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Major in Literature

"The literature classes that I have been able to take have truly changed my perspective on a thousand and one different aspects of the field. From changing my intended major to keeping me genuinely excited about upcoming assignments and classes, what I've learned of literature at PHC has lit a spark that I intend to carry with me even after graduation."
— Caitlin Coulter, '17

Students majoring in Literature study the great works of European and American literature. They take two semesters of English literature and one semester of American literature, as well as a course in literary theory and criticism. Literature majors study a classical language and take advanced courses in history, philosophy and theology. 

As part of major electives, they must take classes in either fiction or non-fiction writing, study two distinct genres in more depth, and focus on one major author. Additionally, they expand on areas of interest by developing Directed Research & Writing projects in literary studies or creative writing, or participate in literature or writing-related internships such as student teaching, tutoring, or editing.

Check out these essays written by Dr. Steven Hake, Director of Literature Program:

Why Study Literature?
  • Unsure of what qualifies as "literature", or unconvinced of its worth? Check out this essay.
Will My Family Starve If I Major in Literature?
  • Do you think literature is great, but it doesn't lead to a "real job"? Dr. Hake thinks otherwise.
My Hope For You at Patrick Henry College
  • Dr. Hake expresses his vision for passionate and independent learners.
A Burning Flame
  • Dr. Hake offers practical suggestions on how to become a life-long learner.

Recommended Courses and Course Sequence for the Literature Major.

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