WRIT W1001x or y Beginning Fiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning workshop in fiction is designed for students with little or no experience writing literary texts in fiction. Students are introduced to a range of technical and imaginative concerns through exercises and discussions, and they eventually produce their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. The focus of the course is on the rudiments of voice, character, setting, point of view, plot, and lyrical use of language. Students will begin to develop the critical skills that will allow them to read like writers and understand, on a technical level, how accomplished creative writing is produced. Outside readings of a wide range of fiction supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W1001
WRIT
1001
17246
001
W 2:10p - 4:00p
511 KENT HALL
O. Barr 15 / 15 [ More Info ]
WRIT
1001
17496
002
M 4:10p - 6:00p
511 KENT HALL
H. Bennett 16 / 15 [ More Info ]
WRIT
1001
18746
003
Tu 4:10p - 6:00p
511 KENT HALL
K. Jensen 16 / 15 [ More Info ]
WRIT
1001
22846
004
W 4:10p - 6:00p
507 PHILOSOPHY HALL
A. Waldron 15 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W1100x or y Beginning Fiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning workshop in fiction is designed for students with little or no experience writing literary texts in fiction. Students are introduced to a range of technical and imaginative concerns through exercises and discussions, and they eventually produce their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. The focus of the course is on the rudiments of voice, character, setting, point of view, plot, and lyrical use of language. Students will begin to develop the critical skills that will allow them to read like writers and understand, on a technical level, how accomplished creative writing is produced. Outside readings of a wide range of fiction supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects.

WRIT W1101x or y Beginning Nonfiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning workshop in nonfiction is designed for students with little or no experience in writing literary nonfiction. Students are introduced to a range of technical and imaginative concerns through exercises and discussions, and they eventually submit their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W1101
WRIT
1101
68450
001
M 2:10p - 4:00p
511 KENT HALL
J. Bosson 13 / 15 [ More Info ]
WRIT
1101
72646
002
W 12:10p - 2:00p
511 KENT HALL
S. Unterman 15 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W1200x or y Beginning Nonfiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning workshop in nonfiction is designed for students with little or no experience in writing literary nonfiction. Students are introduced to a range of technical and imaginative concerns through exercises and discussions, and they eventually submit their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects.

WRIT W1201x or y Beginning Poetry Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning poetry workshop is designed for students who have a serious interest in poetry writing but who lack a significant background in the rudiments of the craft and/or have had little or no previous poetry workshop experience. Students will be assigned weekly writing exercises emphasizing such aspects of verse composition as the poetic line, the image, rhyme and other sound devices, verse forms, repetition, tone, irony, and others. Students will also read an extensive variety of exemplary work in verse, submit brief critical analyses of poems, and critique each other's original work.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W1201
WRIT
1201
77646
001
W 4:10p - 6:00p
511 KENT HALL
C. Ndulue 16 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W1300x or y Beginning Poetry Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning poetry workshop is designed for students who have a serious interest in poetry writing but who lack a significant background in the rudiments of the craft and/or have had little or no previous poetry workshop experience. Students will be assigned weekly writing exercises emphasizing such aspects of verse composition as the poetic line, the image, rhyme and other sound devices, verse forms, repetition, tone, irony, and others. Students will also read an extensive variety of exemplary work in verse, submit brief critical analyses of poems, and critique each other's original work.

WRIT W2001x or y Intermediate Fiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Intermediate workshops are for students with some experience with creative writing, and whose prior work merits admission to the class (as judged by the professor). Intermediate workshops present a higher creative standard than beginning workshops, and increased expectations to produce finished work. By the end of the semester, each student will have produced at least seventy pages of original fiction. Students are additionally expected to write extensive critiques of the work of their peers.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W2001
WRIT
2001
26796
001
M 6:10p - 8:00p
511 KENT HALL
E. Avery 12 / 15 [ More Info ]
WRIT
2001
29779
002
Tu 6:10p - 8:00p
405 KENT HALL
M. Jackson 12 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W2100x or y Intermediate Fiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Intermediate workshops are for students with some experience with creative writing, and whose prior work merits admission to the class (as judged by the professor). Intermediate workshops present a higher creative standard than beginning workshops, and increased expectations to produce finished work. By the end of the semester, each student will have produced at least seventy pages of original fiction. Students are additionally expected to write extensive critiques of the work of their peers.

WRIT W2101x or y Intermediate Nonfiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. The intermediate workshop in nonfiction is designed for students with some experience in writing literary nonfiction. Intermediate workshops present a higher creative standard than beginning workshops and an expectation that students will produce finished work. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects. By the end of the semester, students will have produced thirty to forty pages of original work in at least two traditions of literary nonfiction.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W2101
WRIT
2101
73746
001
Th 6:10p - 8:00p
405 KENT HALL
K. Russell 14 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W2110x or y Fiction Seminar: Approaches to the Short Story 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The modern short story has gone through many transformations, and the innovations of its practitioners have often pointed the way for prose fiction as a whole. The short story has been seized upon and refreshed by diverse cultures and aesthetic affiliations, so that perhaps the only stable definition of the form remains the famous one advanced by Poe, one of its early masters, as a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting. Still, common elements of the form have emerged over the last century and this course will study them, including Point of View, Plot, Character, Setting, and Theme. John Hawkes once famously called these last four elements the "enemies of the novel," and many short story writers have seen them as hindrances as well. Hawkes later recanted, though some writers would still agree with his earlier assessment, and this course will examine the successful strategies of great writers across the spectrum of short story practice, from traditional approaches to more radical solutions, keeping in mind how one period's revolution - Hemingway, for example - becomes a later era's mainstream or "common-sense" storytelling mode. By reading the work of major writers from a writer's perspective, we will examine the myriad techniques employed for what is finally a common goal: to make readers feel. Short writing exercises will help us explore the exhilarating subtleties of these elements and how the effects created by their manipulation or even outright absence power our most compelling fictions.

WRIT W2200x or y Intermediate Nonfiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. The intermediate workshop in nonfiction is designed for students with some experience in writing literary nonfiction. Intermediate workshops present a higher creative standard than beginning workshops and an expectation that students will produce finished work. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects. By the end of the semester, students will have produced thirty to forty pages of original work in at least two traditions of literary nonfiction.

WRIT W2201x or y Intermediate Poetry Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Intermediate poetry workshops are for students with some prior instruction in the rudiments of poetry writing and prior poetry workshop experience. Intermediate poetry workshops pose greater challenges to students and maintain higher critical standards than beginning workshops. Students will be instructed in more complex aspects of the craft, including the poetic persona, the prose poem, the collage, open-field composition, and others. They will also be assigned more challenging verse forms such as the villanelle and also non-European verse forms such as the pantoum. They will read extensively, submit brief critical analyses, and put their instruction into regular practice by composing original work that will be critiqued by their peers. By the end of the semester each student will have assembled a substantial portfolio of finished work.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W2201
WRIT
2201
78598
001
Th 4:10p - 6:00p
309 HAMILTON HALL
E. Pettit 14 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W2211y Nonfiction Seminar: Traditions in Nonfiction 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The seminar provides exposure to the varieties of nonfiction with readings in its principal genres: reportage, criticism and commentary, biography and history, and memoir and the personal essay. A highly plastic medium, nonfiction allows authors to portray real events and experiences through narrative, analysis, polemic or any combination thereof. Free to invent everything but the facts, great practitioners of nonfiction are faithful to reality while writing with a voice and a vision distinctively their own. To show how nonfiction is conceived and constructed, class discussions will emphasize the relationship of content to form and style, techniques for creating plot and character under the factual constraints imposed by nonfiction, the defining characteristics of each author's voice, the author's subjectivity and presence, the role of imagination and emotion, the uses of humor, and the importance of speculation and attitude. Written assignments will be opportunities to experiment in several nonfiction genres and styles.

WRIT W2300x or y Intermediate Poetry Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Intermediate poetry workshops are for students with some prior instruction in the rudiments of poetry writing and prior poetry workshop experience. Intermediate poetry workshops pose greater challenges to students and maintain higher critical standards than beginning workshops. Students will be instructed in more complex aspects of the craft, including the poetic persona, the prose poem, the collage, open-field composition, and others. They will also be assigned more challenging verse forms such as the villanelle and also non-European verse forms such as the pantoum. They will read extensively, submit brief critical analyses, and put their instruction into regular practice by composing original work that will be critiqued by their peers. By the end of the semester each student will have assembled a substantial portfolio of finished work.

WRIT W2311x or y Poetry Seminar: Traditions in Poetry 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Lyric poetry in contemporary practice continues to draw upon and modify its ancient sources, as well as Renaissance, Romantic and Modernist traditions. In this seminar, we will explore the creation of the voice of the poem, the wild lyrical I, through closely reading female poets from antiquity to present day, beginning with Anne Carson's translations of Sappho, If Not Winter, all the way up to present avatars and noted sylists such as Mary Jo Bang (Elegy), Traci K. Smith (Life on Mars), Bernadette Mayer (New Directions Reader), Eileen Myles (Not Me), Maggie Nelson (Bluets) and others. The identity of the poetic speaker remains with inescapable ties to memory and experience as one mode of the lyric, and with the dramatic topes of mask and persona as another. Students will be asked to hear a range of current and classic women poets deploying, constructing and annihilating the self: the sonnets of Queen Elizabeth and the American beginnings of Anne Bradstreet; the emergence in the 19th century of iconic and radicalizing female presences: Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning; and the predominance of 20th century masters who re-invented the English-language lyric as much as they inherited: Louise Bogan, Gwendolyn Brooks, H.D., Marianne Moore, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Laura Riding, and Gertrude Stein. As background, students will read prose works (epistolary, writing, journals and diaries, classic essays as well as prose poetry), which may contextualize women's desire and its reception in public and private space: the religious mysticism of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Dorothy Wordsworth's journals, Emily Dickinson's letters, and Virginia Woolf's criticism and novels. Students will be expected to keep their own reading diary or write letters in response to class readings, as well as select a classic and contemporary female poet for semester-long research. Additional course handouts will be organized by particular groupings of interest to our study of desire & identity, voice & witness: Confessional poetry (Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton), Cave Canem poets (Harryette Mullen and Natasha Trethway), New York School (Alice Notley and Hannah Weiner), as well as additional contemporary poets (Lyn Melnick and Matthea Harvey).

