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Most of us have at some time felt the physical experience of reading. We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve been scared. We’ve turned the pages frantically to get to the climax. Reading is something many of us have enjoyed since we were young and books in their myriad shapes, sizes and formats continue to be an essential part of our world.

Why, then, would one need to study literature?

Because books matter and the people who read them develop a set of sought after critical abilities–excellent communication, creative thinking, strong close reading, sharp synthesizing and a keen understanding of the role of the language and literature in the world. Whether you’re participating in a mock trial on moral dilemmas in a class on Oprah’s Books, creating a story board in a class on Film into Fiction, or reading and writing memoirs, these critical abilities prepare you for a variety of traditional careers, including teaching, publishing, the law, and any number of emerging ones in new media and non-profit organizations.