Nonfiction Writing Courses Spring 2017

These course descriptions are for ENGL0900, 0930, 1030, 1050, 1140, 1160, 1180, & 1190 for Spring 2017.

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2016-17 Course Prospectus for fall 2016 and spring 2017.

ENGL 0900 (formerly 0110) Critical Reading and Writing I:  The Academic Essay

An introduction to university-level writing. Students produce and revise multiple drafts of essays, practice essential skills of paragraph organization, and develop techniques of critical analysis and research. Readings from a wide range of texts in literature, the media, and academic disciplines. Assignments move from personal response papers to formal academic essays. Fall sections 02, 04, 05, and 08 are reserved for first-year students. Spring section 04 is reserved for first-year students.  Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S01 CRN:24549
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)
Christopher Lee

This class covers a broad range of composition skills, training students to write for university-level coursework and the professional workplace. Through site visits, workshops, and one-on-one conferences, students will be introduced to the art of the essay. Our assigned texts will incorporate more formal approaches to the academic essay, as well as poetry, journalism, and new media.  Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S02 CRN: 24550
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Zachary Heine

This course serves as a primer to university-level writing. We will pay close attention to the rhetorical and structural mechanics that help to shape solid arguments. Our material ranges from op-ed argumentative pieces and academic essays to literary criticism, philosophy, and documentaries. Students will produce and revise multiple essays across the semester and will hold individual conferences with the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S03 CRN: 24551
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)
Nicole Fung
This course will focus on the fundamentals of academic writing with the goal of refining students’ critical reading, writing, and research skills. Paying special attention to reasoning, formulating, developing, and engaging with arguments, the course will additionally emphasize the basics of rhetoric to prepare students to write for the university level and beyond. Readings consider social responsibility and ethical issues.  Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S04 CRN: 24552
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Robert Ward
In its various forms, the essay allows scholars to put forward ideas and arguments, to shift ways of seeing and understanding, and to contribute to ongoing intellectual debate.  This course offers an introduction to the style and purpose of writing and gives you the opportunity to work on three essay forms. You will read and discuss an eclectic range of personal and academic essays and participate in workshops, critical reviews, and symposia. You will develop an understanding of the techniques of scholarly work and acquire academic skills that will enable you to engage successfully with the challenges and opportunities of studying at Brown.

 

ENGL 0930 (formerly 0180) INTRODUCTION TO CREATIVE NONFICTION

Designed to familiarize students with the techniques and narrative structures of creative nonfiction. Reading and writing focus on literary journalism, personal essays, memoir, science writing, travel writing, and other related subgenres. May serve as preparation for ENGL 1180. Writing sample may be required. Fall section 01 is reserved for first-year students and section 02 is reserved for first-year and sophomores only.  Spring sections 02 and 06 are reserved for first-year and sophomores only.  Spring section 03 is reserved for first-year students. Enrollment limited. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

 

ENGL0930 S01 CRN: 24554
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)
Kate Schapira
How can nonfiction also be creative? In this course, we'll look at writing that's inventive rather than invented, examining and imitating the tactics writers use and the risks they take to convey what happened, what's happening, and what they hope or fear will happen. Writing and rewriting (reportage, cultural critique, literary response, opinion, memoir) will form a key part of the course, and students will rework a number of pieces for a final portfolio. Authors considered include, but are not limited to, Antjie Krog, Richard Feynman, M.F.K. Fisher, James Thurber, Naomi Klein, John Lahr. May serve as preparation for ENGL1180. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S02 CRN: 24555
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Ed Hardy
This workshop will explore the range of narrative possibilities available under the umbrella term "creative nonfiction." We'll be looking at questions of structure and technique in a number of subgenres including: the personal essay, literary journalism, travel writing, science writing and memoir. Student work will be discussed in both workshops and conferences. At the semester's end students will turn in a portfolio with several polished shorter pieces and one longer essay. May serve as preparation for ENGL1180. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S03 CRN: 24556
(MWF 10-10:50 am)
Adam Golaski
Our creative nonfiction course will consider what nonfiction means, especially in light of the idea that what is true, i.e. what is not fiction, is entirely subjective. We'll explore several varieties of the creative nonfiction essay—memoir, lyric essay, and essays about crime—by reading and writing together. Through class discussion, workshops, and one-on-one meetings, we will develop your writing and critical reading, skills ultimately producing a set of essays rendered with your singular voice. May serve as preparation for ENGL1180. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL0930 S05 CRN: 24558
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Michael Stewart
In this section we will explore several genres of creative nonfiction, including the lyric essay, historical narrative, science narrative and memoir. We will look closely at several readings culled from modern and contemporary sources and then engage in a series of workshops, writing drills and one-on-one conferences. The focus of the class will be on further developing your unique voice and range as well as augmenting your talents as a critical reader. May serve as preparation for ENGL1180. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.


