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Creative Writing Minor

Department of Literature and Language


Fall 2018: Core Courses

ENGL 3020 | Fiction | Baumgartner

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1020 or equivalent. This course will focus on the study of fiction as a genre. Special attention will be given to form and technique in the short story and novel. We will read and discuss fiction from a range of cultures and traditions, including a novel by J.M. Coetzee and stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Kate Chopin, Anton Chekhov, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Ursula K. Le Guin, Gabriel García Márquez, Andre Dubus, Amy Hempel, and many others. Required texts: The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, 8th Edition (Full), edited by Richard Bausch and R.V. Cassill [ISBN13: 978-0393937756]; Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee [ISBN13: 978-0143116929].

ENGL 3141 | Creative Writing I: Poetry | Graves

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1020 or equivalent; and one 2000-level literature course. Creative Writing I will focus on poetry this fall. This class is designed to help you learn the techniques, habits, and discipline of writing literary poems. We will study in the whole craft of writing poetry, generally based on the model used successfully in the other arts, and will learn by observing, imitating, and practicing the approaches used by accomplished poets. It is not simply a “writing workshop,” though we will spend a good deal of time considering and discussing poems that you write and submit to the class. We will read great poems from the past and present, and do our best to write some great poems of our own. Required texts: A Book of Luminous Things, edited by Czeslaw Milosz, ISBN: 0156005743; The Poetry Home Repair Manual, by Ted Kooser, ISBN: 0803259786.

ENGL 4907 | Creative Writing II: Fiction | Baumgartner

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 3142 or permission of the instructor. In this advanced workshop course, students will read contemporary short fiction from a range of cultures and traditions, and have an opportunity to write and submit new work of their own. Special emphasis will be given to advanced issues of form and technique in the short story. We will observe—and attempt to emulate—the process used by writers of successful literary fiction. After we’ve examined some of the finest published stories around, we’ll shift our attention to exploring outstanding student fiction submitted for workshop. Although we will dedicate a significant portion of the semester to student writing, you should come prepared to read and write critically (as well as creatively) on a weekly basis. Required Texts: The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories by Ben Marcus (editor) [ISBN-13: 978-1400034826]; Burning Bright: Stories by Ron Rash [ISBN-13: 978-0061804120].

Fall 2018: Electives

ENGL 3040 | Literary Non-Fiction | O’Donnell

"Literary Nonfiction" is an oddly apologetic term. (Literary... as opposed to that other kind of nonfiction.) At the very least, the term sounds earthbound and prosaic, betraying a persistent suspicion that you can't really stick to the facts and create high art. Well, can you? Yes, you can. In this course, we'll read acknowledged literary masterpieces, including T. Capote's In Cold Blood, and D.F. Wallace's great essays from the 1990s. We'll also read some works that perhaps don't rank as first-rate literature, but that sure provide compelling reads. Along the way, we'll explore the sometimes arbitrary boundaries between fiction and non. The course addresses nonfiction subgenres including the essay, literary journalism, "New Journalism," memoir, sports writing, travel writing, true crime writing, and others. Most of the texts are 20th-century American works, written in English, but we'll take forays into the 19th century, and we'll read a few short translations.

ENGL 4010 | British Novel | Westover

The British novel was born in the 18th century, but the novel as we know it—the modern novel of human psychology and interior emotional space—emerged from the 19th. Set amidst class divisions, industrial revolutions, human rights struggles, devastating wars, and continually changing political and social structures, these novels register the impact of history at the level of the individual. They also talk to each other in surprising ways, and we will follow the inter-textual threads through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. For more information, contact Dr. Daniel Westover.

ENGL 4012 | The American Novel | Cody

Dark of night. Wilderness. The civilized and the savage. Secrets of the human heart. Terrors of the soul. Madness and monsters. Obsession. Haunted places. Haunted pasts—of a nation, a region, a family, an individual. Life and literature offer so much to make us uncomfortable, but it’s often in our discomfort that we learn most about ourselves, like it or not. This semester’s survey of the American novel focuses on the Gothic character of the genre from the late eighteenth century to the present. Beginning in 1798 with Charles Brockden Brown's idea that American gothic conventions must be different from the European, we'll progress through the course with the assistance of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, and others. American Novel (Gothic Edition) meets in the light of day, but you're encouraged to read your assignments at midnight.

ENGL 4022 | American Poetry | Graves

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 and 1020 or equivalent(s). In this class, we will read poetry written in the United States from its very English origins to its distinctly American present. We will examine the forms American poetry has taken, as well as the subject matter it has addressed, considering why some poets are thought to be “major” writers and others “minor, what audiences they had in mind for their work, and how they have represented both public and private crises in their art. We will look in close detail at some of our best-known and most-accomplished poets, such as Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, and particularly Walt Whitman.

Summer 2018

SUMMER SESSION II (7/9/18 – 8/10/18)

ENGL 3010 | Poetry | Graves

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1010 and 1020 or equivalents. This course is a study of poetry as a genre with attention to its form and techniques. Reading and analysis of poems written by acknowledged masters of the genre will be included. Required texts: The Norton Introduction to Poetry, 9th Edition, edited by Hunter, Booth, and Mays. Collected Poems, Sylvia Plath.

SUMMER SESSION II (7/9/18 – 8/10/18)

ENGL 4360 | Screenwriting | Baumgartner

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 1020 or equivalent. This course will give students a guided introduction to screenwriting. The screenwriter is often author, architect and inventor of a film, yet in American cinema the writer of a script rarely receives due credit. In this class we will discuss the difficult role of the screenwriter, paying particular attention to issues of process and technique that differentiate writing for the screen from other narrative forms. Students will be introduced to screenplay format and structure through reading assignments, in-class discussions, film analysis and writing exercises. Assignments include a film treatment, a synopsis, and various exercises on character/scene development. Students will have an opportunity to begin an original screenwriting project of their own. Students should come to each class prepared to write both critically and creatively, and to share their work with fellow students in a workshop setting. Required texts: Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field, Revised edition, 2005 [ISBN: 978- 0385339032]; American Beauty: The Shooting Script by Alan Ball [ISBN-13: 978-1557044044]; Inception: The Shooting Script by Christopher Nolan [ISBN-13: 978-1608870158]; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick [ISBN-13: 978-0345404473]; No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy [ISBN-13: 978-0307387134]


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