Advanced work in literature at Marlboro can take many forms, and the faculty has interest in areas ranging from gothic literature to African-American literature, from French existentialists to American regionalism to poetry in translation. Students may study literature from a technical, thematic, historical, or theoretical perspective. They may read literature for its philosophical or social content. Those doing Plans with literature as one component may find it their primary interest, with supporting work in history or philosophy or anthropology or biology or art. Or they may find literature itself a supporting context for work in writing or in other fields in the humanities or other areas.
Students intending to do graduate work in literature should take a broad historical range of literature courses, at least one course with a strong component of literary theory, and preferably some course or courses that provide historical context. Those working with literature in other languages should ideally acquire at least a reading fluency in those languages; even work with literature in translation should be supported by some work in the relevant language whenever possible.