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Department of Literature and Language  


Smiling Graduate A Literature major at UNC Asheville may enroll in one of four concentrations: General Literature, Creative Writing, Teacher Licensure in Literature or Teacher Licensure in Creative Writing.


The General Literature concentration offers students an opportunity to explore literature from around the world, concentrating on the direct experience of fiction, drama, and poetry. A sequence of core survey courses focuses on the history and development of Western literature from its beginnings in the Hebrew and Greek eras through the 21st Century, placing authors and their works within a historical and cultural context. A wide range of upper division electives provides more depth in the study of special topics, genres, major authors and individual periods of literature as well as in regional and ethnically diverse literatures. A link to the Literature curriculum is at the right.   

Most courses will require ever-increasing levels of individual research; some are specifically designated Information Literacy Intensive, Diversity Intensive, or Writing Intensive courses. Students will study and practice analysis and criticism and should improve their writing abilities whether individual Literature or Language classes are designated Writing Intensive or not.               Student and Faculty Presenters at PAC 2010

Students who complete this concentration should have a solid foundation in the history of literature, a mature insight into various authors and major works, and a personal confidence in their ability to write, to criticize, and to evaluate literature. The Literature major provides a solid foundation for students who plan to continue the study of literature in graduate school, but also prepares students well for law, medicine, business, and other graduate programs. Perhaps even more important, students who engage in the intense study of literature naturally develop an awareness and appreciation for human values and a life-long enjoyment of good literature.Students and Faculty at PAC 2010



Creative Writing

The Creative Writing concentration offers students support in developing their writing through a sequence of workshops combined with literature surveys, genre studies, and a selection of special topics courses. The goal of the program is to foster confident undergraduate writers who work with a sound knowledge of their own literary tradition and who can produce works of publishable quality. Students must qualify for acceptance into the program; those who are accepted are held to professional standards. The links for the curriculum and for application details are at right.

In the station of the MetroQualified students receive individual assistance in understanding and extending their skills in writing poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and/or playwriting, with responsibility for growth and achievement resting ultimately on the student. The instructor will encourage, critique, suggest opportunities, and recommend authors to read, but the students themselves provide the spark and will to progress.      


The program in Creative Writing also offers opportunities for practical development outside the classroom, including:

  • Headwaters, UNC Asheville’s literature and arts annual, edited and published by students
  • Metabolism, a student-run literary magazine published three times a year.
  • The Black Swan Theater, the production arm of the Playwriting Workshop, with student participation in every aspect of creation and performance.
  • Acclaimed national writers and critics who come to campus to read from their works, often lead classes, and meet informally with student writers.   
    Rick Chess

The Teaching of English

The Teaching of English concentration is designed especially for prospective teachers; this special curriculum supplements the core requirements of the concentration in literature or creative writing to prepare students in the broad range of areas expected of English teachers, including literature, composition, and the history of the English language. This program has rigorous requirements, and planning ahead is wise. Student teaching, the senior thesis, and comprehensive exams in literature all converge in the senior year, along with other courses that may be needed outside the major. Students who undertake this path need to work closely with their advisors to ensure their success.

Last edited by on September 7, 2012