Arzu Program of Languages and Literature

The Arzu Program of Languages and Literature attempts to reimagine the study of literature and language in the context of a postcolonial liberal arts education for our times. Our courses endeavour to cross disciplinary and linguistic boundaries and explore synergies with other programs at the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Since Fall 2017, the Arzu Program of Languages and Literature offers a Minor in English and Comparative Literature, which can be taken by any HU student.

The program offers a range of courses that provide opportunities for both broad-based and intensive studies in literature. Students can choose from courses on literary authors, texts and aesthetics. We also offer courses that investigate the social meaning and lived experience that literature embodies, looking to the past as well as to the contemporary world. Creative writing courses at the program engage not only with the practice of creative writing but its pedagogical and theoretical dimensions as well.

We also offer innovative courses in regional languages that highlight the richness of our region’s rich linguistic and literary histories and cultures. Students majoring in Social Development and Policy are required to complete a sequence of three regional language courses from the Arzu Program. Currently, the program offers courses in Punjabi, Sindhi and Pushto.

The work of the Arzu Program of Langauges and Literature is connected to the Arzu Centre for Regional Languages and Humanities, which fosters pedagogy, research and scholarship in the various languages from Pakistan.

Director of the Arzu Program of Languages and Literature:

Dr. Sabyn Javeri

Director & Assistant Professor,
Arzu Program for Languages and Literature
School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Minor: English and Comparative Literature

The English and Comparative Literature (ECL) minor focuses on the intersection of literary representation with theoretical interpretation, creative practice, and socio-historical knowledge.

What students of ECL Minor can expect to learn:

  • Become familiar with and fluent in the use of concepts like style, form, theme, rhetoric, comparison, and value in literary texts
  • Explore different forms of creative writing and to explore different genres of writing through creative writing
  • Understand how and why a knowledge of literary theory, and of literary cultures and philosophies, is critical to literary studies
  • Use literary vocabularies and methods in analysing non-textual and visual media
  • Understand how literary concerns are connected with social, historical, and political issues
  • Write clearly and persuasively
  • Undertake Interdisciplinary research

Why minor in ECL

You can elect to study courses in the programme that complement your major course of studies.

The minor also allows you to concentrate on the topics and methods that define the field of literary studies. A focus on literary forms, genres, and histories is extremely important in any sustained study of literature. ECL is distinctive in encouraging students to cultivate an understanding of critical topics in literary studies not only with reference to literature in English but in the context of the language and literatures of South Asia.

All our courses give students the opportunity to improve their powers of articulation and written communication. Students can also hone their creative writing skills and learn to apply them to other forms of writing.

Required Course: Reading, Writing, and Thinking Literature

This course will introduce students to key concepts and strategies in literary studies that are of special relevance to the ECL minor. Students will learn about literature as a concept, its development through history, and how it is used in current academic and political discussions. It will highlight the traditional literary genres and introduce strategies of reading literature that use history, politics, or social significance as their main criteria of analysis. Attention will be paid to literary theory and criticism, creative writing, and translation.

Key Learning Areas

  • Comparative literature and translation studies
  • Literary histories and culture
  • Literary theory
  • Creative writing

What can you do with an ECL minor?

  • The minor can be invaluable when applying for higher studies to study literature or related courses
  • The skills and knowledge you acquire can help you find careers in a number of fields. To mention a few: education, print and electronic media, fiction and creative non-fiction writing, advertising, journalism, marketing, development, human resources, public relations, etc.
  • ECL will also reinforce your writing and critical thinking abilities, which are crucial to further study and work in any field you choose


    1. A minimum of 20 credit hours is required. In consultation with their faculty advisors, students may design the minor to complement their major or to focus on a theme that cuts across the minor’s areas of focus.
    2. The minor must be declared no later than two semesters before graduation by submitting a Declaration of Minor form to the Office of the Registrar.
    3. The 200-level course ‘Reading, Writing, and Thinking Literature’ is required. It will be offered for the first time in Fall 2017.
    4. A minimum of two courses at the upper (300 or 400) level is required.
    5. Students may choose to do an upper-level independent study. Its topic and plan of studies must be drawn up in consultation with the faculty member supervising the study and approved by the program’s Board of Studies. Independent studies must be approved, and the Office of the Registrar notified by submission of the approved Independent Study form, no later than the end of the Add/Drop course period of the semester, in which the study is to be undertaken.
    6. Elective courses may be used to fulfil minor requirements.
    7. Students may count a course towards both the ECL minor and a liberal core requirement. For instance, if you complete a 3-credit course to fulfil the Language and Expression Breadth requirement and then proceed to become an ECL minor, the course will count towards both sets of requirements. However, you will receive only 3 credits for the course, not six.
    8. Students may not count a course towards ECL and another minor. For possible exceptions, please consult the program director.
    9. Study abroad courses may receive credit in the minor. The procedure will be the same as laid down in the HU Transfer of Credits Policy.
    10. Ungraded courses except for courses for which the HU First Semester Grades Policy applies, may not receive credit in the minor.