[Harvard] English Dept. Approves Overhaul of Undergraduate Requirements

Harvard redesigns its English major, removing required entry-level surveys and sophomore seminars.

In their place, courses in the four new categories–“Arrivals,”
“Poets,” “Diffusions,” and “Shakespeares”–would interweave literary
history with textual analysis. At a gathering for prospective
concentrators on Tuesday, English professor Stephen J. Greenblatt said
that these courses will most likely be small seminars.


Although the Norton Anthology of English Literature will no longer be
required to sit on the bookshelves of every English concentrator, those
who are loyal to the English canon may still be able to get their fix:
courses in the “Poets” and “Shakespeares” categories would explore
foundational works like “Hamlet” and “The Canterbury Tales.”

“With the changes, you won’t lose any of the content of 10a
and 10b,” Greenblatt said at the event. “It will trickle down to
students through the professors themselves who, after all, specialize
in each of these areas of English literature.”

In fact, English professor Gordon Teskey–an expert on
Shakespeare who also used to teach English 10a–said he thinks there
would be more of an emphasis on great authors, whereas the current
set-up makes time period and geography the central organizing