Subject Offerings

To find subjects taught in previous semesters, you may also look at the archived Literature Supplements.

Fall 2023 Literature Supplement IAP 2024 Spring 2023 Literature Supplement
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Samplings (6 - units)

On The Screen: American Film Genres
Mon-Fri, Jan 6-8, 11-14, 19-21, 25-28
3:00 - 5:00pm

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: 2-0-4 Can be repeated for credit

Pre-register on WebSIS and attend first class.
Listeners allowed, space permitting
Prereq: Permission of instructor
Level: U 6 units Standard A – F Grading Can be repeated for credit
Examines works of film, television or other screen-based media, with emphasis on texts that are related by genre, time period, style, or director. Works studied vary from term to term. May be repeated for credit once with permission of instructor.
We will explore various elements of cinematic texts–the setting of action in time and space, the landscape, ldecor, placement of camera, and story or plot-line–to determine what makes a film an instance or version of a film of a particular kind, discernibly expressing the same underlying narrative pattern as others of the kind and yet communicating a different view of reality. Judgment by kinds is not an empty exercise in classification; it is implicit in understanding film narrative–why the action makes sense and what it means in relation to lived experience. Genres to be examined will include: Westerns, Detective Films, Gangster films, Romance, Screwball Comedies, Film Noir.
No previous experience with film analysis or critical theory is presumed.

Special Subjects, Research, and Thesis

Special Subject in Literature: Global Literature Cultural Encounters: Insiders and Outsiders
Mon-Fri, Jan 4-8, 11-15, 19-22

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: Units arranged; Can be repeated for credit

Pre-register on WebSIS and attend first class.
No listeners
Prereq: Permission of instructor Register through Career Advising & Professional Development (CAPD)
Level: U 9 units Standard A – F Grading Can be repeated for credit
Covers topics in Literature that are not provided in the regular subject offerings. Units vary depending on the number of class meetings, readings and assignments. May be repeated for credit if the subjects are different.
Spend IAP in Madrid studying transatlantic literatures. This innovative subject will allow for study entirely in English or in Spanish.
From naive Henry James heroines to disillusioned Hemingway heroes, from Lorca in New York to Orwell in Barcelona, from Pablo Neruda to the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to the wild women of Almodovar; readings, films, field trips to museums and Spanish cities.
Students will live with Spanish families; classes are held at the Instituto Interacional, where you will meet study abroad students from Stanford, B.U., Syracuse, and Spanish students studying American English and American culture.
You will arrive in Madrid on 1/3 for orientation on 1/4. The course runs from 1/4 – 1/22 with long weekends scheduled for trips.
This is a regular MIT subject and counts for the HASS-H credit as well as for credit towards the concentration, minor and major in Literature (21L) and Spanish (21G) Global Studies and Languages.
Contact: Career Advising & Professional Development (CAPD), E17-294, 715-5329,

Special Subject in Literature: Global Shakespeares in Performance
3:00 - 5:00pm

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Units: Units arranged; Can be repeated for credit

Why is Shakespeare’s drama being performed 400 years after his death, in cultures and languages so different from his own?  We will explore modern cinematic and theatrical collaborations with Shakespeare from around the globe, using an online library of films and clips to enrich our understanding.  Then we will bring our own interpretations to life through group performance work. Core texts will be The Tempest and King Lear.  No experience with Shakespeare or performance required: just a willingness to participate and learn!
Tuesday-Friday afternoons, Jan. 5-8 and Jan. 12-15, from 3-5 p.m.  (3 credit units)