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; one may be a Creative Writing elective
  • 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 Creative Writing
  • 3 Electives in Literature (at least one must be pre-modern)
  • 2 Capstone: Seminar and Project