BA in International Literary & Visual Studies

The program in International Literary and Visual Studies (ILVS) makes possible the study of literature, film/media, and visual arts in an international context.

Requirements Overview

Language and Cultural Requirements for the Major

Students are expected to have a firm grounding in two or more languages and cultures, one of which may be English. One of these languages usually serves as a primary area of cultural emphasis (e.g. Japanese language and culture), and the other as a secondary area for the course work of the major (e.g. English and Anglophone culture). In exceptional cases, the secondary area could be a conceptual one (e.g. realism, feminism, film noir, etc.). Also, at the discretion of the ILVS director, one may choose a different language/culture combination (e.g. Japanese language / Chinese culture).

All students, except those on the World Literature Track, must take one foreign language through the eighth semester, pursued concurrently with the course work of the major. Those who are on the World Literature Track could complete the major by finishing the regular Tufts foreign language requirement, though the completion of eight semesters of a foreign language is highly recommended. One could place out of the ILVS foreign language requirement through a language placement test. In that case, studying a new foreign language is advisable.

Recommended Additional Preparation for the Major

An introductory survey course in the literature of each cultural area of emphasis is strongly recommended, as are history courses in areas related to the conceptual focus of the major, and acquisition of technical proficiency in a visual discipline (e.g., calligraphy, painting, sculpture, filmmaking, theatrical design, or computer graphics and design), or a creative writing discipline (e.g., fiction, poetry, drama, essay, autobiography or journalism).We offer ILVS 60 "Intro to Literary and Cultural Studies" for the Literature Track, ILVS 70 "Intro to Visual Studies" for the Visual Studies Track, and ILVS 51 "Art of the Moving Image" for the Film Track.

Rules for the Major

The major consists of twelve courses plus a senior project (one semester) or an honors thesis (two semesters), not counting those taken for language preparation. Of the twelve courses, two could be hands-on courses (e.g. creative writing, studio art). At least six courses must have grades of C- or higher. No major courses may be taken Pass/Fail. The particular distribution of courses is determined by the emphasis selected by the student. Courses that may serve two categories of requirement cannot be double-counted within the major. Any changes in the proportions of these categories must be approved by petition to the ILVS executive committee.

The Conceptual Focus

Students are expected to define, in close consultation with an adviser, a suitable conceptual focus and interaction of subjects, so that the specific combination of courses is neither arbitrary nor superficial. The active role of the adviser is crucial to a student's pursuit of this major.

Conceptual focus for the major can examine domains such as: classical and medieval studies; Renaissance literature and art; the Age of Enlightenment; European Romanticism; literatures of the Third World; Asian literatures--China and Japan; Russia and the West, African-American and new world literatures; Jewish literatures in a world setting; the modern novel; studies in the epic; women authors and gender readings; world theater and film, literature and art, literature and film/media, art and film/media.

The past digitalized ILVS theses are stored at Tufts Digital Library.

Both students and faculty are invited to expand the repertoire of conceptual focuses, making the programs they design available to others.

Requirements by Track

The ILVS Major includes four track options:

  1. Literature
  2. World Literature
  3. Visual Studies
  4. Film

Learn About ILVS Major Tracks

Questions about the major can be addressed to Professor Hosea Hirata, ILVS Program Director.