WRIT W3001x or y Advanced Fiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Building on the work of the Intermediate Workshop, Advanced Workshops are reserved for the most accomplished creative writing students. A significant body of writing must be produced and revised. Particular attention will be paid to the components of fiction: voice, perspective, characterization, and form. Students will be expected to finish several short stories, executing a total artistic vision on a piece of writing. The critical focus of the class will include an examination of endings and formal wholeness, sustaining narrative arcs, compelling a reader's interest for the duration of the text, and generating a sense of urgency and drama in the work.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3001
WRIT
3001
88944
001
M 2:10p - 4:00p
652 SCHERMERHORN HALL
V. Lavalle 15 / 15 [ More Info ]
WRIT
3001
24693
002
Tu 12:10p - 2:00p
511 KENT HALL
M. Lee 9 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3010x or y Cross Genre Seminar: Short Prose Forms 3 pts. Note: This seminar has a workshop component. Prerequisites: No Prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. "Flash fiction," "micro-naratives" and the "short-short" have become exciting areas of exploration for contemporary writers. This course will examine how these literary fragments have captured the imagination of writers internationally and at home. The larger question the class seeks to answer, both on a collective and individual level, is: How can we craft a working definition of those elements endemic to "short prose" as a genre? Does the form exceed classification? What aspects of both crafts -- prose and poetry -- does this genre inhabit, expand upon, reinvent, reject, subvert? Short Prose Forms incorporates aspects of both literary seminar and the creative workshop. Class-time will be devoted alternatingly to examinations of published pieces and modified discussions of student work. Our reading chart the course from the genre's emergence, examining the prose poem in 19th-century France through the works of Mallarme, Baudelaire, Max Jacob and Rimbaud. We'll examine aspects of poetry -- the attention to the lyrical, the use of compression, musicality, sonic resonances and wit -- and attempt to understand how these writers took, as Russell Edson describes, "experience [and] made it into an artifact with the logic of a dream." The class will conclude with a portfolio at the end of the term, in which students will submit a compendium of final drafts of three of four short prose pieces, samples of several exercises, selescted responses to readings, and a short personal manifesto on the "short prose form."

WRIT W3011x or y Translation Seminar 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Students do not need to demonstrate bilingual ability to take this course. Department approval NOT needed. Corequisites: This course is open to undergraduate & graduate students. This course will explore broad-ranging questions pertaining to the historical, cultural, and political significance of translation while analyzing the various challenges confronted by the art's foremost practitioners. We will read and discuss texts by writers and theorists such as Benjamin, Derrida, Borges, Steiner, Dryden, Nabokov, Schleiermacher, Goethe, Spivak, Jakobson, and Venuti. As readers and practitioners of translation, we will train our ears to detect the visibility of invisibility of the translator's craft; through short writing experiments, we will discover how to identify and capture the nuances that traverse literary styles, historical periods and cultures. The course will culminate in a final project that may either be a critical analysis or an original translation accompanied by a translator's note of introduction.

WRIT W3016x or y Cross Genre Seminar: Walking 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. As Walter Benjamin notes in The Arcades Project: "Basic to flanerie, among other things, is the idea that the fruits of idleness are more precious than the fruits of labor. The flaneur, as is well known, makes 'studies'." This course will encourage you to make "studies" -- poems, essays, stories, or multimedia pieces -- based on your walks. We will read depictions of walking from multiple disciplines, including philosophy, poetry, history, religion, visual art, and urban planning. Occasionally we will walk together. An important point of the course is to develop mobile forms of writing. How can writing emerge from, and document, a walk's encounters, observations, and reflections? What advantages does mobility bring to our work? Each week you will write a short piece (1-3 pages) that engages your walks while responding to close readings of the assigned material.

WRIT Q3100x or y Advanced Fiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Building on the work of the Intermediate Workshop, Advanced Workshops are reserved for the most accomplished creative writing students. A significant body of writing must be produced and revised. Particular attention will be paid to the components of fiction: voice, perspective, characterization, and form. Students will be expected to finish several short stories, executing a total artistic vision on a piece of writing. The critical focus of the class will include an examination of endings and formal wholeness, sustaining narrative arcs, compelling a reader's interest for the duration of the text, and generating a sense of urgency and drama in the work.

WRIT Q3101x or y Senior Fiction Workshop 4 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student.

WRIT W3101x or y Advanced Nonfiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Advanced Nonfiction Workshop is for students with significant narrative and/or critical experience. Students will produce original literary nonfiction for the workshop, with an added focus on developing a distinctive voice and approach.

WRIT W3110x or y Fiction Seminar: The Long and Short of It 3 pts.Not offered in 2016-2017. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The critic Randall Jarrell famously defined the novel as "a prose work of a certain length that has something wrong with it." In this class we will pay close attention to how writers determine the appropriate "certain length" for their narratives by focusing on another notoriously difficult-to-define form, the novella. Simply but unhelpfully, we might say that a novella is longer than a short story and shorter than a novel. But how does length affect the way a writer handles (or dispenses with) such essentials as plotting, characterization, and sense of place? What strategies are used to compress or expand time in novellas or long stories that take place in a single day, over the course of several days, or across many decades? What kind of statement can be made, and what kind of linguistic experience can be had in this intermediate length? We will start the semester by reading "flash fiction" together--stories of no more than a few hundred words--by writers such as Lydia Davis, Raymond Carver, and David Foster Wallace. Then we will read a novella a week, peering behind the curtain to see how they are put together. Authors may include Fyodor Dostoevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Herman Melville, James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Yasunari Kawabata, Albert Camus, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Paula Fox, Alice Munro, Roberto Bolao, Martin Amis, and George Saunders. Students will write two creative-writing assignments and give one in-class presentation.

WRIT W3111x and y Fiction Seminar: Exercises in Style 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Raymond Queneau, in his book Exercises in Style, demonstrated that a single story, however unassuming, could be told at least ninety-nine different ways. Even though the content never changed, the mood always did: aggressive, mild, indifferent, lyrical, sensitive, technical, indirect, deceitful. If, as fiction writers, one of our pursuits is to stylize various forms of information, and to call the result a story or novel, it is also tempting, and easy, to adopt trends of style without realizing it, and to possibly presume we operate outside of stylistic restrictions and conventions. Some styles become so commonplace that they no longer seem stylistic. V.S. Naipaul remarked in an interview that he was opposed to style, yet we can't exactly summarize his work based on its content. His manner of telling is sophisticated, subtle, shrewdly indirect, and elegant. He is, in short, a stylist. His brilliance might be to presume that this is the only way to tell a story, and to consider all other ways styles. This course for writers will look at a wide range of prose styles, from conspicuous to subtle ones. We will not only read examples of obviously stylistic prose, but consider as well how the reigning prose norms are themselves stylistic bulwarks, entrenched in the culture for various reasons that might interest us. One project we will undertake, in order to deepen our understanding and approach to style, will be to restylize certain of the passages we read. These short fiction exercises will supplement our weekly readings and will allow us to practice rhetorical tactics, to assess our own deep stylistic instincts, and to possibly dilate the range of locutions available to us as we work.

WRIT W3112x and y Fiction Seminar: The First Person 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Today, in the age of memoir, we don't need to apologize for speaking in the first person, but we still need to find a way to make a first person, fictional narrative forceful and focused. The logic is different, the danger the same: we must find a form that will shape an "I" account and render it rhetorically compelling, giving it the substance and complexity of literary art. In this seminar, we will begin by reading critical background about the early uses of first-person in fiction. We will study how these functioned in the societies they commented on, and chart the changing use of first person in western literature from the eighteenth century to today. Through reading contemporary novels, stories and novellas, we will analyze first person in its various guises: the "I" as witness (reliable or not), as elegist, outsider, interpreter, diarist, apologist, and portraitist. Towards the end of the semester we will study more unusual forms: first-person plural, first-person omniscient, first-person rotating. We will supplement our reading with craft-oriented observations by master-writers. Students will complete four to five fiction pieces of their own in which they will implement specific approaches to first-person. At least two of these will be complete stories; others may be the beginning of a novel or novella or floating scenes. Students will conference several times with the instructor to discuss their work.

WRIT W3113x or y Fiction Seminar: Voices from the Edge 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. What does it mean to be marginalized? Does it simply mean that white folks or men or heterosexuals or Americans don't listen to you very much? This is a reductive way of thinking that limits both minorities and majorities. In this seminar we'll read work that challenges our received notions about "the edge" and who's in it. We'll read with an eye toward issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality but we'll also think about marginalization in terms of genre, geography, and even personal politics. Our goal won't be to categorize and quantify hardships, but to appreciate some great--though overlooked--writing. And, finally, to try and understand how these talented artists wrote well. During the semester students will write short fiction inspired by the work they read and the craft issues discussed in class.

