This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Archived Versions

21L.000J / 21L.010 / 21W.734J Writing About Literature

As taught in: Fall 2006

Costume design for Feste from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

Costume design for Feste from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, created for the Federal Theatre Project under the Works Progress Administration. Graphite and watercolor by Robert Byrne (1935). (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Federal Theatre Project Collection, W.P.A. Transfer (159.7))




Dr. Wyn Kelley

Course Description

Writing About Literature aims:

  1. To increase students' pleasure and skill in reading literary texts and in writing and communicating about them.
  2. To introduce students to different literary forms (poetry, fiction, drama) and some tools of literary study (close reading, research, theoretical models).
  3. To allow students to get to know a single writer deeply.
  4. To encourage students to make independent decisions about their reading by exploring and reporting back on authors whose works they enjoy.

The syllabus includes an eclectic mix: William Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Henry James, Michael Frayn, and Jhumpa Lahiri. We'll explore different ways of approaching the questions readers have about each of these texts.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.