English Literature

Why study literature?

Literature examines human life in varied ways, from considering our need to write to pondering why we're here. Many students say that discussing literature in class provides one of the best learning experiences in their college careers. The activities in a literature class—reading, writing, discussing, thinking critically about texts and ideas—prepare students for the work world and for life. But beyond that, studying literature enriches our lives, truly a central goal of higher education. Take the opportunity while you are in college to discover the deepest mysteries of the human heart. That's what happens in a literature course. 

There are practical reasons for taking a literature course. The comprehension and communication skills from these classes prepare students for many careers. It's also true, though, that learning about literature is an essential aspect of the highly educated person. College graduates want to be able to say they know the great voices of literature, from Shakespeare to Morrison, from Achebe to Murakami, from Chekov to Chaucer. 

At Parkland, you'll have the advantage of small class sizes, taught by master faculty—never teaching assistants. Your success is our priority.


Parkland College offers a variety of literature courses to prepare you for a transfer degree or to fulfill general education requirements.

General Education Literature Courses

Introduction to Literature (LIT 120): Involves reading and analysis of various literary forms and helps develop personal critical judgement about literature. 

Introduction to Poetry (LIT 121): Involves reading and analysis of various poetic forms and helps develop vocabulary to discuss poetics meanings, forms, and techniques. 

Introduction to Shakespeare (LIT 125): Reading and analysis of Shakespearean comedy, history, tragedy, romance, and sonnets.

Introduction to Drama (LIT 126): Reading and discussion of plays of various types from classical to modern drama. 

Introduction to Fiction (LIT 127): Reading and discussion of short stories, novels, and other works of fiction.

Introduction to African American Literature (LIT 141**): Survey of literature by African American writers, exploring the formation of racial/cultural identity, and developing a broader historical understanding of the cultural experiences expressed. 

Introduction to Non-Western Literature (LIT 146*): Introduction to literature from a variety of cultures such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean ranging from pre-colonial to post-colonial periods. 

Introduction to African Literature (LIT 147*): Reading and discussion of oral and written literature of Africa with attention to social, historical, political, and cultural contexts. 

*Satisfies Non-Western culture requirement
**Satisfies US Minority course requirement for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Study Abroad Courses
Introduction to Children's Literature (LIT 130): Introduces the student to the classics of children's literature and is only taught as part of the Canterbury, England study abroad program.

Modern Irish Literature (LIT 149): Examines the literature of nineteenth and twentieth century Ireland and is only taught as part of the Carlow, Ireland study abroad program. 

Will my classes transfer?

LIT 120, 121, 125, 126, 127, 141, 146, and 147 will fulfill the Humanities and Fine Arts general education requirement at Illinois public universities. Parkland College classes with an even middle digit (such as ENG 101, MAT 128, and BIO 141) are accepted for transfer as general education classes, major courses, or electives as determined by the transfer institution. 

For more information about transferring, speak with an academic advisor and visit the Parkland Course Matrix.

Learn more about how these courses fit into a transfer degree or the general education core curriculum (GECC).

English Literature

Associate in Arts (A.A.)
Course Sequence

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