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Literary History students having a seminar discussion

Future Students

Literary History students having a seminar discussion


Literary History

Travel back in time, exploring the evolution of English literature from the Middle Ages to modern fiction

Hundreds of years before George R. R. Martin penned A Game of Thrones, medieval authors wrote equally epic tales of love, war and dragons. Some of these works were published almost a millenia ago, so how has English literature evolved over the years since then? 

If you’re an English Literature major considering graduate studies or a career in English literature, this captivating specialization will give you a thorough understanding of English writing and storytelling throughout the ages.  By the end of your degree, you’ll be equipped with a broad spectrum of historical literary knowledge — essential expertise for any future scholar, teacher or author.


The carefully-selected courses in this specialization emphasize the evolution of English literature from the medieval period to the mid-20th century. Students who have fulfilled the requirements for a single- or joint-major Honours program in English Literature may graduate with a Specialization in Literary History if they have also successfully completed the following 4.5 credits with a minimum grade of 65% in each:

  • Medieval literature: 1.0 ENGL credit from ENGL 2100Y, 2121H, 3121H, 3123H, 3125H, or 4120Y/4121H
  • Renaissance literature: 1.0 ENGL credit from ENGL 2123H, 2150Y/2151H, 2152Y/2153H, 3153H, 3155H, 4150Y/4151H, or 4152Y/4153H
  • Seventeenth and eighteenth century literature: 1.0 ENGL credit from ENGL 3200Y/3201H, 3203H, 3205H, 3207H, 3209H, 3250Y/3251H, or 4250Y/4251H
  • Nineteenth century literature: 1.0 ENGL credit from ENGL 3300Y/3301H, 3400Y/3401H, 3403H, 3808Y, 4400Y/4401H, or 4503H
  • Modern literature: 0.5 ENGL credit from ENGL 2802Y/2803H, 2804Y/2805H, 2806Y/2807H, 3412Y/3413H, 4450Y/4451H, 4802Y/4803H, 4804Y/4805H, or 4806Y/4807H

Degrees Offered:

  • B.A.
  • B.A. (Honours)


  • Peterborough

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Resume Boosters:

  • Gain a thorough background in English literary history, giving you important context for grad studies
  • Explore a range of hands-on learning experiences including dramatic performance, music, creative writing, peer-assessed active learning or an independent reading project.
  • Participate in seminar and workshop classes that provide opportunities for discussion, critical thinking, and interaction with leading scholars.
Trent students collaborate on project work

Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Requirements:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
  • A minimum of six Grade 12 4U or 4M courses, including program specific prerequisites
  • A minimum 70% overall final average (unless otherwise specified)
  • ENG 4U with a minimum of 60%
More Requirements

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