WRIT W3114x or y Fiction Seminar: Eccentrics & Outsiders 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Some of the greatest works of fiction are narrated by characters who have become unhinged from the norms of society. They may stand apart from the mainstream because of willful eccentricity, madness, even social disgrace, but in each case their alienation provides them with a unique perspective, one that allows the reader to see the world they describe without the dulling lens of convention. We will explore what authors might gain by narrating their works from an "outsider" viewpoint, and we will study how the peculiar form and structure of these books reflects the modernist impulse in literature. This is a seminar designed for fiction writers, so we will spend time talking about not only the artistic merits of these books, but also about how the authors, who include Dostoevsky, Knut Hamsun, Jean Rhys, Denis Johnson, Joy Williams, Samuel Beckett and Amos Tutuola, achieve their specific effects. Over the course of the semester, we will use these texts as a springboard for writing original fiction.

WRIT W3115x or y Fiction Seminar: Make It Strange 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Making the familiar strange, making the strange familiar: these are among the most dexterous, variously re-imagined, catholically deployed, and evergreen of literary techniques. From Roman Jakobson and the Russian Formalists, to postmodern appropriations of pop culture references, techniques of defamiliarization and the construction of the uncanny have helped literature succeed in altering the vision of habit, habit being that which Proust so aptly describes as a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first. In this course, we will examine precisely how writers have negotiated and presented the alien and the domestic, the extraordinary and the ordinary. Looking at texts that both intentionally and unintentionally unsettle the reader, the class will pay special attention to the pragmatics of writerly choices made at the levels of vocabulary, sentence structure, narrative structure, perspective, subject matter, and presentations of time. Students will have four creative and interrelated writing assignments, each one modeling techniques discussed in the preceding weeks.

WRIT W3116x or y Fiction Seminar: Story Collection As Art Form 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. How do story collections happen? Are they just anthologies of the best (or the only) stories a writer has produced in a given time period? How do you decide what goes in it, and how do you organize it, and how many do you need? In this class we're going to read a bunch of short story collections, in a variety of genres and modes. Rigorous literary, aesthetic, and critical analysis of individual stories will here be linked to macro-level questions such as: What makes a "linked collection" different from a novel? What are some of the ways that a "linked" collection forges its links-- character, theme, place, narrative strategy, mood, etc.? How does a writer handle her recurring themes without falling into repetition? How does the story collection compare with (or relate to) self-anthologizing forms in other disciplines: the poetry collection, the record album, the solo exhibition? Books include: The Piazza Tales by Herman Melville; Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel (Peter Constantine trans.); Super Flat Times by Matthew Derby; Normal People Don't Live Like This by Dylan Landis; The Train to Lo Wu by Jess Row; Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine; Birds of America by Lorrie Moore; The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald; Criers and Kibbitzers, Kibbitzers and Criers by Stanley Elkin; The Actual Adventures of michael Missing by Michael Hickins; and A Personal Anthology by Jorge Luis Borges.

WRIT W3117x or y Fiction Seminar: The Here & Now 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. In this course, we will read a wide variety of short fiction that concerns itself with the clarification and magnification of particular moments of being. An emphasis will be placed on how these writers notice things that others might overlook-- the small, the peculiar, the unexpected-- and then how they transform these seemingly modest things with the force of their attention. Our goal will be to proceed through these stories at the level of the sentence. Why this quiet pulling back? Much of our discussion will center on why a specific (and at times mysterious-seeming) choice has abeen made by an author. But we will also from time to time broaden our focus to encompass larger philosophical concerns that are triggered by these questions of craft. We will talk about the science of attention, false and true lyricism, "the discipline of rightness" (as Wallace Stevens once described it) and why it is that feeling so often precedes form. We will not spend very much time exploring the thematic concerns of these stories. Nor will we speak in great detail about whether we find contained within them sympathetic or unsympathetic characters. Instead, the aim of this class will be to analyze the formal elements of fiction with an eye towards refining our own prose styles and towards saying more clearly how it happened that a given text did or did not move us.

WRIT W3118x or y Fiction Seminar: Voices & Visions of Childhood 3 pts. This course focuses on literature written for adults, NOT children's books or young-adult literature. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Flannery O'Connor famously said, "Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days." A child's or youth's journey-- whether through ordinary, universal rites of passage, or through extraordinary adventure or trauma-- compels an adult reader (and writer) to (re)inhabit the world as both naif and nature's savant. Through the knowing/unknowing eye of the child or adolescent, the writer can explore adult topics prismatically and poignantly -- "from the bottom up" -- via humor, terror, innocence, wonder, or all of the above. In this course, we will read both long and short form examples of childhood and youth stories, examining in particular the relationships between narrator and character, character and world (setting), character and language and narrator and reader (i.e. "reliability" of narrator). Students will write two papers. Short scene-based writing assignments will challenge student writers to both mine their own memories for material and imagine voices/experiences far from their own.

WRIT W3123x or y An Earnest Look At Irony 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. In this seminar, we will examine works by several accomplished writers of fiction, and a few crackerjack poets, in order to determine what, precisely, we mean when we talk about irony on the page and what, precisely, we mean when we talk about earnestness. How are these very different effects (and affects) achieved? What are their benefits to the student author? What pitfalls, perceived or otherwise, attend the allure of each? What is the relationship of humor to earnestness, and of seriousness to irony? Is the absence of irony really the same thing as earnestness? Does the absence of earnestness somehow necessitate irony? With an eye toward technique, we will attempt to answer these and further questions by time spent among the words of those who fall along, though often refuse to stay put on, the earnest-ironic continuum. Students will be expected to write three stories or essays throughout the semester, exploring for themselves this treacherous but eminently skiable slope. With readings from Robert Frost, Stevie Smith, Charles Baudelaire, Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones), James Joyce, Raymond Carver, James Baldwin, Vladimir Nabokov, Joan Didion, Donald Barthelme, George Saunders, Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith, Gertrude Stein, Jamaica Kincaid, Jame Agee, Isak Dinsen, David Foster Wallace, Clarice Lispector, and Paul West.

WRIT W3200x or y Advanced Nonfiction Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Advanced Nonfiction Workshop is for students with significant narrative and/or critical experience. Students will produce original literary nonfiction for the workshop, with an added focus on developing a distinctive voice and approach.

WRIT Q3201x or y Senior Nonfiction Workshop 4 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student.

WRIT W3201x or y Advanced Poetry Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. This poetry workshop is reserved for accomplished poetry writers and maintains the highest level of creative and critical expectations. Students will be encouraged to develop their strengths and to cultivate a distinctive poetic vision and voice but must also demonstrate a willingness to broaden their range and experiment with new forms and notions of the poem. A portfolio of poetry will be written and revised with the critical input of the instructor and the workshop.

WRIT W3210x or y Nonfiction Seminar: The Modern Arts Writer 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. We will examine the lineaments of critical writing. A critic blends the subjective and objective in complex ways. A critic must know the history of an artwork, its past, while placing it on the contemporary landscape and contemplating its future. A single essay will analyze, argue, describe, reflect, and interpret. And, since examining a work of art also means examining oneself, the task includes a willingness to probe one's own assumptions. The best critics are engaged in a conversation -- a dialogue, a debate -- with changing standards of taste, with their audience, with their own convictions and emotions. The best criticism is part of a larger cultural conversation. It spurs readers to ask questions rather than accept answers about art and society. We will read essays that consider six art forms: literature; film; music (classical, jazz and popular); theatre and performance; visual art; and dance. At the term's end, students will consider essays that examine cultural boundaries and divisions: the negotiations between popular and high art; the aesthetic of cruelty; the post-modern blurring of and between artist, critic and fan. The reading list will include such writers as Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Elizabeth Hardwick (literature); James Agee, Manny Farber, Zadie Smith (film); G.B. Shaw, Willa Cather, Ralph Ellison, Lester Bangs, Ellen Willis (music); Eric Bentley, Mary McCarthy, C.L.R. James (theatre); Leo Steinberg, Frank O'Hara, Ada Louise Huxtable, Maggie Nelson (visual art); Edwin Denby, Arlene Croce, Elizabeth Kendall, Mindy Aloff (dance); Susan Sontag, Anthony Heilbut, John Jeremiah Sullivan (cultural criticism).

WRIT W3211x or y Nonfiction Seminar: The Lyric Essay 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT needed. While nonfiction is perhaps known for its allegiance to facts and logic in the stalwart essay form, the genre conducts its own experiments, often grouped under the term "lyric essays." Lyric essays are sometimes fragmentary, suggestive, meditative, inconclusive; they may glance only sidelong at their subject, employ the compression of poetry, and perform magic tricks in which stories slip down blind alleys, discursive arguments dissolve into ellipses, and narrators disappear altogether. Lyric essayists blend a passion for the actual with innovative forms, listening deeply to the demands of each new subject. In this course, students will map the terrain of the lyric essay, work in which writers revise nonfiction traditions such as: coherent narrative or rhetorical arcs; an identifiable, transparent, or stable narrator; and the familiar categories of memoir, personal essay, travel writing, and argument. Students will read work that challenges these familiar contours, including selections from Halls of Fame by John D'Agata, Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine, Plainwater by Anne Carson, Letters to Wendy by Joe Wenderoth, The Body and One Love Affair by Jenny Boully, Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje, Neck Deep and Other Predicaments by Ander Monson. They can expect to read essays selected from The Next American Essay edited by John D'Agata and In Short: A Collection of Brief Creative Nonfiction edited by Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones, as well as essays by Paul Metcalf, David Foster Wallace, Sherman Alexie, Michael Martone, and Sei Shonagon. The course will be conducted seminar style, with close reading, lecture, and classroom discussion. The students will be expected to prepare a written study and comments for class on a particular book/author/issue. They will also complete writing exercises and their own lyric essay(s), one of which we will discuss as a class. Their final project will be a collection of their creative work accompanied by an essay discussing their choices.

