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.

The Empire Writes Back: Postcolonial Literature

In this course, students study the vast and diverse topics associated with the creation and eventual disintegration of the colonial projects of Europe. After centuries of foreign rule, those who come from places that were part of a European empire have written back to their own people and their former masters. Their literature is rich, and their use of the old master language is astounding. Their texts hold the most significant development in world letters since the mid-20th century. Students develop familiarity with theoretical terms and concepts and employ them to understand the tension reflected in the works studied, and to gain insight into the lasting effects for the contemporary global landscape.

Advanced Creative Writing

This two-term course offers students, who have experience with creative writing, the opportunity to craft a substantial body of writing. Genres may include, but are not limited to, slam/spoken word poetry, stream of consciousness, flash fiction, rhymed and metered poetry, dramatic monologues, short dramatic scenes, and personal essays.

Journalism and Nonfiction Storytelling

Student study the foundational elements of a fact-based story. Meanwhile, they analyze short and long nonfiction, both contemporary and canonical, and work individually and collaboratively on storytelling projects that address current issues. Students engage in a diversity of narrative forms–the written word, as well as infographics, podcasts, photojournalism, and video. Students also practice accepted data-gathering techniques, employing statistics to strengthen the stories they tell.

The Classical Tradition

Students explore the influence of classical Greece and Rome as the foundation of Western civilization, and how the surviving works of antiquity have shaped and informed culture from the Renaissance to contemporary times. Through the study primarily of literature, but also of historical, philosophical, and artistic works, students are introduced to some of the most influential writings of Western civilization.