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Novels Courses

Learn about novels with online courses from top schools on edX!

learn novels

learn novels

The importance of novels

Reading fiction may help improve our empathy skills and provide the foundation for understanding the human condition. The best novels provide readers with the chance to occupy other worlds, times, and places very different from lived experiences. 

Studying novels, not just reading them, helps readers discover themes and cultural significance not understood without some level of training. From significant works in English (The Great Gatsby, for example, or Tolkien's worlds) to Nobel Prize winners and novels in translation, it's time to expand what you know about the humble novel.

Learn about novels

It's crucial to study novels because some of the best-sellers provide exciting perspectives on the times in which they were written or help us understand things about ourselves. From Charlotte Bronte's complex relationships to George Orwell's studies in totalitarianism, it's time to dive a little deeper.

edX offers courses designed in partnership with leading institutions and thinkers in the field of literature. You'll take courses with a worldwide collection of students and gain the knowledge you can use to enjoy your favorite novels even more than you do now.

Literature and novels courses and certifications

edX courses are built to cover a wide range of specializations in literature. Harvard offers a course on Modern Masterpieces of World Literature, examining texts from renowned writers worldwide. Dartmouth narrows the field to masterpieces of American Literature in The American Renaissance: Classic Literature of the 19th Century.

You can expand beyond the United States to study literature from China, Afghanistan, or Italy. There are even courses designed to cover literature from the New World in new lights. Take a look at Pulitzer Prize winners and love stories, tales from the jazz age, African Americans, the 20th Century, and ancient civilizations.

There are also a series of AP courses designed to expand your high school literature horizons with classics from Mary Shelley, Toni Morrison, poetry, autobiographical novels, and plays.

Build your understanding of novels

Aldous Huxley's vision of the Brave New World. Virginia Woolf's early feminist writings. The alienation of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye. Jane Austen's biting social critiques. The shock and awe of Wiliam Golding's Lord of the Flies or Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Dystopian literature or the great American novel. Novels have the chance to open our eyes.

edX's courses provide a unique opportunity to break apart difficult novels like James Joyce's Ulysses or reexamine old favorites like To Kill A Mockingbird from Harper Lee. Even novellas can have their due thanks to the brilliant Oscar Wilde or John Steinbeck. Expand your knowledge studying the classics like Charles Dickens and ensure that you can hold your own great novel conversation everywhere you go.