Literature has been central to the formation of collective identities across cultures, nations, and historical epochs. Though literary works are anchored in a particular time and place, many of them are read widely in other times and other places and by cultures to which they would seem not to belong. The Literature and Creative Writing major at NYUAD is uniquely organized around problems presented by translation, adaption, and circulation. Unlike many college literary curricula that restrict majors to the study of works in a single language or from a specific national tradition, this major aims to engage students in critical conversations that cut across fields and in doing so help to rethink the very foundations of literary studies.
The Literature and Creative Writing major fosters students’ skills as interpreters of literature and as analysts of culture, history, and politics. Creative writing seminars — open to the entire NYUAD student body — include instruction in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, and writing for stage and screen.
Though most course materials are written in or translated into English, they are drawn from an array of cultural traditions. Students with fluency in other languages are encouraged to read assigned texts in the original. All majors take at least one course in creative writing; In advanced coursework, students may pursue a specialization in either literary studies or creative writing, culminating in a Capstone thesis or creative project.
Major in Literature
A major in Literature and Creative Writing prepares students for careers that require critical thinking, forceful and lucid writing, and the ability to undertake discerning research, to read deeply and creatively, and to be receptive to the perspectives of others. The major might lead to graduate school in literature but could just as readily form a strong foundation for work in journalism, publishing, international relations, law, public policy, or media.
Students pursue one of two tracks:
- Literary Scholarship;
- Creative Writing.
Regardless of which track they pursue, all majors take the following six courses: Literary Interpretation, Foundations of Literature I and II, Introduction to Creative Writing, and Capstone Project (2 semesters).
Literary Scholarship Track
12 courses, distributed as follows:
- 5 Required Courses : Literary Interpretation, Foundations of Literature I: Epic and Drama, Foundations of Literature II: Lyric Poetry and the Novel, Intoduction to Creative Writing, Problems and Methods of Literary Studies
- 5 Electives in Literature: at least one must be pre-modern
- 2 Capstone: Seminar and Project
Creative Writing Track
12, distributed as follows:
- 4 Required Courses : Literary Interpretation, Foundations of Literature I: Epic and Drama, Foundations of Literature II: Lyric Poetry and the Novel, Introduction to Creative Writing
- 3 Electives in Literature (at least one must be pre-modern)
- 3 Electives in Creative Writing
- 2 Capstone: Seminar and Project
Capstones in Literature
The Capstone Project in Literature represents the culmination of a student's work as a Literature major. It is a substantial work of written scholarship that enables a student to explore and make a scholarly contribution to areas of particular personal interest. Students are expected to work on the Capstone project throughout the senior year and, ideally, to conduct research during the previous summer. The final project should be a polished and professional example of scholarly research and writing at its best.
Capstones in Creative Writing
The Capstone Project in Creative Writing draws on the work that students have done both in Creative Writing workshops and courses in Literature. These projects may take the form of a novel; a collection of short stories, poems, or personal essays; a play; a screenplay; or a similarly substantial creative endeavor. Students are expected to work on the Capstone project throughout the senior year and, if necessary, to conduct research during the previous summer.