WRIT W3212x or y Nonfiction Seminar: Literature Without Writing 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites required. Department approval NOT required. The investigative dialogue is among the oldest forms of literature, and it remains one of the most egalitarian and relevant to life. It's simple - comment and response, question and answer - and can be produced by artists, scientists, lunatics, athletes, criminals, and any other human being, from Plato to Oprah Winfrey. The interview is a kind of performative literature, documenting a time, place, mood, and an extemporaneous exchange. Transcription transforms the off-the-cuff spoken word into permanent, written text, from ear to page, an art form of capturing rather than imagining. Conversational language is also essential to the art of fiction, showing through telling, or explaining instead of organizing our life into this-then-that narratives. Modernism was the age of the interior monologue but the internal debate might be a form more reflective of the 21st century mind. This course will include readings of psychoanalytic sessions, legal court transcripts, celebrity chats, Zen koan talks, philosophical dialogues, podcasts, television talk shows, and fictional interviews. Students will conduct real interviews and write fictional ones. They will transcribe, listen, and hear literature in the artless, everyday discussion.

WRIT W3213x or y Nonfiction Seminar: The Literary Reporter 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites required. Department approval NOT required. The literary reporter is a changeable character. When she's conducting immersion journalism, she lives with her sources, tries to blend with them. Long-form narrative reporting requires her to ask difficult questions, born from exhaustive research and critical observation. The memoirist reports from the prism of her own experience, casting herself as a character, making meaning of interviews through the fault lines of memory. The biographer is a ventriloquist, often embodying the purpose or quest of another person, and pulling voices and stories from hints and scraps. In this seminar, students will explore the various kinds of literary reporting inherent to various nonfiction literary forms, unearthing the strategies writers can use to elicit powerful interviews, background stories and ultimately, what it means to author another person's "truth," and discuss the delicate terrains of race, gender and political misunderstanding, interrogating our own preconceptions. Readings will include Peter Hessler, Suketu Mehta, Richard Rodriguez, Joan Didion, Janet Malcolm, and Ted Conover, as well as Julia Kristeva and Michel Foucault, and we'll read interviews with authors about their craft, to learn from their direct experience. Students will have the opportunity to do some reporting on their own, and will write two short papers.

WRIT W3217x or y Nonfiction Seminar: Science And Sensibility 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Writing about the natural world is one of the world's oldest literary traditions and the site of some of today's most daring literary experiments. Known loosely as "science writing" this tradition can be traced through texts in myriad and overlapping genres, including poetry, explorer's notebooks, essays, memoirs, art books, and science journalism. Taken together, these divers texts reveal a rich literary tradition in which the writer's sensibility and worldview are paramount to an investigation of the known and unknown. In this course, we will consider a wide range of texts in order to map this tradition. We will question what it means to use science as metaphor, explore how to write about science with rigor and commitment to scientific truth, and interrogate the fiction of objectivity.

WRIT W3290x or y Fiction Seminar First Novels: How They Work 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. First Novels exist as a distinct category, in part, because all novelists must write one. They may never write a second, but in order to be called novelists there always has to be a first. As a result the first novel is a very special animal. Every kind of writer must attempt one and despite vast differences in genre or style there are often many similarities between them. In fact, one of the surest similarities are the flaws in each book. Before each writer becomes an expert at his or her method, his or her style, there is room for experimentation and unsuccessful attempts. These "failures" are often much more illuminating for students than the successes of later books. First novels contain the energy of youth, but often lack the precision that comes with maturity. By examining a series of first novels students will learn to identify common craft elements of first novels and how to employ them to great effect in their own writing.

WRIT W3292x or y Fiction Seminar What Happened Was: Approaches to Plot & Dramatic Structure 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Typically the word "plot" produces either anxiety in writers or a sense of overconfidence. Must a story or a novel have one? When is a plot a plot and not just a series of random events, connected by too much willfulness on the part of the author? How much should coincidence come to bear when designing a plot? Should an overreliance on plot deem a work to be classified as "genre writing" rather than a work of literature? And how, within this context, does one understand F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous claim that "character is plot, plot is character"? This class will attempt to answer these questions by examining the mechanics of plot, and how a machine can become an art form. The syllabus will include a variety of fictional works ranging from the murder mystery to the so-called plotless novel. In-class discussions and writing assignments will focus on the strategies these different novels and stories deploy as a way to understand structure, sustain dramatic irony, and make use of dramatic tension. Readings may also include essays on plot by writers such as E.M. Forster, Elizabeth Bowen, Milan Kundera, and Charles Baxter, among others.

WRIT W3294x or y Fiction Seminar: The Craft Of Writing Dialogue 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Departmental approval NOT required. Whether texting, chatting, conversing, speechifying, recounting, confiding, gossiping, tweeting, praying, interviewing, exhorting, pitching, scheming, lecturing, nagging or begging, humans love to talk, and readers love narratives that contain dialogue. Good dialogue makes characters and scenes feel real and alive. Great dialogue reveals characters' fears, desires and quirks, forwards the narrative's plot and dramatic tension, and often contains subtext. In this course, we'll read different kinds of novels and stories -- from noir to horror to sci-fi to realistice drama to comic romp -- that implement various types of dialogue effectively, and we'll study how to do it. We'll read essays by masters that explain techniques for writing great dialogue, and we'll practice writing different styles of dialogue ourselves. Coursework will consist of reading, in-class exercises, and two short creative assignments.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3294
WRIT
3294
72696
001
Tu 2:10p - 4:00p
401 HAMILTON HALL
R. Curtis 14 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3296x or y Fiction Seminar: How To Build A Person 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Departmental approval NOT required. Character is something that good fiction supposedly cannot do without. But what is a character, and what constitutes a supposedly good or believable one? Should characters be like people we know, and if so, how exactly do we create written versions of people? This class will examine characters in all sorts of writing, historical and contemporary, with an eye toward understanding just how characters are created in fiction, and how they come to seem real to us. We'll read stories and novels; we may also look at essays and biographical writing to analyze where the traces of personhood reside. We'll also explore the way in which these same techniques of writing allow us to personify entities that lack traditional personhood, such as animals, computers, and other nonhuman characters. Does personhood precede narrative, or is it something we bestow on others by allowing them to tell their story or by telling a story of our own creation on their behalf? Weekly critical and creative exercises will intersect with and expand on the readings and discussions.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3296
WRIT
3296
93747
001
M 6:10p - 8:00p
405 KENT HALL
K. Alcott 9 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3300x or y Advanced Poetry Workshop 3 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. This poetry workshop is reserved for accomplished poetry writers and maintains the highest level of creative and critical expectations. Students will be encouraged to develop their strengths and to cultivate a distinctive poetic vision and voice but must also demonstrate a willingness to broaden their range and experiment with new forms and notions of the poem. A portfolio of poetry will be written and revised with the critical input of the instructor and the workshop.

WRIT W3301x or y Fiction Seminar: Techniques of the Short Story 3 pts.Not offered in 2016-2017. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The modern short story has gone through many transformations, and the innovations of its practitioners have often pointed the way for prose fiction as a whole. The short story has been seized upon and refreshed by diverse cultures and aesthetic affiliations, so that perhaps the only stable definition of the form remains the famous one advanced by Poe, one of its early masters, as a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting. Still, common elements of the form have emerged over the last century and this course will study them, including Point of View, Plot, Character, Setting, and Theme. John Hawkes once famously called these last four elements the 'enemies of the novel,' and many short story writers have seen them as hindrances as well. Hawkes later recanted, though some writers would still agree with his earlier assessment, and this course will examine the successful strategies of great writers across the spectrum of short story practice, from traditional approaches to more radical solutions, keeping in mind how one period's revolution - Hemingway, for example - becomes a later era's mainstream or 'common-sense' storytelling mode. By reading the work of major writers from a writer's perspective, we will examine the myriad techniques employed for what is finally a common goal: to make readers feel. Short writing exercises will help us explore the exhilarating subtleties of these elements and how the effects created by their manipulation or even outright absence power our most compelling fictions.

WRIT W3301x or y Senior Poetry Workshop 4 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student.

WRIT W3302x or y Fiction Seminar: Approaches to the Short Story 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The modern short story has gone through many transformations, and the innovations of its practitioners have often pointed the way for prose fiction as a whole. The short story has been seized upon and refreshed by diverse cultures and aesthetic affiliations, so that perhaps the only stable definition of the form remains the famous one advanced by Poe, one of its early masters, as a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting. Still, common elements of the form have emerged over the last century and this course will study them, including Point of View, Plot, Character, Setting, and Theme. John Hawkes once famously called these last four elements the "enemies of the novel," and many short story writers have seen them as hindrances as well. Hawkes later recanted, though some writers would still agree with his earlier assessment, and this course will examine the successful strategies of great writers across the spectrum of short story practice, from traditional approaches to more radical solutions, keeping in mind how one period's revolution - Hemingway, for example - becomes a later era's mainstream or "common-sense" storytelling mode. By reading the work of major writers from a writer's perspective, we will examine the myriad techniques employed for what is finally a common goal: to make readers feel. Short writing exercises will help us explore the exhilarating subtleties of these elements and how the effects created by their manipulation or even outright absence power our most compelling fictions.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3302
WRIT
3302
82496
001
Th 12:10p - 2:00p
511 KENT HALL
A. Graedon 16 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3303x or y Fiction Seminar: The Long and Short of It 3 pts.Not offered in 2016-2017. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The critic Randall Jarrell famously defined the novel as "a prose work of a certain length that has something wrong with it." In this class we will pay close attention to how writers determine the appropriate "certain length" for their narratives by focusing on another notoriously difficult-to-define form, the novella. Simply but unhelpfully, we might say that a novella is longer than a short story and shorter than a novel. But how does length affect the way a writer handles (or dispenses with) such essentials as plotting, characterization, and sense of place? What strategies are used to compress or expand time in novellas or long stories that take place in a single day, over the course of several days, or across many decades? What kind of statement can be made, and what kind of linguistic experience can be had in this intermediate length? We will start the semester by reading "flash fiction" together--stories of no more than a few hundred words--by writers such as Lydia Davis, Raymond Carver, and David Foster Wallace. Then we will read a novella a week, peering behind the curtain to see how they are put together. Authors may include Fyodor Dostoevsky, Arthur Conan Doyle, Herman Melville, James Joyce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Yasunari Kawabata, Albert Camus, Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Paula Fox, Alice Munro, Roberto Bolao, Martin Amis, and George Saunders. Students will write two creative-writing assignments and give one in-class presentation.

