Nonfiction Writing Courses Fall 2016

These course descriptions are for ENGL0900, 0930, 1030, 1050, 1140, 1160, 1180, & 1190 for Fall 2016.

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:15688
AB Hour (Mon/Wed only 8:30-9:50 am)

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. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S02   (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15689
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)

Kate Schapira
This is a class designed to stretch our powers of thinking, writing, reading and speaking academically. What makes a text, a conversation or a mindset “academic”? Among other things, a particular kind of attention to, focus on and consideration of language as well as topics and ideas. Through class discussion, reading, writing and especially revising, we’ll become better academic communicators—better at understanding what others say and write, and better at saying and writing what we mean. We'll read texts by Cornell West, Marjane Satrapi, Virginia Woolf, Azar Nafisi, Melissa Harris-Perry and Stephen Jay Gould, among others, and create a portfolio of essays with varying lengths, styles, and goals. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.


ENGL0900 S03   CRN:15690
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)

Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
This section covers the basics of academic thinking and writing for college. Using the essay as a tool, we shall explore the myriad ways this flexible form can help clarify our critical thinking in disciplines ranging from science and philosophy, to literature. Our primary focus will be on understanding rhetoric—the practice of effective communication—as it is expressed in graphic novels, films, and (yes!) academic writing. We will analyze the basics of argument and persuasion and learn how to write using sources. Students will practice informal writing on various platforms and complete three formal essays. Run as a workshop, this class requires students to read, critique, and assist in each other’s writing process. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S04   (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15691
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)

Jonathan Readey
This section is designed to help prepare students to write at the university level and for the job world beyond by providing instruction in developing persuasive arguments, organizing texts at the paragraph and sentence levels, controlling a range of prose styles, and conducting critical reading and research.  Our classes will feature energetic and interactive discussions, workshops, frequent instructor conferences, and informal and formal written assignments with an emphasis on revision. Our texts will range from academic essays to fiction and popular films, and we will focus on examining and writing about the broad notion of inequality—in areas like class, gender, and race—both within the U.S. and internationally. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students.  Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval.  S/NC.

ENGL0900 S05   (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15692
AB Hour (Mon/Wed only 8:30-9:50 am)

Adam Golaski
Worthwhile writing is the product of both good ideas—be they the result of scholarship, inspiration, or more likely a combination of the two—and good technique. In this section, we will develop our ability to think critically (by examining ideas), and we will work to write with clarity (by considering technique). Though we will study music writing, our conversations and essays will not be limited by the subject of our readings; rather, the essays we study will demonstrate useful approaches for any academic subject. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S06  CRN:15693
"From Revision to Insight"
*NEW TIME* J Hour (T/TH 1-2:20 pm)
TBD
“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”, a question sometimes attributed to the British novelist E. M. Forster, articulates a motto for this course.  “From Revision to Insight” is an inquiry-based, writing-intensive course focusing on skills necessary to academic argument.  The course provides an opportunity to practice these skills and the license to experiment.   In its view of academic writing as both a private endeavor and a public commitment, and in its emphasis on formulating analytical questions, a debatable thesis, a persuasive counter-argument, etc., the course highlights, furthermore, the importance of deliberate revision in sound academic reasoning.  We shall read a variety of texts (fiction, essays, film) in a number of disciplines (literature, philosophy, cultural criticism, race and gender theory) and draft and revise various types of essays (close reading, application of theory, researched argument).  A poem, Robert Frost once wrote, “should begin in delight and end in wisdom.”  We shall seek both in what we read and write. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S07  CRN:15694
CANCELLED

ENGL0900 S08  (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15695
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Cole Morgan
This course will make you a more confident, capable, and critical writer. By working through a variety of strategies for prewriting, organizing, drafting, and revising your writing, we will focus on developing your abilities to read closely, ask critical questions, and craft persuasive arguments. Readings will cover a variety of contexts and pose a wide range of questions. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S09  CRN:15696
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Christopher Yates
This course will help students to develop the skills, strategies, and practices necessary to ensure successful writing, for coursework at Brown and beyond. We will examine writing samples across different genres, paying attention both to the features that define strong writing across the disciplines as well as the specific characteristics that define them. S/NC.


