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Prospective Students

Message from the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Erin Suzuki


Professor Erin Suzuki

As the incoming director for Undergraduate Studies in the Literature department at UCSD, I’m excited to welcome you to our program and introduce you to the wide range of opportunities, experiences, and skills that our courses and majors provide. Our students work closely with faculty to engage critically and creatively across diverse languages, genres, and media, from poetry and prose to science fiction, graphic novels, and international cinema. The research we produce is not limited to academic essays and papers, but have also found expression in podcasts, short films, zines, curating public exhibits, and organizing community projects.

The opposite of a narrowly-defined or overly specialized field, Literature will challenge you to think differently—to innovate and think on your feet in the spaces where there are no clear-cut answers to the questions that life will ask of you. Our students have gone on to successful careers not only in academia but in law, media, publishing, tech, medicine, and activism. In any career path that Literature graduates choose, the creativity, intellectual flexibility, and ability to engage with diverse perspectives that we teach remain foundational for a lifetime of curiosity and openness to new ideas and connections.

Our department provides four majors and eleven minors. Majors can opt to focus their studies on 1) Writing, 2) Literature in English, 3) Literature in Spanish, or 4) World Literature and Culture. Minors may focus their course of study around writing, literature in a number of different languages, or a single topic of the student’s choosing. You are always welcome to contact me or our Undergraduate Advisors to learn how to craft a major or minor program reflective of your specific goals and interests.

I look forward to meeting you and learning more about your plans.

Sincerely,

Erin Suzuki
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Associate Professor, Literature


 

Literatures in English

To study Literatures in English at UCSD is to become acquainted with the wide range of Anglophone writing both here at home and in the rest of the world. Our major gives students the opportunity to read English-language literature written by writers located in the United States, the British Isles, and many other locations worldwide, such as India, South Africa, and the Caribbean. We offer courses on a wide and varied range of topics, including the British novel, African-American Prose, Contemporary Caribbean Literature, the American Renaissance, Chaucer, Chicano Literature, New American Poetry, Asian American Literature, Victorian Poetry, Animals in Literature, Literature of the U.S. West, Science Fiction, and many more. The LTEN major introduces you to the history of literature and writing, acquaints you with a variety of historical periods and geographical and cultural regions of English language and writing, creates an awareness of methods and theories of literary and cultural analysis, and provides continued training in critical writing.

You can view the official major requirements for Literatures in English in the UCSD General Catalog. We also have more detailed information on our current students' Literatures in English major page.

Spanish Literature

Students majoring in Spanish can choose to concentrate on either Spanish or Latin American literature. All students, however, are encouraged to take courses in the various national literatures as well as in Chicano literature for a broad background in Spanish language literatures.

You can view the official major requirements for Spanish Literature in the UCSD General Catalog. We also have more detailed information on our current students' Spanish Literature major page.

World Literature and Culture

World Literature and Culture allows students to design an intellectually rigorous plan of courses with the flexibility to explore multiple areas of interest. Four broad options are possible: 1) focus on a single non-Anglophone language, literature, and culture; 2) focus on literature and culture of a historical period prior to 1800; 3) focus on the literature and culture of a geographical region (Europe, the Americas, East Asia, Africa, or the Mediterranean); 4) focus on cultural production in a variety of media, including courses on film and television, digital media, and music, as well as courses on the history of the book and translation.

In all of its variants, the World Literature and Culture major aims to provide students with broad cultural literacy and critical thinking skills—in language, literature, visual media, social practices, and theories of interpretation—which are basic, necessary cornerstones of a humanities education. The undergraduate major in World Literature and Culture seeks to develop literacy in a range of traditional and modern cultural forms (literature, film, and the visual arts) and methods for interpreting these cultural forms in a way that will prepare students to engage with a society whose literature and culture is, and will become increasingly, diverse, international, and multilingual.


You can view the official major requirements for World Literature and Culture in the UCSD General Catalog. We also have more detailed information on our current students' World Literature and Culture major page.

Literature/Writing

When Professor Rae Armantrout (recipient of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry) asked a former student about her time at UCSD this is what she had to say"

"The thing I love about UCSD's literature/writing major is that the program gives you a lot of space to figure out your interests. There are so many genres available for you to explore. You can take a class in experiemental cross genre work or science fiction and fantasy. You can write epic poems. You can do whatever you need to do to grow as a writer.  The program is also situated within a larger literature department, so there's an understanding of the connection between reading deeply and writing deeply and you have access to all these amazing literature classes while you're taking writing workshops. For instance, I was able to take a world mythology class which gave me a deeper understanding of the archetypes I was using in my poems when I made mythological references. Also, the teachers are working writers passionate about their craft and that shows in the way they teach. I really enjoyed my time in the program."

-Keely Hyslop
BA in Literature/Writing, UCSD, 2006

Keely's book manuscript "Things I Say to Pirates on Nights when I miss you" was recently chosen by the SFSU's Michael Rubin Book Award and will be published this October.

You can view the official major requirements for Literature/Writing in the UCSD General Catalog. We also have more detailed information on our current students' Literature/Writing major page.

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