A broad range of literature exposes students to ideas and experience from around the world. Students learn to express themselves clearly, cogently, and confidently in writing, while engaging in thoughtful investigation, reflection, and analysis.

Ellen Devine, Department Head

Sample Courses

American Studies

This interdepartmental course for fifth form students presents a detailed study of American history, literature, and culture and fulfills the American literature and United States history requirements.

Comparative Literature

This course explores how works of classic, modern, and contemporary literature from various cultures reflect universal themes of human experience. Students are exposed to a group of core texts – a Greek tragedy, a Shakespearean tragedy, a major modern novel, and some lyric poetry – in addition to other works drawn from world literature.

Creative Writing Capstone

This class affords interested sixth form students the chance to craft a substantial body of writing while gaining experience in the demands and rewards of creative writing. Approximately half of each term is devoted to discussing student work. Roughly equal time is spent on poetry and fiction with emphasis on developing an individual voice

Journalism and Nonfiction Storytelling

Students study and analyze long article nonfiction work from contemporary writers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Janet Malcolm and John McPhee, and work both individually and collaboratively on writing projects and presentations that address a variety of contemporary issues and events. Feedback is an essential element of the course. Workshopping provides opportunity to both give and receive constructive feedback. Students also practice data-gathering skills through targeted lessons in statistics and probability. While these skills support journalism in a written form, they also allow students to explore media including infographics, podcasts, and photojournalism. The course will enhance students’ abilities to tell compelling stories with well-sourced data that is contextualized in service of the personal narrative.

The Classical Tradition

Students are introduced to some of the most influential writing of Western civilization with a strong emphasis on Classical Greece and Rome. Special attention is paid to the authors’ concern with human nature, ideals of human conduct, and the relationship between the human and the divine.