WRIT W3304x and y Fiction Seminar: Exercises in Style 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Raymond Queneau, in his book Exercises in Style, demonstrated that a single story, however unassuming, could be told at least ninety-nine different ways. Even though the content never changed, the mood always did: aggressive, mild, indifferent, lyrical, sensitive, technical, indirect, deceitful. If, as fiction writers, one of our pursuits is to stylize various forms of information, and to call the result a story or novel, it is also tempting, and easy, to adopt trends of style without realizing it, and to possibly presume we operate outside of stylistic restrictions and conventions. Some styles become so commonplace that they no longer seem stylistic. V.S. Naipaul remarked in an interview that he was opposed to style, yet we can't exactly summarize his work based on its content. His manner of telling is sophisticated, subtle, shrewdly indirect, and elegant. He is, in short, a stylist. His brilliance might be to presume that this is the only way to tell a story, and to consider all other ways styles. This course for writers will look at a wide range of prose styles, from conspicuous to subtle ones. We will not only read examples of obviously stylistic prose, but consider as well how the reigning prose norms are themselves stylistic bulwarks, entrenched in the culture for various reasons that might interest us. One project we will undertake, in order to deepen our understanding and approach to style, will be to restylize certain of the passages we read. These short fiction exercises will supplement our weekly readings and will allow us to practice rhetorical tactics, to assess our own deep stylistic instincts, and to possibly dilate the range of locutions available to us as we work.

WRIT W3305x and y Fiction Seminar: The First Person 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Today, in the age of memoir, we don't need to apologize for speaking in the first person, but we still need to find a way to make a first person, fictional narrative forceful and focused. The logic is different, the danger the same: we must find a form that will shape an "I" account and render it rhetorically compelling, giving it the substance and complexity of literary art. In this seminar, we will begin by reading critical background about the early uses of first-person in fiction. We will study how these functioned in the societies they commented on, and chart the changing use of first person in western literature from the eighteenth century to today. Through reading contemporary novels, stories and novellas, we will analyze first person in its various guises: the "I" as witness (reliable or not), as elegist, outsider, interpreter, diarist, apologist, and portraitist. Towards the end of the semester we will study more unusual forms: first-person plural, first-person omniscient, first-person rotating. We will supplement our reading with craft-oriented observations by master-writers. Students will complete four to five fiction pieces of their own in which they will implement specific approaches to first-person. At least two of these will be complete stories; others may be the beginning of a novel or novella or floating scenes. Students will conference several times with the instructor to discuss their work.

WRIT W3306x or y Fiction Seminar: Voices from the Edge 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. What does it mean to be marginalized? Does it simply mean that white folks or men or heterosexuals or Americans don't listen to you very much? This is a reductive way of thinking that limits both minorities and majorities. In this seminar we'll read work that challenges our received notions about "the edge" and who's in it. We'll read with an eye toward issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality but we'll also think about marginalization in terms of genre, geography, and even personal politics. Our goal won't be to categorize and quantify hardships, but to appreciate some great--though overlooked--writing. And, finally, to try and understand how these talented artists wrote well. During the semester students will write short fiction inspired by the work they read and the craft issues discussed in class.

WRIT W3307x or y Fiction Seminar: Eccentrics & Outsiders 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Some of the greatest works of fiction are narrated by characters who have become unhinged from the norms of society. They may stand apart from the mainstream because of willful eccentricity, madness, even social disgrace, but in each case their alienation provides them with a unique perspective, one that allows the reader to see the world they describe without the dulling lens of convention. We will explore what authors might gain by narrating their works from an "outsider" viewpoint, and we will study how the peculiar form and structure of these books reflects the modernist impulse in literature. This is a seminar designed for fiction writers, so we will spend time talking about not only the artistic merits of these books, but also about how the authors, who include Dostoevsky, Knut Hamsun, Jean Rhys, Denis Johnson, Joy Williams, Samuel Beckett and Amos Tutuola, achieve their specific effects. Over the course of the semester, we will use these texts as a springboard for writing original fiction.

WRIT W3308x or y Cross Genre Seminar: Short Prose Forms 3 pts. Note: This seminar has a workshop component. Prerequisites: No Prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. "Flash fiction," "micro-naratives" and the "short-short" have become exciting areas of exploration for contemporary writers. This course will examine how these literary fragments have captured the imagination of writers internationally and at home. The larger question the class seeks to answer, both on a collective and individual level, is: How can we craft a working definition of those elements endemic to "short prose" as a genre? Does the form exceed classification? What aspects of both crafts -- prose and poetry -- does this genre inhabit, expand upon, reinvent, reject, subvert? Short Prose Forms incorporates aspects of both literary seminar and the creative workshop. Class-time will be devoted alternatingly to examinations of published pieces and modified discussions of student work. Our reading chart the course from the genre's emergence, examining the prose poem in 19th-century France through the works of Mallarme, Baudelaire, Max Jacob and Rimbaud. We'll examine aspects of poetry -- the attention to the lyrical, the use of compression, musicality, sonic resonances and wit -- and attempt to understand how these writers took, as Russell Edson describes, "experience [and] made it into an artifact with the logic of a dream." The class will conclude with a portfolio at the end of the term, in which students will submit a compendium of final drafts of three of four short prose pieces, samples of several exercises, selescted responses to readings, and a short personal manifesto on the "short prose form."

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3308
WRIT
3308
87031
001
Tu 6:10p - 8:00p
511 KENT HALL
A. DeWitt 15 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3312x and y Poetry Seminar: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. This course is designed to address the particular frustrations surrounding revision. We will excavate our abandoned work-- subjecting it to maneuvers ranging from the light in touch to the radical; visiting techniques appropriate for the isolation chamber, as well as the collaborative. And we will examine how poets throughout the ages have approached revision -- including Lowell's changing of words into their opposites; Auden's revisions of his published work from the standpoint of maturity; Plath's 'next poem as revision' technique. The idea of the class borrows from the world's current trash predicament: how to cut our waste; re-use creatively what we have already produced; make something new and useful of our junk.

WRIT W3315x or y Poetry Seminar: Poetic Meter And Form 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. This course will investigate the uses of rhythmic order and disorder in English-language poetry, with a particular emphasis on 'formal' elements in 'free' verse. Through a close analysis of poems, we'll examine the possibilities of qualitative meter, and students will write original creative work within (and in response to) various formal traditions. Analytical texts and poetic manifestos will accompany our reading of exemplary poems. Each week, we'll study interesting examples of metrical writing, and I'll ask you to write in reponse to those examples. Our topics will include stress meter, syllable-stress meter, double and triple meter, rising and falling rhythms, promotion, demotion, inversion, elision, and foot scansion. Our study will include a greate range of pre-modern and modern writers, from Keats to W.D. Snodgrass, Shakespeare to Denise Levertov, Blake to James Dickey, Whitman to Louise Gluck etc. As writers, we'll always be thinking about how the formal choices of a poem are appropriate or inappropriate for the poem's content. We'll also read prose by poets describing their metrical craft.

WRIT W3323x or y Nonfiction Seminar: Learning to See: Writing The Visual 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. It was through seriously meditating on the paintings and sculptures of Cezanne and Rodin that Rilke learned to see (as he phrased it) and radicalized his literary vision. In this seminar, we will look seriously at the object, and think through the forms, processes, and lives of artists as models and inspiration for our own nonfiction pieces. The writers we will be reading play with genre, style, form, and voice in innovative ways, like the art and artists they are writing to, occasionally using images in their texts or turning their own books and essays into art objects and playful experiments. An indefinite list of these writers: W.G. Sebald, Claudia Rankine, Janet Malcolm, Douglas Martin, Roland Barthes, Hervé Guibert, Anne Carson, Sophie Calle, T. Fleischmann, Chris Kraus, Tisa Bryant, Bruce Hainley, Susan Sontag, Bhanu Kapil, Lisa Robertson, Ariana Reines, Wayne Koestenbaum, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and others. The class aims to stimulate and inspire your own practice through reading and seeing, critically and ecstatically. You will write midterm and final critical responses, as well as submit creative texts every week that respond to the reading, culminating in a final literary work that will be an extension of one of your shorter imitative pieces.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3323
WRIT
3323
82035
001
Tu 2:10p - 4:00p
309 HAMILTON HALL
K. Zambreno 10 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3325x or y Nonfiction Seminar: Truths & Facts: Creative License In Nonfiction 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. As writers of literary nonfiction, we seek to articulate the truth about people, personal experiences, and events. But how do those pesky facts figure in? Demarcating the boundaries of reasonable artistic license is an ongoing debate among writers, editors, fact-checkers, and audiences. Can changing chronologies and identifying details help the writer arrive at a deeper truth about her subject? Or are the facts intractable? Where do we draw the line between fabrication and artistry? Is there any merit to what Werner Herzog deems "the ecstatic truth?" Do different rules apply for writing memoir versus writing reported essays and articles? How can we work responsibly with quotes while making dialogue readable? Just how experimental can we be while earning the mantle of nonfiction? In this class we will read works that take different approaches at mining toward the truth and unpack various distinct points of view on the debate. Our classes will consist mainly of discussion, with occasional in-class writing exercises and presentations. Students will write reflection papers on the asigned texts throughout the course and compose their own code of nonfiction ethics by the term's end, and examine their own work under this rubric.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3325
WRIT
3325
65848
001
Th 2:10p - 4:00p
401 HAMILTON HALL
E. Greenwood 11 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3327x or y Nonfiction Seminar: Science & Sensibility 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Writing about the natural world is one of the world's oldest literary traditions and the site of some of today's most daring literary experiments. Known loosely as "science writing" this tradition can be traced through texts in myriad and overlapping genres, including poetry, explorer's notebook, essays, memoirs, art books, and science journalism. Taken together, these diverse texts reveal a rich literary tradition in which the writer's sensibility and worldview are paramount to an investigation of the known and unknown. In this course, we will consider a wide range of texts in order to map this tradition. We will question what it means to use science as metaphor, explore how to write about science with rigor and commitment to scientific truth, and interrogate the fiction of objectivity. Readings will include Lucretius, Erasmus Darwin, Thomas Browne, Freud, Claude Levi-Strauss, John McPhee, Susan Sontag, Eula Biss, Lauren Redness, Rachel Aviv, Lawrence Weschler, Tracy K. Smith, Kathryn Schulz, Ed Yong, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, and Elif Batuman. Students will write two short papers and have the opportunity to do some science writing of their own.

