English: Gender/Sexuality, BA

The Concentration in Gender, Literature and Culture is designed to allow students to explore the complex effects of gender on the literary text: thus, students choosing this Concentration will not only consider the thematic implications of historically specific gender constructions, but also gender’s effect on literary authorship, on textual reception, and on the development of language itself: on what *can* be said. All students in this Concentration will expose themselves to the range and richness of writing by and about women, since the history of women’s writing is a complex one, filled with struggle, invention, and rebellion. Women have, for instance, not always had access to books, and it is only in the last two centuries that girls have routinely been taught to read and write. With some notable exceptions — the medieval pilgrim Margery Kempe, the Restoration dramatist Aphra Behn — women did not begin writing professionally until the eighteenth century, when rising literacy rates, changing gender roles, and enabled the emergence of a new, exceedingly popular prose form, the novel. It was then that “lady novelists” set the terms for women’s writing, which has ever since been deeply concerned with asking what a woman is and what she can become. Meanwhile, while male dominance of literary production and reception had a drastic effect on the representation of women, it has also, paradoxically, sometimes rendered maleness itself obscure or invisible. Thus, this Concentration is also for students interested in the construction of male gender: courses with a focus on such matters as Elizabethan stage practices, 18th-century theories of consent, Victorian sexuality, post-colonial exploration and conquest, African American masculinities, gays and lesbians in 19th-century America and Asian American gender roles will expose students to the complex dance of both genders in literature and culture.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 33. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Core Requirement 1
Select one course in each sector from ENGL 0010-ENGL 5999, except 3000-3999:6
Sector 1 - Theory & Poetics (Attribute: AETP)
Sector 2 - Difference and Diaspora (Attribute: AEDD)
Sector 3 - Medieval/Renaissance (Attribute: AEMR)
Sector 4 - Literature of the Long 18th Century (Attribute: AE18)
Sector 5 - 19th Century Literature (Attribute: AE19)
Sector 6 - 20th Century Literature (Attribute: AE19)
The One Series (TOS) 2
ENGL 4500-49981
Early-Period Seminars 3
ENGL 0300-0399; 0500-0599; 0700-0799; 2000-2999; 4500-4998; 5000-59992
Seminar 1: Literature Before 1700 (Attribute: AEB7)
Seminar 2: Literature Before 1900 (AEB7, AEB9)
Literature Seminar Electives 4
ENGL 0051; 0300-0399; 0500-0599; 0700-0799; 2000-2999; 3000-3999; 4000-4998; 5000-59992
Seminar 3: Any Literature Seminar
Seminar 4: Any Literature Seminar
Electives 5
ENGL 0010-ENGL 59992-4
Concentration Requirements 6
Four courses ENGL 0010-5999 with attribute AEGS
Total Course Units33

You will need to take one course to fulfill each sector of the Major Core, six in total. Two of these courses may double-count with your Literature Seminar Electives. Creative Writing Seminars cannot count in the Major Core.


The One Series seminar (TOS) cannot double-count in the Major Core. However, if you take a second TOS course, your additional TOS may count as a Literature Seminar or an Elective.


These Early-Period Seminars may NOT double-count in the Core.


These Seminar Electives may be double-counted in the Core.


The rest of your 13 c.u. for the English Major will be met with Electives. If none of your seminars are being double-counted in the Core, you will only need two Electives. For each double-counting course, you will need to add an Elective, for a maximum of four, to reach 13 c.u. With the approval of your Major Advisor, you may count up to two courses outside of English toward the Major. Courses in Linguistics (LING) and in Literatures not in English may count; in the case of Non-English Literatures, the courses should ideally be crosslisted (“Also offered As”) with ENGL, or you may obtain the permission from your Major advisor.


Concentration may be comprised from the 13 c.u. of the Major, or other courses.


Applicants must have a 3.6 GPA in the major. Thesis required.


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.