About the Major
The Literature program at Ramapo College deals with literature as an aesthetic endeavor, cultural critique, and personal search. It is concerned, of course, with critical thinking and the reading and writing skills that are the hallmark of an educated person. The program seeks a balance between survey and seminar, American and world literature; between levels, genre, period, and themes; between reading, criticism, and creative writing.
The development of reading, writing, and critical skills are central to the mission of the Literature Major. It emphasizes the interdisciplinary and multicultural dimensions of literature and life. It seeks to fire the imagination while pragmatically preparing students for the careers they pursue immediately after college and for graduate education when this is their preference.
The Literature program is regularly evaluated by professors from across the nation. It consistently receives strong endorsement.
The Major prepares its students for the working world, but also for the deeper life of the mind. Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds us that "A nobler want of [humanity] is served by […] the love of Beauty." The major prepares students to be thoughtful, informed citizens who understand the necessity of engaging the imagination through the contemplation of art and beauty. The program includes an impressive number of courses from world literature, from classical to contemporary periods, from short story to epic poetry
One of the distinctive features of the Literature program is the opportunity it offers for student creativity. For course credit, students edit the College literary magazine Trillium, and have several courses to choose from in Creative Writing. Students have an opportunity to join the Literature Club, and Ramapo College is also the home of the Omega Omega Chapter of the national English Honor Society The faculty advisor to the yearbook, The Arch, has often been a member of the Literature faculty, thus offering students an opportunity to contribute to another college publication.
A Literature major offers many career choices for the talented student. The capacity to think, speak, and write well distinguishes the educated person and is advantageous in all professions. Publishing, journalism, and teaching are obvious possibilities for a literature major. Writing, theater, and television are further considerations. Literature graduates do well in business, government, and science where these endeavors require an articulate and creative expression of their philosophy and purpose. Literature provides training for law, diplomacy, and public relations. At least a third of Literature Majors enroll for teacher education.
Literature is part and parcel of the College mission, at the very heart of its focus on liberal arts and interdisciplinarity, on multiculturalism, and global connection, and the Literature program is one of the most attractive majors at Ramapo College. Literature takes in the entire world and enables the student to encounter the complexity and cultural richness of the global village. It fosters the development of an enlightened and critical citizen of the world.
The major is offered by the School of American and International Studies and leads to a B.A. degree.
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