English and World Literature

Through the aesthetic, historical, and theoretical dimensions of literature we learn to read other lives and our own. We learn those lessons best when the literature we study includes the voices of a diverse array of writers and when we are responsive to the ways in which such voices and texts change our conceptions of art, culture and society. Literature stirs us and is stirred by us; it is not something to be experienced at arm’s length. For this reason, we encourage our students to practice becoming engaged readers and writers of literature.

We also encourage our students to explore other disciplines, in order to broaden the sources for developing their own writing and critical thinking skills. Abilities gained in coursework are essential for other academic disciplines, are indispensable for graduate study as well as for careers in many fields (for instance, art, law, journalism, education, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations, business, advertising, and creative and professional writing). Students may choose from two tracks: Literature or Creative Writing.

Pitzer Advisers: B. Armendinger, S. Bhattacharya, L. Harris, A. Lagji.

The English and World Literature: Creative Writing Track at Pitzer

We believe that student work has meaningful literary and intellectual value, and we foster a supportive community of writers among our students. Through writing exercises, workshops, and intensive reading, students begin to take creative risks in their own writing. The aim of the writer is not to make a precise replica of experience, not to degrade the world in such a way, nor its ever-changing nature, but to build a door. If we are lucky, our readers walk through that door, arriving at a room we could never have predicted alone.

The English and World Literature: Literature Track at Pitzer

Coursework on the Literature track is designed to develop and improve the student’s capacity to engage in meaningful interpretation, creative writing, analytical thought and aesthetic appreciation. Majors and non-majors alike will have the opportunity to gain an awareness of the intellectual and historical contexts of literature while they work to achieve skillful written and oral expression, and to refine critical thinking skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Study a diverse range of literatures and genres of writing for breadth and master some in depth.
  2. Articulate the ways in which selected works of literature challenge and change our conceptions of society, culture, and art.
  3. Identify and discuss the aesthetic and cultural elements in given works of literature. Be able to incorporate such elements in one’s creative or critical writing, as appropriate.
  4. Articulate the intimate connections between works of literature and histories, cultures, and world views.
  5. Make meaningful connections between literatures/writing and real-world problems. For example, make practical applications of writing through community-based courses or through the acquired skill of authorial voice and formal essay techniques.
  6. Practice the study of literature and the craft of writing as a collaborative creative process, both in and out of the classroom.
  7. Regardless of concentration, gain experience writing both critically and creatively. Be able to organize, research, and communicate ideas effectively in both oral and written form. Be competent in various strategies of literary craft and experimentation in order to produce compelling creative works.
  8. Make connections between the study of literature, the craft of writing, critical theory, and interdisciplinary study.
  9. Gain proficiency in the use of appropriate technologies to explore literatures/writing.
  10. Gain the critical and creative skills to be adequately prepared for graduate school in literature-related fields, or for employment in such fields as art, law, publishing, journalism, education, non-profit grant work, business, and creative or professional writing.