NONFICTION WRITING INTERMEDIATE

ENGL 1030 (formerly 0130) Critical Reading and Writing II:  The Research Essay

For the confident writer. Offers students who have mastered the fundamentals of the critical essay an opportunity to acquire the skills to write a research essay, including formulation of a research problem, use of primary evidence, and techniques of documentation.  Topics are drawn from literature, history, the social sciences, the arts, and the sciences. Enrollment limited to 17.  No pre-requisites.  Writing sample may be required.  Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1030C Writing Science CRN: 25570
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
This course explores how science, as an academic way of thinking and a method, affects our critical thinking and expression of culture. Readings examine the various dialects of scientific discourse. Students write three major research essays on self-selected scientific topics from both within and outside their fields of study. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.  

ENGL1030D Myth + Modern Essay CRN: 24602
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Adam Golaski
A writing and research focused course, in which students read a small selection of ancient texts (including The Epic of Gilgamesh and Ovid’s Metamorphoses) and use the myths retold to illuminate the contemporary world and to inform the essays they write. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL1030E Testaments of War CRN: 24604
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)
Robert Ward
Discovery is at the heart of research. In this course, we will discover how and why literary texts reflect and illuminate the intellectual and social worlds around them. We will use a variety of primary and theoretical sources and research tools, identify powerful research problems, and craft questions and sophisticated thesis statements. The course will also enable you to refine a critically sensitive, informed, and persuasive writing style that will be key to the success of your scholarly work. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL 1050 INTERMEDIATE CREATIVE NONFICTION

For the more experienced writer. Offers students who show a facility with language and who have mastered the fundamentals of creative nonfiction an opportunity to write more sophisticated narrative essays. Sections focus on specific themes (e.g., medicine or sports; subgenres of the form) or on developing and refining specific techniques of creative nonfiction (such as narrative). Enrollment limited to 17. No pre-requisites. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval.  S/NC.


ENGL1050A  Narrative CRN: 24605
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Ed Hardy
This course offers a broad exploration of the many kinds of essays you can write in creative nonfiction. We will be looking at how authors structure their pieces and the range of narrative techniques they often use. You can expect workshops, in-class prompts and readings by Jamaica Kincaid, John McPhee, David Foster Wallace, Annie Dillard, David Sedaris and others. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL1050B True Stories CRN: 24606
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Kate Schapira
This class will allow confident writers to explore and develop their creative nonfiction writing. We'll focus on two structures--nonfiction narratives and essays--with occasional forays into other forms. Students will work simultaneously on several small assignments and two larger, self-directed pieces. Readings will include cultural reportage, lyric memoir, science and nature writing, standard and hybrid essays. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL1050C Creative Nonfiction: Practice and Criticism CRN: 25569
M Hour (Mon. 3-5:30 pm)
Elizabeth Taylor
What is Creative Nonfiction? It has a long history and recently writers have flocked to it; scholars have questioned it: Academic enough? Harm the truth? Narrative with too much “I” and too little “Eye”? Literary? Significant? By reading historical and contemporary examples along with critics, we will explore persistent questions about form, method, ethics, and significance. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL1050E Sportswriting CRN: 25568
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Jonathan Readey
This course introduces students to the practice of sportswriting, including writing sports news, features, and columns. Readings will include works by Rick Reilly, Bill Simmons, Frank Deford, Karen Russell, Allison Glock, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, W.C. Heinz, and others. Students will develop skills in analyzing, researching, writing, revising, and workshopping in the genre. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL1050H Journalistic Writing CRN: 24607
AB Hour (Mon. & Wed. only 8:30-9:50 am)
Thomas Mooney
This course teaches students how to report and write hard news and feature stories for newspapers and online. Students learn to gather and organize material, develop interviewing techniques, and hone their writing skills – all while facing the deadlines of journalism. The first half of the semester focuses on “hard" news: issues, crime, government, and courts. The second half is devoted to features, profiles, and narrative story telling. Writing sample required. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed in first week of classes. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

NONFICTION WRITING ADVANCED

 

ENGL 1140  Critical Reading and Writing III:  Topics In Literary and Cultural Criticism

For advanced writers.  Situates rhetorical theory and practice in contexts of cutting-edge literary, cultural, and interdisciplinary criticism, public discourse, and public intellectual debate.  Individual sections explore one or more of the following subgenres:  rhetorical criticism, hybrid personal-critical essays, case studies, legal argument and advocacy, documentary, satire, commentaries, and review essays. A writing sample will be administered on the first day of class. Class list will be reduced to 12 after writing samples are reviewed. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930, 1030, or 1050. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1140A The Literary Scholar CRN: 24608
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Lawrence Stanley
“Literary detective work” aptly describes English literature scholarship. We pick up clues and chase down leads to meet the demands of scholarly yet personally engaged interpretation. We will develop methods of reading sufficiently diverse to read, credibly and richly, a range of literary texts from Susan Howe to Beowulf. Theoretical interpretation will be informed by cognitive poetics. Writing centered. Enrollment limited to 12. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. S/NC.

