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ENGLISH 520 - Community Engagement Through Literature

Fall Term 2019 & Winter Term 2020 

Instructors: Dr. Susan Bennett ( -- Fall 

Dr. Stefania Forlini ( -- Winter 

This course will combine classroom and community-based learning in partnership with the Calgary Public Library’s “Creative Writing Club.” The goals of “Community Engagement through Literature” are to explore practical ways that knowledge gained in the study of English might serve the community and to reflect on the relationships between creative practice, literary studies and public service. 

Students will meet in a formal classroom setting (75 minutes once a week) to examine and discuss assigned readings on service learning and community engagement. Once a week students, in teams of two, will work in a library branch setting, bringing their expertise and interest in English Studies to support students in grades 3-7 through fostering better reading and writing skills. University volunteers are also expected to be positive mentors and role models. 

Course assignments will include regular critical reflections, a review paper based on assigned literature and volunteer experiences, and a final oral report offering a critical assessment of the Library’s program. 

  • Typically there are 12-16 places available each term (class size depends on Library needs). 
  •  Students need to complete a short application form to be considered for this course. Successful applicants will be asked to complete the Calgary Public Library’s police background check (no cost involved). 
  •  Forms will usually be available in July for Fall Term applications and in October for Winter Term applications. 

If you are interested in applying for ENGL 520 in 2019-20, please email Karen Preddy in the Department of English office ( to ensure that you receive an application form as soon as they are available.