While written language dates back thousands of years, Ramapo College’s newly revised literature minor does not. Introduced this fall semester, the literature minor has gone through heavy revision, making the criteria almost unrecognizable.
“The literature minor lets students hone their critical reading and writing skills while exploring literary texts from around the world and across history,” the literature department's website stated.
Changing the literature minor curriculum has been in the works for some time.
“The lit faculty talked about changing the minor for a while,” said Dr. Edward Shannon, a professor of literature at Ramapo. “Our success with the creative writing minor, the other minor offered by the literature program, encouraged us to revisit the old literature minor…The newly revised literature minor is more in line with the size and composition of most of Ramapo's minors.”
With the newly revised literature minor in its first semester, things seem to be going along as planned.
Shannon is happy to say that, “We are already seeing some growth in the number of students minoring in literature.”
With this more flexible course outline, the department is hoping to engage student interests, while also nursing a love and understanding of literature.
“We are hoping that students will find the new minor a more friendly door into the study of literature,” Shannon said. “In fact, we are already finding that students are able to craft the minor to suit their own interests while still exploring some of the genres and periods that the literature majors explore.”
The requirements for the newly revised minor are rather simple. Methods of Literary Study (LITR 203) is required for all literature minor students to take. The other requirements require the students to take four literature classes of the student’s choice. They can be any classes bearing the LITR code, and only one class has to be at the 300 level.
Students are free to pick any literature course from the catalogue of courses offered in a specific semester. These four classes can all be focused on one subject, or be an assortment of classes ranging in different topics. This allows students to hone in on a subject that interests them, or allows them to probe a variety of subject matter.
However, the literature minor demands that three of the chosen courses be independent from the student’s major, meaning that three of the courses used for the minor cannot be used as credit towards the student’s major.
Ramapo students are showing nothing but approval of the revision of the literature minor.
“I feel like updating the minor requirements is a very good idea,” says sophomore Lauren Thau. “I would think changing it to make it more varying should help make it more popular.”
Junior Kevin Moran agrees that a more diverse course roster is a smart move for the minor, and suggests that other minors take a look at their requirements with the aim of revision, as well.
“I think this will help people who like literature decide easier if they want to minor in it. The other minors should be looked at, too. Revamping anything for the better is always a good thing,” Moran commented.
With the newly revised literature minor in its first semester, things seem to be going along as planned. Shannon is happy to say that, “We are already seeing some growth in the number of students minoring in literature.”