WRIT W3330x or y Nonfiction Seminar: Hybrid Nonfiction Forms 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Creative nonfiction is a frustratingly vague term. How do we give it real literary meaning; examine its compositional aims and techniques, its achievements and especially its aspirations? This course will focus on works that we might call visionary - works that combine art forms, genres and styles in striking ways. Works in which image and text combine to create a third interactive language for the reader. Works still termed "fiction" "history" or "journalism" that join fact and fiction to interrogate their uses and implications. Certain memoirs that are deliberately anti-autobiographical, turning from personal narrative to the sounds, sight, impressions and ideas of the writer's milieu. Certain essays that join personal reflection to arts and cultural criticism, drawing on research and imagination, the vernacular and the formal, even prose and poetry. The assemblage or collage that, created from notebook entries, lists, quotations, footnotes and indexes achieves its coherence through fragments and associations, found and original texts.

WRIT W3331x and y Nonfiction Seminar: The Modern Arts Writer 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. We will examine the lineaments of critical writing. A critic blends the subjective and objective in complex ways. A critic must know the history of an artwork, its past, while placing it on the contemporary landscape and contemplating its future. A single essay will analyze, argue, describe, reflect, and interpret. And, since examining a work of art also means examining oneself, the task includes a willingness to probe one's own assumptions. The best critics are engaged in a conversation -- a dialogue, a debate -- with changing standards of taste, with their audience, with their own convictions and emotions. The best criticism is part of a larger cultural conversation. It spurs readers to ask questions rather than accept answers about art and society. We will read essays that consider six art forms: literature; film; music (classical, jazz and popular); theatre and performance; visual art; and dance. At the term's end, students will consider essays that examine cultural boundaries and divisions: the negotiations between popular and high art; the aesthetic of cruelty; the post-modern blurring of and between artist, critic and fan. The reading list will include such writers as Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, Elizabeth Hardwick (literature); James Agee, Manny Farber, Zadie Smith (film); G.B. Shaw, Willa Cather, Ralph Ellison, Lester Bangs, Ellen Willis (music); Eric Bentley, Mary McCarthy, C.L.R. James (theatre); Leo Steinberg, Frank O'Hara, Ada Louise Huxtable, Maggie Nelson (visual art); Edwin Denby, Arlene Croce, Elizabeth Kendall, Mindy Aloff (dance); Susan Sontag, Anthony Heilbut, John Jeremiah Sullivan (cultural criticism).

WRIT W3333y Nonfiction Seminar: Traditions in Nonfiction 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The seminar provides exposure to the varieties of nonfiction with readings in its principal genres: reportage, criticism and commentary, biography and history, and memoir and the personal essay. A highly plastic medium, nonfiction allows authors to portray real events and experiences through narrative, analysis, polemic or any combination thereof. Free to invent everything but the facts, great practitioners of nonfiction are faithful to reality while writing with a voice and a vision distinctively their own. To show how nonfiction is conceived and constructed, class discussions will emphasize the relationship of content to form and style, techniques for creating plot and character under the factual constraints imposed by nonfiction, the defining characteristics of each author's voice, the author's subjectivity and presence, the role of imagination and emotion, the uses of humor, and the importance of speculation and attitude. Written assignments will be opportunities to experiment in several nonfiction genres and styles.

WRIT W3335x or y Nonfiction Seminar: The Lyric Essay 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT needed. While nonfiction is perhaps known for its allegiance to facts and logic in the stalwart essay form, the genre conducts its own experiments, often grouped under the term "lyric essays." Lyric essays are sometimes fragmentary, suggestive, meditative, inconclusive; they may glance only sidelong at their subject, employ the compression of poetry, and perform magic tricks in which stories slip down blind alleys, discursive arguments dissolve into ellipses, and narrators disappear altogether. Lyric essayists blend a passion for the actual with innovative forms, listening deeply to the demands of each new subject. In this course, students will map the terrain of the lyric essay, work in which writers revise nonfiction traditions such as: coherent narrative or rhetorical arcs; an identifiable, transparent, or stable narrator; and the familiar categories of memoir, personal essay, travel writing, and argument. Students will read work that challenges these familiar contours, including selections from Halls of Fame by John D'Agata, Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine, Plainwater by Anne Carson, Letters to Wendy by Joe Wenderoth, The Body and One Love Affair by Jenny Boully, Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes, Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje, Neck Deep and Other Predicaments by Ander Monson. They can expect to read essays selected from The Next American Essay edited by John D'Agata and In Short: A Collection of Brief Creative Nonfiction edited by Judith Kitchen and Mary Paumier Jones, as well as essays by Paul Metcalf, David Foster Wallace, Sherman Alexie, Michael Martone, and Sei Shonagon. The course will be conducted seminar style, with close reading, lecture, and classroom discussion. The students will be expected to prepare a written study and comments for class on a particular book/author/issue. They will also complete writing exercises and their own lyric essay(s), one of which we will discuss as a class. Their final project will be a collection of their creative work accompanied by an essay discussing their choices.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3335
WRIT
3335
87697
001
W 6:10p - 8:00p
511 KENT HALL
J. Percy 14 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3336x or y Translation Seminar 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Students do not need to demonstrate bilingual ability to take this course. Department approval NOT needed. Corequisites: This course is open to undergraduate & graduate students. This course will explore broad-ranging questions pertaining to the historical, cultural, and political significance of translation while analyzing the various challenges confronted by the art's foremost practitioners. We will read and discuss texts by writers and theorists such as Benjamin, Derrida, Borges, Steiner, Dryden, Nabokov, Schleiermacher, Goethe, Spivak, Jakobson, and Venuti. As readers and practitioners of translation, we will train our ears to detect the visibility of invisibility of the translator's craft; through short writing experiments, we will discover how to identify and capture the nuances that traverse literary styles, historical periods and cultures. The course will culminate in a final project that may either be a critical analysis or an original translation accompanied by a translator's note of introduction.

WRIT W3340x or y Fiction Seminar: Make It Strange 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Making the familiar strange, making the strange familiar: these are among the most dexterous, variously re-imagined, catholically deployed, and evergreen of literary techniques. From Roman Jakobson and the Russian Formalists, to postmodern appropriations of pop culture references, techniques of defamiliarization and the construction of the uncanny have helped literature succeed in altering the vision of habit, habit being that which Proust so aptly describes as a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first. In this course, we will examine precisely how writers have negotiated and presented the alien and the domestic, the extraordinary and the ordinary. Looking at texts that both intentionally and unintentionally unsettle the reader, the class will pay special attention to the pragmatics of writerly choices made at the levels of vocabulary, sentence structure, narrative structure, perspective, subject matter, and presentations of time. Students will have four creative and interrelated writing assignments, each one modeling techniques discussed in the preceding weeks.

WRIT W3353x or y Poetry Seminar: Traditions in Poetry 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Lyric poetry in contemporary practice continues to draw upon and modify its ancient sources, as well as Renaissance, Romantic and Modernist traditions. In this seminar, we will explore the creation of the voice of the poem, the wild lyrical I, through closely reading female poets from antiquity to present day, beginning with Anne Carson's translations of Sappho, If Not Winter, all the way up to present avatars and noted sylists such as Mary Jo Bang (Elegy), Traci K. Smith (Life on Mars), Bernadette Mayer (New Directions Reader), Eileen Myles (Not Me), Maggie Nelson (Bluets) and others. The identity of the poetic speaker remains with inescapable ties to memory and experience as one mode of the lyric, and with the dramatic topes of mask and persona as another. Students will be asked to hear a range of current and classic women poets deploying, constructing and annihilating the self: the sonnets of Queen Elizabeth and the American beginnings of Anne Bradstreet; the emergence in the 19th century of iconic and radicalizing female presences: Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Barrett Browning; and the predominance of 20th century masters who re-invented the English-language lyric as much as they inherited: Louise Bogan, Gwendolyn Brooks, H.D., Marianne Moore, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Laura Riding, and Gertrude Stein. As background, students will read prose works (epistolary, writing, journals and diaries, classic essays as well as prose poetry), which may contextualize women's desire and its reception in public and private space: the religious mysticism of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Dorothy Wordsworth's journals, Emily Dickinson's letters, and Virginia Woolf's criticism and novels. Students will be expected to keep their own reading diary or write letters in response to class readings, as well as select a classic and contemporary female poet for semester-long research. Additional course handouts will be organized by particular groupings of interest to our study of desire & identity, voice & witness: Confessional poetry (Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton), Cave Canem poets (Harryette Mullen and Natasha Trethway), New York School (Alice Notley and Hannah Weiner), as well as additional contemporary poets (Lyn Melnick and Matthea Harvey).

