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Literature at College of DuPage is a series of classes that explore literary texts from a broad range of cultures, geographies and time periods. Our faculty are published scholars and great teachers, committed to fostering in students a love for the written word and a keen, perceptive eye. We explore subtle nuance, but we discover it on a global, multicultural stage.

Determine Your Path

Literature are foundational to diverse career fields including law, medicine, politics, teaching, business, public relations, marketing and writing. 

Find a Literature Course

Whether you want to improve your literary skills or if you are planning to transfer to a four-year baccalaureate-granting institution, COD offers:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of literary experience. 
  • Instruction in top-notch facilities and on cutting-edge equipment.
  • Flexible course schedules with online, hybrid and face-to-face classes. 
  • Affordable programs that get you on the fast track to success without breaking the bank.

English/Literature Transfer Pathway, Associate in Arts

The English Transfer Pathway, Associate in Arts enables students to choose their own path of study including Creative Writing, Film, Literature and Writing Studies and graduate with an Associate in Arts degree. This track helps provides a seamless transfer to a baccalaureate-granting institution.

We assert that the value of literature goes far beyond the pages of a book or the walls of a classroom. We believe that students who study literature will develop versatile, 21st century skills that can be applied to a wide range of personal, professional and academic situations.

COD Stories

Amy Rubio

“I had forgotten my love for learning and lost the motivation to succeed, but I was able to slowly get that back. During my first semester, I started to remember how fun it was to do well in school. By the second semester, I realized that I wanted more and could not settle.” - Amy Rubio

Amy's COD Story

COD Stories

Rebecca Bretana-Barzyk

“COD paved the way for my journey through secondary education and into my career. Whether you’re still considering what you’d like to do after college or know exactly what you want, this is the perfect time to hone in on those skills and talents that make you stand out to employers.” - Rebecca Bretaña-Barzyk

Rebecca's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in Literature is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

By studying Literature at College of DuPage, students will: 

Develop Critical Thinking Skills

  • Practice close reading in order to formulate interpretations of literature that are grounded in evidence from primary texts.
  • Apply terminology, practices, and theoretical methods associated with literary analysis.
  • Analyze literary works for artistic complexity, depth and nuance.

Build Socially Responsible and Ethical Reasoning

  • Analyze diverse literary works to develop social, historical and cultural comprehension.
  • Examine works that are diverse in terms of genre, time period, place and conditions of publication and/or authorship.
  • Communicate how the material conditions of publication, reception and dissemination affect literary works.

Communicate Ideas in Coherent and Creative Ways

  • Formulate well supported arguments about literary works.
  • Express ideas using rhetorical strategies and technologies suitable to audience and purpose.
  • Articulate connections between literary texts and their various social and historical contexts.

Jim Allen

  • PhD & MA: University of South Carolina
  • BA: University of South Carolina--Spartanburg

Aside from his concentration in Composition and Rhetoric, Dr. James Allen has a background in Early American Literature and Science Fiction. He regularly teaches Science Fiction (1156) as well as World Literature (2226) as part of an Honors Learning Community Seminar on "Utopian and Dystopian Literature." In previous years has taught Introduction to Literature (1130).

Aleisha Balestri

  • MA: DePaul University

Aleisha Balestri has a background in contemporary poetry and 19th-Century British Literature. Along with teaching First-Year Writing, she has also taught Poetry (1152) and Short Fiction (1150). 

Timothy Henningsen

  • PhD & MA: University of Illinois at Chicago
  • BS: University of Wisconsin

Dr. Timothy Henningsen has a background in transnational literary studies, with expertise in 19th century American & the origins of Caribbean literature. He regularly teaches Introduction to Literature (1130) and Short Fiction (1150), but also occasionally offers sections of Early American (2221) and Multicultural Lit (1161). Professor Henningsen is also COD's Chair of the Composition Program.

