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Courses

ENGL 106 (3) – Introduction to Creative Writing
An introductory course in the writing of fiction and poetry. The course may include other genres, such as creative nonfiction or drama. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 209 (3) – Poetry Workshop: Poetry and Environment
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. This course will study poetry and place, and activities will include field work in two destinations — one urban, one rural and/or sub-rural — and will encourage students to consider the way that art, experience and our common shared physical/political reality influence one another. Offered alternate years III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 211 (3) News Writing and Investigative Reporting
Prerequisite: ENGL 104. This course provides an introduction to “hard news” reporting and editing in the age of Google, Facebook, Twitter and blogging. Emphasis will be placed on developing story ideas, research and interviewing skills, and the ethical use of social media as news-gathering tools. Students will be required to maintain a blog and submit course assignments to the student newspaper. Offered alternate years. III.O, III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 216 (3) – Poetry Workshop: Form, Function, and Meaning
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. The poem is a combination of music and meaning, with each element guided by form or structure. This course will teach rhyme, meter, a variety of forms and free verse strategies. What elements of form can amplify meaning? How can free verse avoid arbitrary lineation? Students will read, write and peer-critique poems in a variety of traditions. Readings will include selections from the “Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry” and Paul Fussell’s “Poetic Meter and Poetic Form.” Offered alternate years. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 254 (3) – Fiction Workshop: First-person Narrative
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. The first-person narrator in fiction — the “I” of a story — is a unique creature: an enchanter, a confessor, a witness. What are the advantages and risks of first-person narration? How is that controlling perspective or point of view established? This course will introduce students to a variety of compelling first-person narrators in short fiction and ask students to create a series of persuasive voices for their own stories. Offered alternate years. III.O, III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 263 (3) – Fiction Workshop: The Love Story
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. There are as many different kinds of love story as there are different kinds of love: between parent and child, between siblings, between spouses, between friends, between people and places or people and objects. Are all love stories necessarily tragic? How does a writer avoid the danger of sentimentality? What about writing about sex? Students will write their own love stories over the semester and read short fiction that will enlarge and enrich their definitions of love. Offered alternate years. III.O, III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 266 (3) – Fiction Workshop: A Sense of Place
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. The setting or place of a story — the fictional universe, real or imagined — can be as important as a story’s characters and events, shaping narrative in powerful ways. How do writers use setting to enrich or enlarge or complicate a story, and how does the world of a story play a role in a story’s unfolding drama? Students will read short stories distinguished by vivid or unusual landscapes and write original works of their own in which setting plays an important part. Offered alternate years. III.O,III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 271 (3) – Nonfiction Workshop: The Art of the Personal Essay
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. This course will acquaint students with the personal essay as a literary genre. Readings will range widely in subject matter, period and style in order to afford students an understanding of the different ways in which essays can be “personal.” Writing assignments will ask students to engage in different styles, experiment with the conventions and structures common to essays of the past, and explore innovations of the present. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 275 (3) – Nonfiction Workshop: Memoir Writing
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. In this course students will write the first three chapters of their own memoir. In preparation for this semester-long writing project, students will closely read a variety of contemporary memoirs to become familiar with both the array of narrative conventions and strategies memoirists employ as well as the stylistic and structural concerns one confronts when writing autobiographically. Emphasis will be placed on recent memoir scandals and memoirs that question the line between fact and fiction. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 309 (3) – Poetry Workshop: Art, the Poem, and Collaboration
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. Since modernism, poets have focused their attention on the rendition of visual images in language. Poems that respond to the visual arts, either in their subject or in their mode of composition, bring the reader a uniquely layered and synesthetic experience. This course will offer collaborative opportunities and will encourage students to respond to paintings, photography, sculpture, dance, film and conceptual art. Students will read, write and peer-critique poems in a variety of traditions. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 311 (3) – Feature Writing: Profiles, Columns, and Op-eds
