2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin

English, Bachelor of Arts

English majors read, discuss, and write about literature, film, popular culture and the law from a variety of perspectives. In doing so, they build skills in critical reading and analysis, verbal presentation, argumentation, and persuasive writing. In John Jay’s unique English curriculum, students acquire a comprehensive and varied foundation in literary study, and then choose to pursue either the field of Literature in greater depth or an optional concentration in Literature and the Law. The major prepares students for a variety of careers and graduate work in law, public policy, business, education, writing, and government.

Learning Outcomes. Students will:

  • Read texts closely, paying attention to the significance of words, syntax, and their contribution to the meaning of the text as a whole.
  • Identify the key elements and terms of literature, such as tone, form, point of view, figurative language, and plot structure in their analysis of literature.
  • Show awareness of a given genre and its conventions within a historical context.
  • Appropriately use secondary and theoretical sources in support of literary analysis.
  • Write critically on literature, including setting up a thesis, incorporating textual evidence, writing a coherent argument, and citing sources correctly according to a standardized format.
  • Produce papers that are edited for clarity and grammatical correctness.

Credits Required.

English Major 39
General Education 42
Electives 39
Total Credits Required for B.A. Degree 120

Coordinator. Professor Nivedita Majumdar (212.237.8589, nmajumdar@jjay.cuny.edu)

Advising resources. Department of English webpage - information for students. English Major Advising Resources including a Sample Fire Year Advising plan. 

English Major CUNY Gateway courses: ENG 101 Composition I, LIT 260 Introduction to Literary Study, Introduction to Literature (transfers as: LIT 230. or LIT 231 or LIT 232, or LIT 233).

Honors option. To receive Honors in Literature, a student must take both the Literature Seminar and an Independent Study that includes a research project, maintaining a GPA of 3.5 within the major. To receive Honors in Literature and the Law, a student must take both the Literature and the Law Seminar and an Independent Study that includes a research project, maintaining a GPA of 3.5 within the major.

Additional information. Students who enrolled for the first time at the College or changed to this major in September 2017 or thereafter must complete the major in the form presented here.  Students who enrolled prior to that date may choose either the form shown here or the earlier version of the major.  A copy of the earlier version can be found in the 2016-17 Undergraduate Bulletin.

Foundational Courses

Select one General Education English Literature course
LIT 230Expressions of the Living Past: Reading Ancient Worlds

3

LIT 231Medieval and Early Modern Literature

3

LIT 232Reading the Modern World

3

LIT 233This is America: Stories of Promise, Power, and Protest

3

LIT 236Literary Perspectives on Culture & Globalization

3

LIT 237Literature as Witness

3

LIT 239Science in the Making

3

LIT 241Murder on Screen and Stage

3

LIT 326Crime, Punishment and Justice in U.S. Literature

3

LIT 327Crime, Punishment and Justice in World Literature

3

ISP 235Apples & Oranges: Form & Meaning in the Arts

3

ISP 236Truth & Creativity: How We Make Meaning

3

ISP 273The Stories We Tell

3

Total Credit Hours:3
Advisors recommendation. All courses listed above can fulfill one area of the Gen Ed Program.

Part One. Critical Skills

Required
LIT 260Introduction to Literary Study

3

Total Credit Hours: 3

Part Two. Critical Methods

Required
LIT 300Text and Context

3

LIT 305Foundations of Literature and Law

3

Total Credit Hours: 6

Part Three. Historical Perspectives

Choose four
LIT 370Topics in Ancient Literature

3

LIT 371Topics in Medieval Literature

3

LIT 372Topics in Early Modern Literature

3

LIT 373Topics in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-century Literature

3

LIT 374Topics in Nineteenth-century Literature

3

LIT 375Topics in Twentieth-century Literature

3

LIT 379Selected Historical Topics in Literature

3

Students may choose the following elective courses as alternatives to satisfy PART THREE. Historical Perspectives:

For LIT 371: LIT 319 Law and Justice in European Medieval Literature
For LIT 372: LIT 313 Shakespeare OR LIT 314 Shakespeare and Justice
For LIT 375: LIT 344 Caribbean Literature and Culture OR LIT 357 Violence of Language: US Latino/a Street Literature OR LIT 383 Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Latino/a Literature

Please note: Courses cannot count in more than one area of the major.

Total Credit Hours: 12

Part Four. Electives

Choose any four courses from the list below

If concentrating in “Literature and the Law”, choose at least two of the courses identified in the bottom note.

