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Literature | Senior Year Requirements

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  • Literature
    202-885-2971
    Fax: 202-885-2938
    lit@american.edu
    Battelle Tompkins, Room 237

    Rangel-Mullin, Rebecca
    Sr. Administrative Assistant

Mailing Address

Senior Year Requirements  

LIT 498: The Value of Literature
In the first semester of the senior year, all majors must take a cap-stone course entitled The Value of Literature (LIT 498). Students will read a wide array of critical and literary texts from various historical periods in the attempt to establish a sense of what constitutes literary value. Subjects that may be addressed include aesthetics, formalism, structuralism, affective criticism, literary history and cultural studies. By the end of the semester, students will write a proposal for their senior analytical project.  

LIT 480: Senior Project
This follow-up course to LIT 498 is taken in the spring of senior year. The course requires a 25 page minimum essay or creative project (50 page minimum for Honors), based on something that the student and instructor (of LIT 498) have agreed upon. Students will also work with a mentor appropriate to the project. At the end of the Value of Literature, students will write a proposal for the project that must be approved by the instructor.   

Note: students seeking to write a creative project must take at least two creative writing courses BEFORE the senior year.  

This course replaces one of the seven courses at the 300 level required for the major.  

The department developed this course to foster greater faculty/student interaction, build an intellectual community for senior literature majors, strengthen writing skills and give students a chance to follow their intellectual curiosity by studying literature that they love.  

Literature Day

As a celebration of the work the students do for their projects, the Department sponsors Literature Day, an all-day conference at the end of the year during which seniors present their work to their professors and their peers.