Student Profile: Amy Danzer, Master of Arts in Literature
“For me, literature is a way to listen to voices from all over the world, to travel through time, to learn about the human experience from vantage points I might not normally have access to. Literature can be a lesson in life, a springboard to almost anything.”
Like a character in a well-paced novel, Amy Danzer has followed her dream step by step. Eleven years after she graduated from high school, Danzer earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Northwestern by attending college part-time while working full-time, first in sales and marketing and since 1998 as program coordinator for Northwestern’s men’s basketball program. Her next goal was a master’s degree. “Studying literature at Northwestern lit a fire in me,” says Danzer, “and I always wanted to teach. I felt I needed graduate work to prepare myself better for that.”
In the Master of Arts in Literature (MALit) program Danzer has indulged her appetite for a wide range of literature in courses such as Jane Winston’s exploration of French depictions of Southeast Asia in film and fiction and Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch’s examination of innovative Eastern European fiction. Danzer has also pursued her interest in Russian literature through an independent study course. She is writing her thesis on Venedikt Erofeev, a Soviet-era author she discovered in one of her classes.
Danzer was pleased to discover a strong peer network at SCS — an outgrowth of thought-provoking class discussions. “We get together outside of class to talk about books, our theses and our careers,” says Danzer. “Those friendships and that support are really special and completely unexpected.” Danzer says that the MALit program has deepened her reading experience, sharpened her research skills and opened doors to opportunities like serving as a writing tutor. What will be next for Danzer? That chapter has yet to be written.