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3353
WRIT
3353
88496
001
Tu 2:10p - 4:00p
511 KENT HALL
D. Lasky 16 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3355x or y Poetry Seminar: Poetic Meter and Form 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. This course will investigate the uses of rhythmic order and disorder in English-language poetry, with a particular emphasis of 'formal' elements in 'free' verse. Through a close analysis of poems, we'll examine the possibilities of qualitative meter, and students will write original creative work within (and in response to) various formal traditions. Analytical texts and poetic manifestoes will accompany our reading of exemplary poems. Each week, we'll study interesting examples of metrical writing, and I'll ask you to write in response to those examples. Our topics will include stressmeter, syllable-stress meter, double and triple meters, rising and falling rhythms, promotion, demotion, inversion, elision, and foot scansion. Our study will include a great range of pre-modern and modern writers, from Keats to W. D. Snodgrass, Shakespeare to Denise Levertov, Blake to James Dickey, Whitman to Louise Gluck, etc. As writers, we'll always be thinking about how the formal choices of a poem are appropriate or inappropriate for the poem's content. We'll also read prose by poets describing their metrical craft.

WRIT W3365x or y Poetry Seminar: 21st Century American Poetry and Its Concerns 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The lyric has often been conceived of as timeless in its content and inwardly-directed in its mode of address, yet so many poems with lasting claim on our attention point unmistakably outward, addressing the particulars of their times. This course will examine the ways in which an array of 21st poets have embraced, indicted, and anatomized their cultural and historical contexts, diagnosing society's ailments, indulging in its obsessions, and sharing its concerns. Engaging with such topics as race, class, war, death, trauma, feminism, pop culture and sexuality, how do poets adapt poetic form to provide meaningful and relevant insights without losing them to beauty, ambiguity, and music? How is pop star Rihanna a vehicle for discussing feminism and isolation? What does it mean to write about black masculinity after Ferguson? In a time when poetry's cultural relevancy is continually debated in academia and in the media, how can today's poets use their art to hold a mirror to modern living? This class will explore how writers address present-day topics in light of their own subjectivity, how their works reflect larger cultural trends and currents, and how critics as well as poets themselves have reflected on poetry's, and the poet's, changing social role. In studying how these writers complicate traditional notions of what poetry should/shouldn't do, both in terms of content and of form, students will investigate their own writing practices, fortify their poetic voices, and create works that engage directly and confidently with the world in which they are written.

WRIT W3367x or y Poetry Seminar - Witness, Record, Document: Poetry & Testimony 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. This seminar takes up the terms witness, record, and document as nouns and verbs. What is poetry of witness? Documentary poetry? Poetry as (revisionist ) historical record? What labor and what ethical, political, and aesthetic considerations are required of poets who endeavor to witness, record, or document historical events or moments of trauma? How is this approach to poetry informed by or contributing to feminist theories, aesthetic innovation, and revisionist approaches to official histories? Course materials include: 1) essays that explore the poetics and politics of "poetry of witness" or "documentary poetry"; 2) a range of contemporary American Poetry that has been classified as or has productively challenged these categories; 3) and audio, video, and photographic projects on which poets have collaborated. Our encounters with this work will be guided by and grounded in conversations about ideas of "truth," "text," the power relations of "documentation," and issues of language and representation in poetry. We will also critically examine the formal (rhyme, rhythm, diction, form, genre, point of view, imagery, etc.) and philosophical components and interventions of the work we study and create.

WRIT W3370x or y Poetry Seminar: The Crisis of the I 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. "Things fall Apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world." So wrote Yeats in 1919, in the shadow of the "Great" War. As the individual mind found less and less recourse to "traditional" systems of belief and natrratives of meaning, poetry in the twentieth century began to bear witness to a fracturing of the self, and this "anarchy" was reflected in both the content and the forms of "modern" poems. Through a close analysis of poems by a variety of authors, this course will investigate aesthetic strategies for representing such a fragmentation in perception and cognition, as well as the urgency of a moral dialectic in poems written in the wake of large-scale cultural traumas. We will also look at various aesthetic strategies for "recovering" from a disintegration of self, including deep-image poetics, repetition and incantation, new formalism, and narrative tensions in the lyric mode.

WRIT W3371x or y Cross Genre Seminar: Structure and Style 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. This seminar explores fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama as related disciplines. While each genre has its particular opportunities and demands, all can utilize such devices as narrative, dialogue, imagery, and description (scenes, objects, and thought processes). Through a wide variety of readings and writing exercises, we will examine and explore approaches to language, ways of telling a story (linear and nonlinear), and how pieces are constructed. Some student work will be briefly workshopped.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3371
WRIT
3371
92046
001
Th 6:10p - 8:00p
511 KENT HALL
A. Ziegler 12 / 10 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3372x or y Fiction Seminar: Formally Yours: Experiments With Form & (Neo)Formalism In Contemporary American Poetry 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. From Marilyn Hacker's lesbian sonnets to the Afro-formalist invention of the bop, a wide array of American poets are engaging with and encouraging radical reconsiderations of received forms. How and why are poets -- particularly from historically underrepresented communities -- turning to and reimagining form and formalism? What exactly does (neo) formalism mean in recent years and who are the poets who are shaping this terrain? How have the formal experimentations by black, queer, feminist, and other poets of color transformed and transgressed the borders of American poetry? Each week during the first two months of the semester, we will study and produce a selection of contemporary poetic experiments with a particular received, traditional, newly invented, or ghost form such as onnets, sestinas, villanelles, triolets, blues, and prose poems. We will spend the last month of the semester studying collections by contemporary poets who deploy a variety of received and new forms. What do these forms and their rules, restrictions, and reconfigurations make possible for both the poets we study and for our own practice?

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3372
WRIT
3372
26598
001
W 10:00a - 12:00p
407 DODGE BUILDING
D. Paredez 16 / 10 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3380x or y Translation Seminar: The European Fairy Tale 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT needed. Corequisites: This course is open to undergraduate & graduate students. Knowledge of another language is not required. Chances are you know something about the Brothers Grimm, but not so much, perhaps, about the complex storytelling traditions to which the stories collected belonged. This seminar will explore the European fairy tale in all its glorious history, including works written or collected by Charles Perrault, Jean de La Fontaine, Marie de Beaumont, Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy (who first coined the term "conte de fée" or "fairy tale"), Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Alexander Afanasyev, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde and George MacDonald. Throughout the semester, we'll be talking about issues of translation in these tales and comparing them to the fairy-tale-inspired writing of our own age, including work by Angela Carter, Robert Coover, Donald Barthelme, Kelly Link, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Yoko Tawada, George Saunders and others. Analytical, translational and fantastical assignments. No foreign language skills required. Three papers.

WRIT W3382x or y Fiction Seminar: Story Collection As Art Form 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. How do story collections happen? Are they just anthologies of the best (or the only) stories a writer has produced in a given time period? How do you decide what goes in it, and how do you organize it, and how many do you need? In this class we're going to read a bunch of short story collections, in a variety of genres and modes. Rigorous literary, aesthetic, and critical analysis of individual stories will here be linked to macro-level questions such as: What makes a "linked collection" different from a novel? What are some of the ways that a "linked" collection forges its links-- character, theme, place, narrative strategy, mood, etc.? How does a writer handle her recurring themes without falling into repetition? How does the story collection compare with (or relate to) self-anthologizing forms in other disciplines: the poetry collection, the record album, the solo exhibition? Books include: The Piazza Tales by Herman Melville; Red Cavalry by Isaac Babel (Peter Constantine trans.); Super Flat Times by Matthew Derby; Normal People Don't Live Like This by Dylan Landis; The Train to Lo Wu by Jess Row; Don't Let Me Be Lonely by Claudia Rankine; Birds of America by Lorrie Moore; The Emigrants by W. G. Sebald; Criers and Kibbitzers, Kibbitzers and Criers by Stanley Elkin; The Actual Adventures of michael Missing by Michael Hickins; and A Personal Anthology by Jorge Luis Borges.

WRIT W3384x or y Nonfiction Seminar: Literature Without Writing 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites required. Department approval NOT required. The investigative dialogue is among the oldest forms of literature, and it remains one of the most egalitarian and relevant to life. It's simple - comment and response, question and answer - and can be produced by artists, scientists, lunatics, athletes, criminals, and any other human being, from Plato to Oprah Winfrey. The interview is a kind of performative literature, documenting a time, place, mood, and an extemporaneous exchange. Transcription transforms the off-the-cuff spoken word into permanent, written text, from ear to page, an art form of capturing rather than imagining. Conversational language is also essential to the art of fiction, showing through telling, or explaining instead of organizing our life into this-then-that narratives. Modernism was the age of the interior monologue but the internal debate might be a form more reflective of the 21st century mind. This course will include readings of psychoanalytic sessions, legal court transcripts, celebrity chats, Zen koan talks, philosophical dialogues, podcasts, television talk shows, and fictional interviews. Students will conduct real interviews and write fictional ones. They will transcribe, listen, and hear literature in the artless, everyday discussion.

WRIT W3386x or y Cross Genre Seminar: Imagining Berlin 3 pts. Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. Open to juniors & seniors. How can one imagine a city in a piece of writing with such vividness that the place springs to life as a mythical metropolis? The city of Berlin, which has often been at the crossroads of history in its asphalt-and-cobblestone reality, has developed a fictional life as well, inspiring countless writers. We'll take this city as a model for writing about place, exploring the ways in which descriptions function in narrative to create a backdrop that fuels a story and provides atmospheric support for its unfolding. To begin with, we'll read some of the important modernist works that established Berlin as a literary locus, mirroring the city's vibrant life in the early decades of the twentieth century. Later readings will show us Berlin in its wartime and Cold War incarnations, the city bisected into East and West, followed by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and its aftermath. Some of the narratives we'll be reading will be historical, some highly imaginative, some fantastical. Several films will provide counterpoint. We'll end the term with recent fictional approaches to the city by writers of several nationalities. For the books written in languages other than English, we'll be reading with attention to the translations. No knowledge of any language other than English required.

