Spring 2020

Engaging Literature: Craft, Conversation, Community

Listed in: English, as ENGL-106


Lisa Brooks (Section 01)
Alicia J. Mireles Christoff (Section 02)


Literature engages us. It moves us, it delights us, it makes us ask hard questions. How do we engage literature? How do we respond to it in conversation, in writing, in performance, and in our communities? How do we write about literature in a way that effectively engages others?

This course seeks to engage you in a process of seeing literature and your own writing process anew. We will engage with authors, in person, in public, and on the page. We will attend literary events and enter into conversations among writers: authors who are influenced and inspired by each other, literary critics who give us illuminating interpretations, and literary historians who open our eyes to contexts heretofore unseen. Students will practice writing about literature in a range of modes from the personal essay to the book review to the academic paper. Frequent writing workshops will be geared toward the process of revising in a collaborative environment. A first course in reading fictional, dramatic, lyric, and non-fiction texts, this course also challenges Amherst College students to think of themselves as writers.

Preference given to first-year students. Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professors Brooks and Mireles Christoff.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to first-year students.


Attention to Speaking, Attention to Writing


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2018, Spring 2020