ENG 212Introduction to Creative Writing

3

ENG 215Poetry Writing and Reading

3

ENG 216Fiction Writing

3

ENG 221Screenwriting for Film, Television, and Internet

3

ENG 225Interpreting Objects, Texts and Culture

3

ENG 228/ANT 228Introduction to Language

3

ENG 230Journalism in the 21st Century

3

ENG 233News Reporting and Writing

4

ENG 235Writing for Management, Business and Public Administration

3

ENG 242Contemporary Media in Everyday Life

3

ENG 245Creative Nonfiction

3

ENG 247Creative Expression and Human Nature

3

ENG 250Writing for Legal Studies

3

ENG 255Argument Writing

3

ENG 260Grammar, Syntax, and Style: Writing for All Disciplines

3

ENG 313Advanced Fiction Writing

3

ENG 316Advanced Argument Writing and Response: Theory and Practice

3

ENG 320Writing Workshop in Autobiography: An Eye on the Self

3

ENG 328/ANT 328Forensic Linguistics: Language as Evidence in the Courts

3

ENG 334Intermediate News Reporting and Writing

4

ENG 336Digital Journalism

4

ENG 346Feminist Rhetorics: Histories, Intersections, Challenges

3

ENG 350Advanced Legal Writing: Advocacy and Oral Argument

3

ENG 363Podcasting: Social Impact, Style and Practice

4

ENG 380Selected Topics in Creative Writing

3

ISP 321Moral, Legal and Ethical Dilemmas that Shape the U.S.A.

3

ISP 322Making Waves: Troublemakers, Gadflies and Whistleblowers

3

LIT 203New York City in Literature

3

LIT 212Literature of the African World

3

LIT 219The Word as Weapon

3

LIT 223/AFR 223African-American Literature

3

LIT 265Foundations of U.S. Latinx Literature

3

LIT 270Reading and Writing Children's Literature

3

LIT 275The Language of Film

3

LIT 283New York City in Film

3

LIT 284Film and Society

3

LIT 285The Rebel in Film

3

LIT 286The Horror Film

3

LIT 287Selected Topics in Literature

3

LIT 309Contemporary Fiction

3

LIT 311Literature and Ethics

3

LIT 313Shakespeare

3

LIT 314Shakespeare and Justice

3

LIT 315American Literature and the Law

3

LIT 316Gender and Identity in Literary Traditions

3

LIT 319Law and Justice in European Medieval Literature

3

LIT 323The Crime Film

3

LIT 324Road Movies

3

LIT 325Science Fiction Film

3

LIT 328Film Criticism

3

LIT 329Documentary Film and Media

3

LIT 330Alfred Hitchcock

3

LIT 331Steven Spielberg

3

LIT 332Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee

3

LIT 340/AFR 340The African-American Experience in America: Comparative Racial Perspectives

3

LIT 342Perspectives on Literature and Human Rights

3

LIT 344Caribbean Literature and Culture

3

LIT 346Cultures in Conflict

3

LIT 348Native American Literature

3

LIT 352New Fiction

3

LIT 353Comic Books and Graphic Novels: Investigating a Literary Medium

3

LIT 357Violence of Language: U.S. Latinx Street Literature

3

LIT 360Mythology in Literature

3

LIT 362The Bible as Literature

3

LIT 366Writing Nature: Literature and Ecology

3

LIT 380Advanced Selected Topics in Literature

3

LIT 383Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Latinx Literature

3

LIT 401Special Topics

3

LIT 409Seminar in U.S. Latinx Literature

3

LLS 362Entangled Tongues: Bilingualism in U.S. Latinx Literature

3

LLS 363Il-Legal Subjects: U.S. Latinx Literature and the Law

3

LLS 364Ethical Strains in U.S. Latinx Literature

3

Students who wish to do the LIT and LAW concentration should choose their electives from this list: ENG 250, ENG 328/ANT 328, ENG 350, ISP 321, ISP 322, LIT 219, LIT 311, LIT 314, LIT 315, LIT 319, LIT 323, LIT 342, LIT 348, LLS 363

Students should also consult the current course schedule for offerings

Total Credit Hours: 12

Part Five. Major Seminar

Choose one

(If concentrating in Literature and the Law, choose Literature and the Law Seminar)

LIT 400Senior Seminar in Literature

3

LIT 405Senior Seminar in Literature and Law

3

Total Credit Hours: 3

Total Credit Hours: 39