WRIT W3388x or y Cross Genre Seminar: Daily Life 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. In his poem A Few Days, James Schuyler reflects" "A few days / are all we have. So count them as they pass. They pass too quickly / out of breath." Before we know it, as Schuyler says, "Today is tomorrow." This course will encourage us to slow down time and document today while it is still today. One of the course's main points is to pursue the ordinary, and to recognize that the ordinary -- whether presented as poems, essays, stories, fragments, etc. -- can become art. Assignments will provide broad examples of how to portray dailiness. Each week you will write a short piece (1-3 pages) that responds to these assignments while engaging your own daily life. The form is open. You could, for example, write a poem or story with a brief critical preface, or you could compose an essay that explores formal and/or thematic qualities. You can also create multimedia work. The important thing is to treat the materials we will read as springboards into your own artistic practice.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3388
WRIT
3388
78532
001
Th 2:10p - 4:00p
511 KENT HALL
J. Cotner 13 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3520x or y Fiction Seminar: The Here & Now 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. In this course, we will read a wide variety of short fiction that concerns itself with the clarification and magnification of particular moments of being. An emphasis will be placed on how these writers notice things that others might overlook-- the small, the peculiar, the unexpected-- and then how they transform these seemingly modest things with the force of their attention. Our goal will be to proceed through these stories at the level of the sentence. Why this quiet pulling back? Much of our discussion will center on why a specific (and at times mysterious-seeming) choice has abeen made by an author. But we will also from time to time broaden our focus to encompass larger philosophical concerns that are triggered by these questions of craft. We will talk about the science of attention, false and true lyricism, "the discipline of rightness" (as Wallace Stevens once described it) and why it is that feeling so often precedes form. We will not spend very much time exploring the thematic concerns of these stories. Nor will we speak in great detail about whether we find contained within them sympathetic or unsympathetic characters. Instead, the aim of this class will be to analyze the formal elements of fiction with an eye towards refining our own prose styles and towards saying more clearly how it happened that a given text did or did not move us.

WRIT W3530x or y Cross-Genre Seminar: Process Writing & Writing Process 3 pts. Prerequisites: Prerequisites not required. Departmental approval NOT required. The act of writing is often mythologized, romanticized, or dismissed as peripheral to the text itself. This course will address the process as a primary lens for looking at art, focusing on literature that explicitly investigates the experience of its creation. Readings will include writings by visual artists who produce documents of performances, surrealists who use "automatic" methods to reveal the unconscious, poets who seek to capture states of enlightenment or intoxication, and novelists who employ extreme conditions to achieve unexpected results. For the class, students will experiement with their environment, lifestyle, and methods to increase their awareness of how everything they do can affect what appears on the page.

WRIT W3680x or y Nonfiction Seminar: The Literary Reporter 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites required. Department approval NOT required. The literary reporter is a changeable character. When she's conducting immersion journalism, she lives with her sources, tries to blend with them. Long-form narrative reporting requires her to ask difficult questions, born from exhaustive research and critical observation. The memoirist reports from the prism of her own experience, casting herself as a character, making meaning of interviews through the fault lines of memory. The biographer is a ventriloquist, often embodying the purpose or quest of another person, and pulling voices and stories from hints and scraps. In this seminar, students will explore the various kinds of literary reporting inherent to various nonfiction literary forms, unearthing the strategies writers can use to elicit powerful interviews, background stories and ultimately, what it means to author another person's "truth," and discuss the delicate terrains of race, gender and political misunderstanding, interrogating our own preconceptions. Readings will include Peter Hessler, Suketu Mehta, Richard Rodriguez, Joan Didion, Janet Malcolm, and Ted Conover, as well as Julia Kristeva and Michel Foucault, and we'll read interviews with authors about their craft, to learn from their direct experience. Students will have the opportunity to do some reporting on their own, and will write two short papers.

WRIT W3685x and y Poetry Seminar: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. This course is designed to address the particular frustrations surrounding revision. We will excavate our abandoned work-- subjecting it to maneuvers ranging from the light in touch to the radical; visiting techniques appropriate for the isolation chamber, as well as the collaborative. And we will examine how poets throughout the ages have approached revision -- including Lowell's changing of words into their opposites; Auden's revisions of his published work from the standpoint of maturity; Plath's 'next poem as revision' technique. The idea of the class borrows from the world's current trash predicament: how to cut our waste; re-use creatively what we have already produced; make something new and useful of our junk.

WRIT W3697x or y Senior Fiction Workshop 4 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3697
WRIT
3697
93632
001
Th 4:10p - 6:00p
511 KENT HALL
H. Julavits 13 / 12 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3798x or y Senior Nonfiction Workshop 4 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3798
WRIT
3798
76446
001
W 2:10p - 4:00p
106 WATSON HALL
M. Orange 13 / 12 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3830x or y Fiction Seminar: Voices & Visions of Childhood 3 pts. This course focuses on literature written for adults, NOT children's books or young-adult literature. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Flannery O'Connor famously said, "Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days." A child's or youth's journey-- whether through ordinary, universal rites of passage, or through extraordinary adventure or trauma-- compels an adult reader (and writer) to (re)inhabit the world as both naif and nature's savant. Through the knowing/unknowing eye of the child or adolescent, the writer can explore adult topics prismatically and poignantly -- "from the bottom up" -- via humor, terror, innocence, wonder, or all of the above. In this course, we will read both long and short form examples of childhood and youth stories, examining in particular the relationships between narrator and character, character and world (setting), character and language and narrator and reader (i.e. "reliability" of narrator). Students will write two papers. Short scene-based writing assignments will challenge student writers to both mine their own memories for material and imagine voices/experiences far from their own.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3830
WRIT
3830
83396
001
Tu 4:10p - 6:00p
106 WATSON HALL
B. Metcalf 15 / 15 [ More Info ]

WRIT W3898x or y Senior Poetry Workshop 4 pts. Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student.

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Spring 2016 :: WRIT W3898
WRIT
3898
81746
001
W 6:10p - 8:00p
405 KENT HALL
M. Ludwig 6 / 12 [ More Info ]

WRIT W4010x or y Translation Seminar: The European Fairy Tale 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT needed. Corequisites: This course is open to undergraduate & graduate students. Knowledge of another language is not required. Chances are you know something about the Brothers Grimm, but not so much, perhaps, about the complex storytelling traditions to which the stories collected belonged. This seminar will explore the European fairy tale in all its glorious history, including works written or collected by Charles Perrault, Jean de La Fontaine, Marie de Beaumont, Marie-Catherine d'Aulnoy (who first coined the term "conte de fée" or "fairy tale"), Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Alexander Afanasyev, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde and George MacDonald. Throughout the semester, we'll be talking about issues of translation in these tales and comparing them to the fairy-tale-inspired writing of our own age, including work by Angela Carter, Robert Coover, Donald Barthelme, Kelly Link, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Yoko Tawada, George Saunders and others. Analytical, translational and fantastical assignments. No foreign language skills required. Three papers.

WRIT W4012x or y Cross Genre Seminar: Diva Voice, Diva Style, Diva Lyrics 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The figure of the diva -- the celebrated, iconic, and supremely skilled female performer -- is often characterized by her disciplined voice, singular style, and transgressive approach to the boundaries of convention. Like the diva, the writer values voice, style, disciplined practice, and the display of virtuosity. This seminar focuses on how American writers across a range of genres -- poetry, lyric essay, memoir, drama, biography, critical theory -- have turned to the diva as not simply the source of inspiration for their subject matter, but as a method for crafting their own signature voice or style and as a model for crossing the conventional boundaries of genre. How has diva writing shaped and redrawn the formal contours of the lyric essay, sonnet, ode, elegy, autobiography, or theoretical discourses about race, gender, and sexuality? What can the writing and performances by and about divas (and diva worship) teach us about our approaches to voice, style, genre, and form in our own writing practices?

WRIT W4312x or y Poetry Seminar: Reimagining Ekphrasis 3 pts. Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. At least since the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos called "painting silent poetry and poetry painting that speaks," poetry has existed in conversation with a variety of other art forms, particularly visual art. In this class we will explore poetry as an interdisciplinary practice, with an emphasis on the work of artists who create in both the visual and textual fields. Among other key critical questions, we will consider: 1. How has an intersection with visual art been important to poetry historically? 2. How does visual experience relate to particular aspects of poetry writing? 3. How can we use visual art towards our own creative process in the future, either by using visual art in writing poetry or by incorporating illustration in the presentation of our written work? A mix of texts -- classic and contemporary poetry, illuminated manuscripts, children's picturebooks, literature that we might consider visually driven, and related scholarship form the basis for our investigations, discussions, and creative work. Among these texts we will consider work by Etel Adnan, John Ashbery, William Blake, Tisa Bryant, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Robert Duncan, Matthea Harvey, Susan Howe, Bhanu Kapil, Douglas Kearney, Ezra Jack Keats, D.H. Lawrence, Tan Lin, Fred Moten, Maggie Nelson, Frank O'Hara, Adam Pendleton, Maurice Sendak, Cecilia Vicuña, Hannah Weiner, William Carlos Williams, and W.B. Yeats, among others. Our class will function as part seminar and part workshop. We will spend much of the class discussing texts and issues surrounding the course's theme, completing in-class writing exercises, and the other parts giving each other feedback on creative work. By the completion of the course, students will have turned in six reading responses, several independent writing projects, as well as a short critical paper and a short creative manuscript.