Literature is the most diverse discipline of study, or it is better to say that it is interdisciplinary. Literature cannot be regarded as a mere subject or a discipline of study, because its reach is so vast that it will be better if we call it an Ocean that has no end. No matter how many books you read, how many poetries you come across, there are always more and more on the way, and you can never finish them in a single life. Literature is a part of our day-to-day life, from a cup of tea to a dead leaf that lays on the ground, everything can be turned into literature with a poet’s imagination.
Choosing to study Literature as your specialization is the best thing you can do because, it is more a course of bettering yourselves, changing your perspectives than a mere degree. Literature can teach you things that you cannot learn from elsewhere. So, if you too are among those students who want to dive into the world of Literature and discover different cultures, some amazing works of authors from around the world, then here are the best online courses that are just made for you.
1. Masterpieces of World Literature by Harvard University
Harvard University offers the best online courses in Literature that can be of great interest to any student seeking some informative courses covering Literature topics from around the world. This course is absolutely free and will be covering topics related to the history of World Literature, how they are culturally diverse, and how you can critically analyze a work of literature. Along with these, you will also be made familiar with the technological advances in the writings of the modern age.
While exploring the works of great writers from around the world, you will come across different cultures, different literary periods, varied artistic modes, and much more. This course aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of deep roots, and global cultures that are together intertwined into a single bond of “literature”.
2. Modern & Contemporary American Poetry by Coursera
There is no doubt that America has blessed the world with some of the most popular poets who continue to entice readers even after centuries. This course on our list will particularly focus on Modern and Contemporary American poetry covering the works of Contemporary poets like Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, along with notable works of modern poets. You will come across difficult poems and will be guided through video discussions and live interactive sessions. Students who love poetry, particularly American Poetry will thoroughly enjoy this course.
3. Online Courses in Literature from University of Oxford
The short online Literature courses offered by the prestigious Oxford University can be accessed from anywhere around the world. These short courses designed especially for Literature enthusiasts cover almost all the major areas of British and American Literature.
From Chaucer to Wordsworth, from Shakespeare to Victorian Women Writers, there is a course for every major period of the history of English Literature. There are also many creative courses such as Writing Drama, Reading and Writing Poetry, Reading Literature Critically, Writing Fiction, and a plethora of interesting courses that will benefit every literature student.
4. English Literature: Be as Informed as a Literature Graduate by Udemy
This comprehensive course on our list by Udemy is especially for those students who have chosen a different discipline for their Graduation and other higher degrees, but also want to dive deeper into the world of English Literature. This course will cover various topics, authors, and important periods of English Literature, and also introduce students to the development of genres, language, and ideas in English Literature, literary forms, literary criticisms, and much more.
But don’t think this course is limited to just British Literature, although it will introduce students to all the major periods of the “History of English Literature” from Old to Modern age, it will also cover the literature of other continents. This course will also offer insights into American, Irish, Australian, and Canadian Literature in English. This course will indeed provide abundant information that is enough to complete an English Literature Graduate.
5. An Introduction to British and American Literature by Udemy
Another course by Udemy that deserves a mention on our list is the Introduction to British and American Literature, a perfect way to begin with your understanding of the literary world. This course is ideal for any student who wants to choose Literature as their Specialization or students who are preparing for competitive exams including GCSE, SAT, ACT, and TOEFL. This course will help build a background of Literature that will come into much use.
This course will begin with a brief introduction to British and American Literature, cover many poetry, novels, and dramas, and short stories, and most importantly establish a comprehensive understanding of the differences of both the literature. You will be learning a lot of things in this course including the history of English Literature, its major periods and influential life, and the works of many authors. This course on Udemy is surely going to provide every student an amazing learning experience.
6. What is Poetry? An Introduction to Literary Analysis by FutureLearn
A free literature course on our list by FutureLearn that is presented by the University of New Castle Australia, and will introduce students to the basics of Poetry and Literary Analysis. A great course for beginners and lovers of poetry, who want to discover new ways of diving deeper into a piece of work and have a better understanding. From understanding different elements of poetry to analyzing them, this course is going to teach you all.
Along with poetry and literary analysis, this course will also cover many texts of different genres and help you develop skills in analyzing them. Some of the major topics covered in this course include understanding Poetry, the concept of Carpe Diem, Literary Analysis, Storytelling, and Creative Writing. This free course by FutureLearn has a lot to give you!
7. Literature Courses by MIT Open Courseware
There are a plethora of online Literature courses offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Open Courseware. All the literature courses offered by MIT are Undergraduate level, and cover topics from almost all the major periods of the “History of English Literature”. From poetry to drama, Shakespeare to Milton, British to American literature, Darwin to Dante, these courses cover a wide range of topics that are extremely interesting and comprehensive. Students get to choose from a wide array of topics and proceed with their areas of interest under the guidance of top-class English Literature Professors of MIT.
8. Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction by Coursera
A remarkable course by the University of Virginia available on the platform of Coursera, this course covers areas of historical fiction in the literature that are very engaging and interesting to learn about. From Witchcraft to Plague, from War to heroic deaths, this course will feature some of the best works of Historical Fiction of all time that students will love to explore.
Students will be introduced to the genre of historical fiction in a way, that they will love to explore the wonders of the past. These works of the classic will arouse great curiosity and interest among students, which will help them discover the historical archives that are unique in their style and plots. The main purpose of this course is to build a global community of interactive readers who are aware of the past that is the historical fiction and are able to relate it to their present.
9. Feminist Writings: Examining Women in Culture and Society by Alison.com
An amazing course by Alison.com for the students of Literature who would love to explore the areas of Feminism and discover the remarkable works of Feminist writers, this course is a perfect one for them. Feminism is an important movement in the History of English Literature for it marked the beginning of women’s awakening, a period of raising their voices to shatter the bounds of Patriarchy and ask for equal rights to live and most importantly “vote”. This Feminist period gave rise to a number of strong female writers who protested through their pen and wits, and one author among them is Simone de Beauvoir, who shocked the world with her arguably genius work The Second Sex.
In this course, you will explore the past position of women, learn about “Identity Politics”, along with the harsh truth behind regarding women as the weaker sex and male as superior beings. Works like The Second Sex, Gender Trouble and Iraqi Nights will be explored to establish a firm idea of cultural Feminism and its evolution.
10. World Literature: Your Guide to Becoming Very Well Read by Skillshare
The last course on our list by Skillshare will let you explore the literature around the world. From Greek and Roman mythology to Bible, from Fairy Tales to the literature of various continents including America, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe, this course will cover a wide range of topics and authors to provide you a learning experience like no other.
This course will prove an epic journey of discovering literature from around the world while emphasizing the works of famous authors. From classical Homer, Virgil, Dante to modern authors such as Margaret Atwood, Chinua Achebe, Woke Soyinka, and many more remarkable ones, this course has a lot more to offer than you can imagine. If you want to gain a wide perspective of what literature is like around the world, and how it is culturally diverse, then this course by Skillshare is your treasure.