Amanda Claybaugh received her BA in English from Yale University in 1993 and her PhD in English from Harvard University in 2001. After teaching at Columbia University for nine years, she returned to Harvard in 2010. She is on the faculty of the English department, and she is associated with the programs in History and Literature and American Civilization. She also co-organizes the American Literature and Culture seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center.
At a ceremony honoring some of Harvard's most gifted teachers, Professor Claybaugh was cited for “bringing the tools of literary criticism to bear on contemporary writers, and inviting her students to read the latest Jonathan Franzen novel with the same degree of attention they would apply to Dickens or Bronte.” Her innovative teaching methods include having students compose not only conventional analytical essays, but also assessments in the form of book reviews. “She makes the study of English come alive,” her nomination continued, “by treating the writing of the present with respect and by showing the classics to be fresh and relevant.”