ENGL1140B The Public Intellectual CRN: 24609
N Hour (Wed. 3-5:30 pm)
Catherine Imbriglio
This course offers advanced writers an opportunity to practice sophisticated, engaged critical writing in academic, personal, and civic modes. Emphasis will be on writing "public" essays (general audience essays that do intellectual work or academic essays that address public topics), ideally in fluid, "hybrid," audience-appropriate forms. Areas of investigation will include (but are not limited to) the review essay, the cultural analysis essay, literary documentary, and the extended persuasive/analytic essay. It will include some brief "touchstone" investigations into rhetorical theory, with the aim of helping to broaden our concepts of audience, analyze the constitutive and imaginative effects of language, increase the real-world effectiveness of our own language practices, and situate our writing within current political, cultural, aesthetic and intellectual debates. Students must have sophomore standing or higher in order to be admitted to the class. A writing sample will be administered on the first day of class. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930, 1030, or 1050. Class list will be reduced to 12 after writing samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

 ENGL 1160  SPECIAL TOPICS IN JOURNALISM

For advanced writers. Class lists will be reduced after writing samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Enrollment limited to 12 or 17, depending on section. S/NC.

ENGL1160A Advanced Feature Writing CRN: 24560
P Hour (Tues. 4-6:30 pm)
Tracy Breton
For the advanced writer. Nothing provides people with more pleasure than a “good read.” This journalism seminar helps students develop the skills to spin feature stories that newspaper and magazine readers will stay with from beginning to end, both for print and on-line publications. Students will spend substantial time off-campus conducting in-depth interviews and sharpening their investigative reporting skills. The art of narrative storytelling will be emphasized. Prerequisite: ENGL1050G or 1050H, or published clips submitted before the first week of classes. Class list reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL 1180  SPECIAL TOPICS IN CREATIVE NONFICTION

For the advanced writer. A writing sample will be administered on the first day of class. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed. Prerequisite: ENGL0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1180B Digital Nonfiction CRN: 24610
M Hour (Mon. 3-5:30 pm)
Michael Stewart
Digital Nonfiction is an opportunity to explore the fundamental differences between print and digital narratives. Focusing on three short assignments and one longer project, this class encourages students to learn by doing. Additionally, students develop their digital fluency by exploring a variety of platforms and readings. Digital Nonfiction is an advanced creative nonfiction class that requires ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Enrollment is limited to 17. Instructor permission required. S/NC.

ENGL1180C Advanced Creative Nonfiction: Writing with Food CRN: 24611
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
This course examines writing about food and how writing affects food and food culture. We shall explore the relationship of food to the pen through reading classic texts, writing in and out of class, guest lectures, and touring culinary archives. The goal is to polish personal voice in menus, recipes, memoir, history, reportage, and the lyric essay. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1180G Lyricism and Lucidity CRN: 24613
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Catherine Imbriglio
For the advanced writer. This course will explore two subsets of the personal essay that blur or cross boundary lines--the lyric essay and the photographic essay-- in both traditional and experimental formats. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Not open to first year students. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1180R Travel Writing: Personal and Cultural Narratives CRN: 24665
O Hour (Fri. 3-5:30 pm)
Jonathan Readey
For the advanced writer. Helps students build skills in the growing genre of travel writing, including techniques for reading, composing, and revising travel pieces. Students will read the best contemporary travel writing in order to develop their own writing in areas like narrative, setting, characters, and voice. The course will feature interactive discussions, instructor conferences, and workshops. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL 1190 SPECIAL TOPICS IN NONFICTION WRITING

For the advanced writer. A writing sample will be administered on the first day of class. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed. Prerequisite: ENGL0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1190S Poetics of Narrative CRN: 25567
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Lawrence Stanley
Narratives are everywhere, simply there, like life itself, Roland Barthes says; we structure our experiences with narratives that we either infer or create. We will read different literary genres to see how narratives work and what makes them poetic and read theoretical texts to understand narrative function and performance. We will write experimentally to experience how stories are constructed. Pre-requisites: ENGL 0900, 0930, or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. S/NC.