Department of Literature and Writing

The study of literature and writing has a number of goals: to familiarize our students with the work of important writers; to introduce them to the individual and cultural values, ideas, debates, and insights woven into literature; to sharpen their skills as writers and creative thinkers.

Faculty and Student working together

Discover Your Voice

Whether you aim to study literature or create your own written works, repeated practice in speaking, thinking, and writing about literature is a way of discovering your own voice, developing your skills of critical analysis, and gain confidence in yourself as an independent thinker.

Basic Disciplinary Skills

Students will be able to read closely and critically, write critical essays driven by their own insights in conversation with those of published scholars, do research independently, reflect critically on their own analytical thinking, intelligently about their insights in discussions or formal presentations.

Basic Disciplinary Content

Students will be able to think about literature on the basis of a reasonably broad knowledge of individual literary works, literary history in different periods (both British and American), and literary or critical theories.

Critical-Historical Awareness

Students will be able to discuss how literary works fit into the context of their times and grow out of a society with a particular history and politics. Students will be able to discern the complex relationship of representation to issues of power in relation to race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Life Skills after Graduation

Students will be able to write insightfully, read closely, think critically, and do independent research in ways that serve them after graduation, in a variety of career paths or further degree programs. They will be especially aware of the power of language and discourse to shape thought and action.

Caring about Literature as Art

Students will be able to recognize, appreciate, and express original insights regarding the artistry of literary works. Some will be able to pursue the creation of such art works on their own.

Self shot of Tracy K. Smith

Robert M. Gay Memorial Symposium

The Simmons University Department of Literature & Writing held a poetry reading by Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith on Thursday, Apr 27, 2023.

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Academic Campus under a blue sky

Fall 2023 Literature and Writing Courses

Learn more about the Department of Literature and Writing's courses for Fall 2023.

Fall 2023 Courses

Learn More About The Department of Literature & Writing

Student Groups

Learn more about the Literature and Writing Liaison and the student literary magazine, Sidelines

Student Work

View examples of some of the wonderful work our students have created.

Robert M. Gay Memorial Lecture

Hosted by The Department of Literature & Writing and the Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities. Co-sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and Eileen Friars '72.

Literature & Writing in the News

Simmons MCB in Fall

The Passionate Leaders Project (PLP) supports undergraduate students by funding research opportunities that transcend traditional coursework. Participants of the PLP develop research and critical thinking skills and bring the insights of academia to real world issues. This year’s cohort addresses mental health, neuroscience, environmental science, the foster care system, and technology.

Photo of Farooz Rather

The following is a conversation between Farooz Rather , Assistant Professor, NTT, Department of Literature and Writing at Simmons University, and Taylor Eubanks, graduate student in the Gender and Cultural Studies program. Professor Rather discusses his current manuscript, a novel...

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