Fall 2012 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
"Like everything metaphysical the harmony between thought and reality is to be found in the grammar of the language." --Wittgenstein
"There are no facts," Emerson once wrote. "Only art."
This course will combine literary analysis, research, and workshop components. About half of our time during the semester will be spent reading and analyzing the work of some of our most successful creative nonfiction authors. From the New Journalism of the 1960s to contemporary discussions of the Lyric Essay we will consider traditional approaches as well as experimental methodology in travel writing, memoir, cultural criticism, blogs, the video essay and many other sub-genres of creative nonfiction.
During the other half of our time together, we will be furthering our exploration of the relationship between "facts" and "art" in our own essays through writing assignments and the workshop process. Students specializing in creative writing will find this class useful in establishing an overview of contemporary creative nonfiction as well as in trying their hand at a variety of writing styles. Literature and History of Ideas students may find this class helpful as a way to learn about contemporary nonfiction writing from the inside out, working through both a critical and creative understanding of it.
May include but may not be limited to:
The Next American Essay edited by John D'Agata
Keep It Real: Everything You Need To Know About Researching And Writing Creative Nonfiction
edited by Lee Gutkind and Hattie Fletcher
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:
*Exercises, workshop essays and feedback on classmates' work (30%).
*Book Review (20%).
*One in-class presentation on a book of nonfiction (10%).
*Final Portfolio (40%).