The program in Literature (LITT) asks majors to consider the sweep of our literary heritage. Course offerings encompass British, European, American, and global literatures from ancient Greece to the twenty-first century, as well as creative writing. The program is at once skills-based, emphasizing critical thinking and writing, and committed to the interdisciplinary study of literature as a serious intellectual pursuit.
Our program emphasizes new media research and digital media production and offers students opportunities to participate in faculty-led digital scholarship. Students are also encouraged to participate in the South Jersey Culture & History Center, devoted to the study and dissemination of texts connected with South Jersey, or the South Jersey Center for Digital Humanities, designed to facilitate participation among the Stockton community in the emerging field of digital humanities.
The program is composed of four concentrations: Literary Studies, Creative Writing, Theatre/English, and Secondary English Education Certification. Two core courses are common to all concentrations: Introduction to Research in Literature (LITT 2123) and Senior Seminar (LITT 4610). Additionally, all students must take one designated “literary interpretation course” at Stockton as a prerequisite to the research course. Students may take their literary interpretation course and LITT 2123 concurrently with permission of the instructor. In all concentrations, students will learn how to read texts critically, how to identify the qualities of the traditional genres in Western literature, how to complete literary research using printed and electronic sources, and how to recognize continuity and paradigm shifts in literature. Most students will also study the three main streams of Western literature – European, British, and American. As juniors and seniors, students will enroll in several seminars where they will be required to synthesize their knowledge.
Note: Most LITT 2000-level courses are without prerequisites, and thus open to all students, regardless of major. Introduction to Research in Literature (LITT 2123) is a prerequisite course for most LITT 3000- and 4000-level courses. Transfer students who wish to be Literature majors, especially those with associate’s degrees, will typically enroll during their first semester in one 2000-level “literary interpretation” course and take LITT 2123 the following term.
ADMISSION TO THE PROGRAM
The program is open to any student with an interest in literature, creative writing, theatre, or secondary English certification.
There are no specific entrance requirements beyond acceptance to the college. Students in the Secondary English certification concentration should consult with the EDUC program for complete application and licensure requirements. The primary medium of the program is language; the faculty assumes that those wishing to pursue a LITT degree will be proficient in their own use of language—reading, writing and speaking—since courses in LITT demand a substantial exercise of these skills.
Students wishing to major in the program are encouraged to declare their intentions by the beginning of their sophomore year if possible, but definitely before the beginning of their junior year. Students intending to major in Literature, including transfer students, should consult with a faculty member of the program. That person will describe requirements and may recommend a preceptor.
In addition to the 64-credit General Studies requirement, the non-transfer student must satisfactorily complete 64 credits in the LITT program and cognate studies to qualify for the B.A. degree in Literature. All transfer students must complete a minimum of 16 credits in Literature courses at Stockton regardless of how many credits were accepted by the program when they transferred to Stockton. A minimum grade of C is required in all courses counted toward the 64 program credits required for graduation. Students in the Secondary English Certification concentration should consult with the EDUC program for complete graduation and licensure requirements.
The Literature program offers a minor for students who are interested in literature but are majoring in another field. To minor in Literature, students are required to complete five LITT courses with a grade of C or better: one course at the 1000 or 2000 level, one “literary interpretation” course; LITT 2123, and two courses at the 3000 level or above. Students must consult with a faculty member of the program to review and help plan a coherent selection of courses.
SENIOR SEMINAR AND/OR SENIOR PROJECT
Senior Seminar is the normal capstone course for all majors. The Senior Seminar devotes the first portion of the term to instruction/discussion and the last to oral presentations of student theses, with LITT faculty and students invited to attend. Senior Project is an alternative to Senior Seminar for the Creative Writing and Theatre/English concentrations; students interested in this alternative must obtain permission from their preceptor and the LITT program coordinator, and arrange with an available LITT or THTR faculty member to supervise the project.
Students pursuing K-12 teaching certifications, whether in elementary/middle school instruction or in secondary English teaching must meet the requirements of the LITT program and the EDUC program, along with other State-mandated requirements. This will necessitate more than the minimum 128 credit hours for completion. Students should consult the School of Education for a full explanation of certification requirements. Students who intend to apply to Stockton’s Teacher Education program are encouraged to select a second preceptor from the EDUC program.
The program offers four concentrations: Literary Studies, Creative Writing, Theatre/English, and Secondary English Certification. Each of these concentrations is a sequence of courses drawn from this program and from other programs in the College that prepare students for a range of careers.
Employers today value strong writing, communication and analytical skills. These skills are the foundation of a B.A. in Literature. Among its career paths, the program prepares students for graduate studies in literature or creative writing; however, the degree may also lead to careers in education, law, journalism, publishing, web-based communications, advertising, public relations, civil service, business, non-profit or higher education administration or library and information science.
The LITT program encourages its majors to pursue at least one term of study abroad or one term of internship (e.g., the Washington Internship). Of schools not located in the District of Columbia, Stockton has the largest Washington Internship program of any college or university in the country. The full-semester internship for 12 credits can be a useful tool for gaining career experience and contacts. A sample of previous placements for majors in Literature includes internships with United Press International’s Capitol Hill Investigative Reporter, The National Journal, The Hill Rag, and D.C. Public Defender, as well as congressional and executive offices.