IVC Literature Program
Literature courses at IVC are designed to prepare students for further study at four-year institutions, to teach techniques of careful and informed reading, and to enhance students' understanding and therefore enjoyment of literature. These courses introduce the major genres and traditions of literary expression across a broad range of cultures, historical periods and geographical areas. At the same time, the program explores the way that literature has been approached within the professional field of literary study. Courses cover historical kinds, forms, and traditions of literature, exploring the way that literature can reflect, reproduce and create culture, history, and what we take to be reality by shaping the way that we individually and collectively perceive both other people and cultures, as well as our own social and natural environment.
Professional students of literature recognize that literature is far more than just a form of entertainment, or a recreation that allows us momentary escape from the "real" world, but indeed is an essential element of the real world-part even of reality itself. We learn to see our world through stories told to us as children, and often each person constructs her own life as a narratives in which she plays the part of hero. By offering us the opportunity to tease out a few threads of the culture's texture, we can come to understand the weave of the whole.
In addition to professional interest, the IVC faculty has been drawn to the study of literature out of love for its enduring beauty and variety, and for the unique perspective it offers on how we as individuals relate to each other, to our cultures, and to our world, and we hope to share that love with students as they explore their own literary interests. We hope that the study of literature and of the different kinds of literary analysis will enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of literature that brings students to our program in the first place. Our courses exist to improve and refine reading practice, and thereby to help students engage more completely in the literary experience, while at the same time understanding the role of that experience in our everyday lives.
The Associate Degree Major with a Literature Emphasis
Students majoring in English at the lower-division level concentrate on learning how to interpret literature critically and imaginatively, and how to write prose that is clear, exact, and expressive. Thus the major is appropriate for students who desire or require the ability to be closely attentive to language and to its ramifications. Students anticipating careers in law, education, communications, governmental affairs, and business may find the English major especially helpful. The wide versatility of the English major makes it generally appropriate for students whose career inclinations may be uncertain or indefinite, since the abilities one masters as an English major may be applied to a wide range of contexts and circumstances The major is also designed for transfer students intending upper-division study in literature, criticism, or related fields.