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. This workshop-based course introduces students to the reporting techniques, stylistic differences and structural conventions of profiles, columns and op-eds — the types of journalism commonly found in newspapers and magazines under the headings “Feature” and “Opinion.” Special emphasis will be placed on writing for web publications and blogs and on using social media (Facebook and Twitter) to develop story ideas. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 318 (3) – Poetry Workshop: Poetry of Transgression — Envy, Ecstasy, Gluttony, Lust
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. If the ability of a poet is a balance of her powers of perception and powers of expression, how can consideration of subject matter amplify the former? How can broadening one’s emotional and intellectual range refine the latter? This course will encourage students to approach the broadest possible range of subject matter, and to engage it in a way that’s ethical, elegant and effective. Students will read, write and peer-critique poems in a variety of traditions. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 334 (3) – Fiction Workshop: Research and the Fiction Writer
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. This course focuses on how fiction writers use the material of the real world — real places, real people, real events — in the fictional universe, considering such questions as how a fiction writer’s research methods and purpose might differ from an historian’s. Students will read and write short stories that arise out of historical or contemporary fact or account and examine how the imagination transforms fact into fiction. Offered alternate years. III.O, III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 348 (3) – Fiction Workshop: The Long Story
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. The long story or novella seems to fall into a middle distance between the novel and the short story. In their unique suspension of a narrative over time, novellas and long stories have neither the luxury of a novel’s length nor the constraint of a short story. What are the possibilities and characteristics and challenges of the form? Students will both read examples of long stories and novellas and, over the course of the semester, write one of their own. Offered alternate years. III.O, III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 365 (3) – Fiction Workshop: Linked Narratives
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. Stories in collections of narratives linked by theme, setting and/or character function both individually and as a unified whole. What are the pleasures and achievements of such collections? Is there a particular narrative that lends itself to this treatment? How are such stories different from chapters in novels? Collections of linked narratives will serve as models for students as they write their own series of linked stories and examine the pleasures, challenges and opportunities of the form. Offered alternate years. III.O, III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 371 (3) – Nonfiction Workshop: Writing about Film and Music
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. This course introduces students to the strategies for writing with depth, intelligence and style about film and music. Students will learn to write brief capsule reviews for general audiences and longer researched review essays for more sophisticated and niche audiences. All students will be required to create and maintain a blog as well as attend film screenings and live musical performances. Offered alternate years. III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 383 (3) – Fiction Workshop: The Fantastic in Fiction
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. Ghosts, talking animals, and aliens — among other strange phenomena — belong to the fictional universe referred to as magical realism or fabulism or fantastic fiction. What is the difference between this broad genre and so-called fantasy fiction (and why is one a higher order of art than the other), and how and why does a writer employ the impossible to describe the possibilities of human experience? Students will read and write stories that push at the boundaries of the real world. Offered alternate years. III.O, III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 389 (3) – Nonfiction Workshop: Bearing Witness - Writing about Human Rights and Social Justice Issues
Prerequisite: ENGL 106. Students in this course will examine and attempt journalistic and essay- istic accounts of human rights disasters and social justice issues, discussing the ways in which writers balance personal agenda and ideology against the burden of proof and objectivity, both of which are often difficult to come by in the midst of a war, natural disaster, or atrocity. Readings may include Martha Gelhorn, Orwell, Primo Levi, John Hersey, Seymour Hersh, Tim O’Brien, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion and Philip Gourevitch. Offered alternate years. III.O,III.W, V.6b.

ENGL 453 (3) – Senior Portfolio Seminar
Prerequisite: Senior standing; open to English/ creative writing majors only. This course serves as a workshop for senior English/creative writing majors completing their creative writing portfolios. Students will read across three genres — fiction, poetry, and nonfiction — from a range of contemporary literary journals, developing a picture of the current publishing landscape beyond the traditional form of the book. In addition, through peer and instructor responses and editing, students will revise and refine the work to be included in their final portfolios. III.W, V.6b.