Lisa Higgins

  • PhD, MA, & BA: University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Lisa Higgins has a background in American Literature and British Modernism. Prior to coming to COD, she taught at four universities and was a grant writer. She has taught the American Literature survey, Drama, Multicultural Literature, Short Fiction, Greek Mythology, Introduction to Literature, Bible as Literature and Poetry. She also teaches the Composition sequence. She is currently the Faculty Chair of the Honors Program. She is an advisor for the Honors Student Advisory Committee and The Page Turners, COD's book discussion club.

Melina Martin

  • PhD & MA.: Northern Illinois University
  • BA: Elmhurst University

Dr. Melina Martin has a research background in 19th-Century British literature, Early American literature, and transatlantic studies. Courses she teaches include Introduction to Literature (1130), Short Fiction (1150), Multicultural Literature (1161), and Masterpieces of World Literature (2226).

Nicole Matos

  • PhD: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Dr. Nicole Matos is a specialist in first-year or "beginner" approaches to literature as well as contemporary, multicultural, and non-Western literature (that is, literature from nations and regions beyond just the United States and Western Europe--think, Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and so on). She is also a creative writer, having published 3 books of poetry and numerous fiction, digital media, and non-fiction pieces.

Jacqueline L. McGrath

  • PhD. & MA: University of Missouri-Columbia
  • BA: Eastern Illinois University

Dr. Jackie McGrath has a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in American Folklore Studies and a graduate minor in Women's and Gender Studies. She teaches English 1101 and English 1102, as well as Introduction to Literature (1130), Short Fiction (1150), and  Native American Literature (1160). Her work has been published in Southern Folklore, The Journal of American Folklore, The Journal of Folklore Research, and she is a former editorial board member of The Journal of Folklore and Education and a current member of the Illinois Education Association Board of Directors.

Michelle E. Moore

  • PhD. & MA State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton
  • B.A.: Dickinson College

Dr. Michelle E. Moore is the author of the book Chicago and the Making of American Modernism: Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald in Conflict (Bloomsbury Academic 2019) and coeditor of the collection Refocus: The Films of Paul Schrader (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). She has also published numerous articles in academic journals and chapters in academic collections. She gives papers regularly at national and international conferences on Modernism, American 19th and 20th century literature, and archival research. Her current research interests include the intersections of modern literature, film and architecture as well as online writing instruction and course design. She regularly teaches The Short Story, American Literature from the Civil War to the Present, Introduction to Film , and Film as Literature. She also teaches the Honors Composition sequence (1101, 1102).

Alejandra Ortega

  • PhD: Purdue University
  • MA: Wake Forest University
  • BA: Michigan State University

Dr. Alejandra Ortega specializes in twentieth- and twenty-first-century transatlantic literature. She has published articles and chapters in edited collections on spatial theory, ecocriticism, postcolonial theory, gender, and narratology. Her current research interests address issues of identity and genre formation in Latine literature. She teaches Short Fiction (1150) and Multicultural Lit (1161). 

Jason Snart

  • PhD: University of Florida
  • MA & BA: University of Alberta

Dr. Jason Snart has published a number of books including his first, entitled The Torn Book: UnReading William Blake's Marginalia, which focuses on the annotations left in the books owned and borrowed by British Romantic-era poet and printmaker, William Blake. Snart's current research interests include online writing instruction and course design as well as blended/hybrid teaching. He regularly teaches Poetry (1152), British Literature from 1800 through the Present (2221). He also teaches College of DuPage's only online Honors course: Introduction to Literature (1130). Professor Snart is COD's English Department Chair of Literature, Creative Writing, and Film.

Tom Tipton

  • PhD & MA: Northwestern University
  • BA: University of Chicago

Dr. Tom Tipton has a research background in Old English and Middle English literature, with special focus on hagiographic poetry. Over the course of his 25 year career at the college, he has taught Introduction to Literature (1130), British Literature to 1800 (2220), and Shakespeare (2228).

College of DuPage has several English transfer opportunities in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.


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In Literature, I saw clearly for the first time the ways in which the literary knowledge, critical thinking skills, and communication skills I was getting from liberal arts classes could be translated into other areas of my life and into other fields.

Elly NalbachCOD Alumnus