The study of literature at Hampshire can vary from a focus on the traditional American and European canon to a more inclusive or multicultural approach to understanding literature. Students can study this field in relation to a variety of artistic modes and socio-political contexts. The historical circumstances that provide the setting to either the story or the author's life are often an important source of analysis. Students are encouraged to understand the historical impact of literature as well as the ways in which society affects literary trends. Courses may focus on specific authors; genres; geographical locations; social or artistic movements; or a single novel.