Global English Literature and Culture

Stephen Arata

Program Director


The undergraduate track in Global English Literature and Culture (GELC) allows students in the English major to extend their study into the widest contexts of international literary achievement. As with other paths through the major, it offers engagement with major works in the Anglo-American literary tradition and provides strong preparation in writing. Additionally, students examine the spread of Anglophone literary culture around the world, a phenomenon that has existed from the earliest stages of English literature and that has recently become one of the most striking features of our global cultural condition. Writing in South Asia, Anglophone Africa, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean, among other sites and regions, has acquired decisive importance for the future of English. Students also have the opportunity to take designated Comparative Literature (CPLT) courses designed to situate Anglophone writing in conversation with and in the context of other literatures. Students in GELC will encounter the provocation and accomplishment of such work, while also preparing to become globally literate citizens of this new millennium.

GELC Course Requirements

To complete this track, students must complete 33 hours of course work, including:

  • Two of the following: ENGL 3810, 3820, CPLT 2010, 2020.
  • GSGS 3030: Global Humanities.
  • Five courses from within the department, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor, that have been designated as meeting the requirements for GELC. At least two of the courses must be in literature prior to 1900, and at least one must be at the 4000 level. Examples from recent semesters include:

Rise of the Global Novel

Literature of the Americas

Fiction of Empire

Post-colonial Literature

The African Novel

Contemporary Ethnic Women’s Fiction

European Medieval Literature in Translation

World Poetry in English

African-American Literature

The Transatlantic Eighteenth Century

  • Two courses from outside the department, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor, that have been designated as meeting the requirements for GELC. Examples from recent semesters include:

Global Music

Global Media

World Art

World Religions

Courses in Literature in Translation (e.g., CPLT, FRTR, RUTR, JPTR)           

  • A capstone seminar (ENGL 4530), with enrollment restricted to students in the GELC track. Topics will vary depending on the faculty involved, but the seminar will include a research component issuing in a substantial essay. Students will be encouraged to approach the project as a way to tie together the curriculum they have pursued in the GELC track.

How to Apply to GELC Track

Students interested in the GELC Track should contact Professor Stephen Arata ( or Professor Mrinalini Chakravorty (

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at