Upcoming Courses - Summer 2018
224.001: Introduction to Creative Writing
This online introductory course will introduce students to the craft of writing literary fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. We will begin with issues that all genres share, and then go on to look at some of the conventions of the individual genres. Students should be prepared to learn to read like a writer, to try out a lot of different exercises, to learn the art of revision, and to write in all three genres. I also expect lively online discussion of the assigned readings, and there will also be an introduction to peer review in small groups.
297.001: Later American Literature
This later American literature course will cover the development of American literature from the end of the Civil War to the present. We’ll study a variety of writers, genres, and movements representative of the variety of people, histories, and themes that make up the nation. We’ll appreciate literature as art, analyzing its form, style, and use of language, and we’ll also consider literary texts within their cultural contexts. Along the way, we’ll learn the vocabulary and techniques of literary studies, acquire a sound, broad base of American literary history, and most importantly, we’ll hone our critical reading and thinking skills through written analysis.
388.001: The Gothic Novel and Film
The nineteenth-century British Gothic novel must be read in light of historical events and anxieties. Nineteenth-century Britain experienced the Industrial Revolution, the French Revolution, the Kantian Revolution, the Woman Question, the Condition of England question, the Crisis of Faith, new understandings about the psyche and science, and debates about slavery and empire. Knowing the history of nineteenth-century British anxieties is crucial to understanding the Gothic. We will read three Gothic novels, Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula and watch 3 early film versions of these novels to help us understand this disturbing, spectacular phenomenon, while also learning how to analyze fiction and film elements.
420.001: Travel Writing
Maybe you've enjoyed travel articles in magazines like National Geographic or Smithsonian and thought you’d like to try writing in a similar vein. This class will help get you started. We'll explore the elements that make for a good travel story: sense of voice, development of character, and the evocation of telling details. Travel writing is a rich and versatile genre, embracing a multitude of topics and forms. A travel story may concern spiritual awakening, cultural encounter, politics, anthropology, science, nature, food, philosophy—you name it. The journey motif is embedded deep in the human psyche. It enriches stories, poems, memoirs, essays—even scripture. In fact, the oldest storytelling we know about concerns travel and travelers--Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Moses, Aeneas, for example. For centuries, storytellers have turned again and again to travel for inspiration. Now, it’s your turn. During this 8-week summer course, you will have the opportunity to write several types of travel articles/stories, including blogs, review articles, informative articles, and personal essays. Readings from accomplished travel writers will serve as models. You will also have the chance to share your work with your peers through an online discussion board.