Literary Studies

Literary Studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho

Literary Studies focuses on the interpretation and appreciation of literature from the perspective of several critical theories.  Course work includes British and American literary history, genre and author studies, ethnic and world literature, and rhetorical and literary theory.  Literary Studies prepares students for further graduate study and other professional programs.  In addition to familiarizing students with important authors, works and ideas that have shaped our culture, an emphasis in Literary Studies will help them read well, write well, and think well: three skills that are vital to succeeding in their public, private, and professional lives.


English 327 is the study of the English language with a focus on its history, influence, nomenclature, and semiotics.

English 331-336 are survey courses that will introduce you to important authors, literary trends, ideas, and historical events within specific periods.

English 350R is a repeatable course that traces an important theme (nature, fantasy, etc.) as expressed in various literary genres and through historical periods.

English 351-356 explore different genres: fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction, children's literature, and young adult literature.

English 370R is a repeatable course that focuses on the life and works of one major writer or of a few related authors.

English 373 focuses on the works of Shakespeare and the culture of Elizabethan England.


Literary Studies students have ample opportunities to publish their work in Outlet, our undergraduate literary journal, or to present their work at literary conferences in front of their peers and others.

Each fall, students have a chance to share their work at the Pre-Professional Conference.  In addition to gaining valuable experience submitting and presenting their work at an academic conference, they also get to network with professionals from their fields, discuss grad school opportunities with visitors from other universities, and meet exciting keynote speakers.  Speakers from previous conferences include noted scholar Terryl Givens, young adult novelist Gary Schmidt, and poet Lawson Inada.

Other conferences that offer similar opportunities include the National Undergraduate Literature Conference held each Spring Semester at Weber State and the Research and Creative Works Conference held each semester here at BYU-I.

Value of Literary Studies

As an English Major with a Literary Studies emphasis at BYU-Idaho, here are the skills, knowledge, and attributes that dedication and hard work will bring:

·         Students will be able to demonstrate critical thinking skills and apply the lessons of literature to their lives as they read, interpret, and communicate about a variety of texts

·         Students will be able to write clear, logical, persuasive prose about literature using proper academic conventions

·         Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the major English and American authors and their works

·         Students will be able to understand and appreciate literature in historical contexts and overviews, from different theoretical/critical perspectives, and in a variety of genres and forms

·         Students will be able to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the aesthetic criteria that characterize superior works of literature. Students will also be able to explain the differences between great, good, and inferior literary creations