The Literature Committee serves as a source of information on current literary pedagogies, practices, and theories and to actively promote, on campus and throughout the community, the value of creative writing, literature, literary studies, and literary culture via course offerings, outreach programs, involvement in curriculum and assessment, and the English minor.
The Literature Committee supports an appreciation of reading, engaged discussion, reflective considerations of literature, and creative writing as activities that have valuable effects for society. Reading and the many forms of literacy—information, literary, textual, and visual—are applications of active learning and critical thinking skills and have transformative potential in their demonstrated ability to improve communication, rhetorical acumen, and intercultural understanding in a complex, diverse, and ever-changing society.
Statement of Purpose:
The Literature Committee, functioning under the aegis of the Department of English & Philosophy, seeks to actively promote the value of literature, literary studies, and literary culture across campus and throughout the community.
We recognize the importance of the literary arts—creativity, film, language, literature, publishing, and reading—within the broad spectrum of the humanities and liberal education. We believe that in order to cultivate a more engaged and informed society we need to recognize and encourage a commitment to reading and literacy as fundamental modes of active reflection and cultural transformation.
We view reading and the knowledge of various forms of literacy—information, literary, textual, and visual—as primary applications of active learning and critical thinking. Literacy transforms individuals by preparing them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change.
Moreover, as fundamental to the humanities and the liberal arts, literature and literacy supports analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving skill development. Reading has a demonstrated and positive effect on an increased ability to apply knowledge and skills in new real-world settings. Reading promotes effective communication, rhetorical skill, and the understanding of intercultural dialogue.
The Literature Committee: Programming
As part of its vision, the Literature Committee hosts two important campus programs that demonstrate the importance of literature and literary culture across the campus community.
The Reading Series:
Each semester the Literature Committee invites recognized writers, poets, and literary specialists to lecture, discuss literary issues, and read from their works. We strive to collaborate with campus and community organizations such as the Robert S. Swanson Library & Learning Center, the Honors College, Multicultural Student Services, and the Menomonie Public Library.
Reading Across Campus:
Each year the Literature Committee promotes a campus-wide reading program featuring a significant book reflecting cultural ideas relevant to all students and faculty, and an associated film that encapsulates the grounds the reading event. We present the film with a reception featuring a campus leader, and tap into faculty expertise in three related lecture events.
The Function of the Literature Committee
The Literature Committee encourages engaged discussion and reflective consideration of literature and creative writing course offerings in the Department of English and Philosophy. As such we act as a source of information on current literary pedagogies, practices, and theories. Moreover, we are concerned with literary opportunities for students in classes, programs, the English minor, and curriculum and assessment. The Literature Committee guides the university in continuing improvement of literary activities, literature and creative writing courses, and literary outreach programs.
We believe that reading and discussing literature are vital activities that expand our ideas and provide insights into a dynamic and diverse world. Each year, the Literature Committee—part of the Department of English & Philosophy—promotes the value of literary studies through events that emphasize literary culture across the campus community.
The Literature Committee is charged by the Department of English and Philosophy (CAHSS) accordingly:
The Committee on Literature, which has three fundamental purposes:
- to develop strategies for increasing enrollment in literature and creative writing courses;
- to inform UW-Stout administrators, faculty, and students of the values of literary studies;
- to establish guidelines for revising, expanding and improving literature and creative writing courses and the literature program in general.