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.