Spring 2023

Writing the College Experience

Listed in: , as EDST-121  |  English, as ENGL-121


Kristina H. Reardon (Section 01)


(Offered as EDST 121 and ENGL 121) This course considers belonging and community in the college context, with a focus on reading and writing as part of a practice of making meaning of the college experience. Students will learn about the history of higher education as they research and reflect on the contemporary college landscape. They will analyze learning as a process: how it is understood by scholars and teachers; how it is shaped by cultural and rhetorical contexts; and how students engage with it. The course will consider equity and access and how students’ intersectional identities (i.e.: how class, race, gender, and disability, among others) impact the way they navigate college. As part of the work of this course, students will collaboratively work toward a community-engaged project centered on college access.

Assigned texts will include a range of sources (books, articles, podcasts, videos) from literature and education studies. As they read, listen, and view materials, students will examine not only their content but also how they are constructed. Specifically, they will study rhetorical features (ex: audience awareness and genre expectations), as well as the structures of argument and analysis, with an eye on developing reading and writing skills they can use in other courses across the College. Ultimately, students will come together as a community of writers who support one another as they reflect on their experiences and develop their own academic writing voices.

Preference given to first-year Amherst College students. Admission with consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Lecturer Reardon.

How to handle overenrollment: This is designed as an introduction to the major. Students interested in the course will be placed on a waiting list. Enrollment will be based on students’ assessment of their own needs in consultation with the professor and the waiting list.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written work, readings, and revision

EDST 121 - LEC

Section 01
M 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM WEBS 217
W 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM WEBS 217


Other years: Offered in Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024