writing skills: they involve your engagement with various kinds of texts (written, visual, aural texts, filmic texts, literary texts, popular cultural texts among many others). Critical thinking can be best acquired, we believe, by learning to "close read" texts, by developing your ideas through moderated discussion of texts with your peers, and by learning to think through writing.

• These critical reading, writing and thinking skills perform foundational roles for a wide range of careers. Please refer to Careers in Literature

4. Where Should I Start?

• You can come visit one of us during our office hours, Jin-kyung Lee (Director of Undergraduate Studies), Danny Panella (Undergraduate Advisor) and/or any of the faculty members whose courses you are interested in taking. Bring us your concerns and questions and your curiosities and interests. We are here to listen to you and to help you imagine, create, plan and execute the most rewarding and fun educational experience at UC, San Diego for yourself.

• You can come talk to our very enthusiastic and very friendly undergraduate student group, who have bi-weekly meetings: The New Inklings of UCSD.

• You can subscribe yourself to the litnotices-l mailing list: You will receive notices on lectures and events including those that are directly relevant to the undergraduate program.

Welcome to Literature!

JIN-KYUNG LEE
Associate Professor - Korean and Comparative Literature

"Studying Literature"


"Studying Literature and Writing at UCSD was one of the most exciting times of my life. The professors in both areas are some of the most intelligent, forward-thinking teachers I've had the pleasure to work with. [More]

Meghan Pino
Literature/Writing Major
Class of 2006
Student Advising:
Danny Panella
Undergraduate Advisor
117 Literature Building
(858) 534-8681
Virtual Advising

Director Undergraduate Studies:
Jin-kyung Lee


Virtual Advising
Virtual Advising