Five Ideas That Animate the Study of Literature at UD
We love to read great literature. These courses focus upon primary texts, which we
read in their entirety with the conviction that their rich worlds can teach us something.
We view the sequence of great works we read as an ongoing conversation of the most
fundamental questions of our nature as human beings, our place in the cosmos, and
our relation to the divine. By studying and debating these works, we become part of
We are interested in how literary form in particular shapes, reflects, and conveys
ideas. Accordingly, lyric poetry is at the heart of our study because it teaches us
to notice the details of craft and thought.
We believe that the best way to learn to think critically and to write well is to
think and write about the greatest works of literature. For this reason, we do not
teach "composition" as a separate course, but as a natural extension of carefully
reading the best composed works of our tradition.
By exploring the texts and questions we do, we often transcend disciplinary boundaries
by considering the philosophical, political, and theological implications of what
we read. In this way, the literary tradition sequence is intrinsically connected to--and
in dialogue with--the larger liberal arts and science core curriculum.