Open Matters

Greatest Hits of the Humanities, Part II: Literature and Writing

Buster Keaton in The General (1926), one of the films explored in 21L.011 The Film Experience. (Public domain image.)

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

Herewith, Part II of our list of the most visited OCW course sites in the Humanities, this part featuring Literature and Writing courses. [See Part I here.] Naturally, most writing courses entail a healthy amount of reading, so there is some natural overlap between these two academic ventures, and instructors often sail their boats on both ponds.

Literature and writing are fed and replenished by many related disciplines. So it’s worth noting how many of these courses also venture far upstream into other territories, such as film, history, biology, cooking, photography, and mobile technology.

While assignments distinguish all academic courses, in literature and writing courses they form the heart of the experience, so be sure to check those out.

Portrait of Mary Shelley by Richard Rothwell. (Image courtesy of


See all Literature courses on OCW >

Planning diagram for a short story. (Image courtesy of Simon Scott on Flickr.)


See all Writing courses on OCW >
(MIT recently combined its Writing program with Comparative Media Studies into the CMS/W department, but has kept the 21W numbering for writing courses.)