ENGL0900 S10  CRN:15697
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Michael Gastiger
In this course, students will learn how to craft clear and persuasive arguments for the college level; how to effectively organize their ideas; how to follow grammatical conventions and use style to their advantage; and how to conduct research and situate their work within a scholarly conversation. Readings will focus on music, popular entertainment, and cultural studies. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S11  CRN:15698
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Daniel Byrne
This course will develop your ability to formulate ideas and effectively communicate them in writing: not just for college-level writing, but also for extracurricular and professional contexts. We’ll focus on three genres: the personal essay, the analytical essay, and the research essay. Readings will be drawn from a variety of sources, including literature, film, journalism and cultural theory. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S12  CRN:15699
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)
John Casey
This course’s singular objective is to make you a more confident, capable, and critical reader and writer of academic essays.  To accomplish this, we will work through a variety of strategies for prewriting, organizing, drafting, and editing your writing.  Our readings will span multiple genres and explore a litany of different topics, including economics, popular music, sociology, and urban planning. S/NC.

 

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 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN:15701
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)

Lawrence Stanley
Creative nonfiction fabricates stories from the facts of life.  In this introductory seminar, we will read a range of creative nonfiction genres— literary journalism, memoir, travel, science—and will write in each of those genres.  Writing will emphasize experimenting with forms to figure out what works best with what situations and to explore the latitude suggested by “creative.”  S/NC.

ENGL0930 S02 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students) CRN:15702
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)

Mary-Kim Arnold
We will read and discuss various types of creative nonfiction -- including personal essay, memoir, nature and travel writing, writing about art and music, investigative journalism, etc. -- to identify techniques and choices that authors use to transform experience and research into effective works. Through regular reading, writing assignments, and discussion, we will become more skilled readers, writers, and critics. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S03 CRN:15703
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 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 S04 CRN:15704
*NEW TIME* J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)

Kim Adrian
Creative Nonfiction is a varied and amorphous genre that can be helpfully broken down into two main families of work: internally-driven narratives (e.g., memoir, personal essays, lyric essays) and externally driven narratives (e.g. literary journalism, travel writing, cultural criticism). In this introductory seminar, close readings of exemplary texts and weekly craft exercises will support your experiments with both approaches. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S05 CRN:15705
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)

Mary-Kim Arnold
We will read and discuss various types of creative nonfiction -- including personal essay, memoir, nature and travel writing, writing about art and music, investigative journalism, etc. -- to identify techniques and choices that authors use to transform experience and research into effective works. Through regular reading, writing assignments, and discussion, we will become more skilled readers, writers, and critics. 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.

ENGL1030A The Thoughtful Generalist  CRN:16696
Arranged
(online)
Elizabeth Taylor
This *ONLINE* section of “ENGL1030: Critical Reading and Writing II: Research” will prepare you for academic and real-world discourse. In Canvas, you will discuss essays demonstrating deep research distilled into engaging intellectual journey. You will research and revise four explanatory, analytical, persuasive essays, using varied sources to explore subjects or issues of your choice. Mandatory peer reviews and conferences ONLINE and in person. Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.
This course is offered fully online. Students do not need to be on Brown's campus to participate in this course. Please view the technical requirements for this online course below.

 Technical Requirements:

-Computer with reliable, high-speed internet connection

-Up-to-date Internet browser supported by Canvas, Brown's learning management system. https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1284

-Camera for still and video images (or smartphone)

-Headphones, earbuds or speakers

-Webcam and microphone

-Adobe Flash Player browser plugin (Course elements may require Flash and will not work on an iPad.)

-Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx).

-Courses can also be accessed on tablets and mobile devices. These devices can be used as supplemental access points in order to complete most coursework. https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-1542

 

ENGL1030F The Artist in the Archives  CRN:15706
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)
Michael Stewart
While artists can benefit greatly from archival work, they are not typically given the tools to make use of these institutions. This writing intensive course takes a two pronged approach to the problem: embedding students in archives both at Brown and RISD to produce creative, lyrical, and multi-media essays; and exploring how artists have used these institutions for information and inspiration. 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.

ENGL1050D Lifewriting CRN:16445
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
We explore writing's various forms—memoir, diary, essay, graphic narrative, film, and autobiography—while crafting personal narrative. Students read sample texts, view films, and keep an electronic diary. Projects include a memoir, personal critical essay, and final autobiography, as well as shorter assignments. This is a writing workshop, so students read & critique each others work. Individual conferences with the instructor also provide feedback. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1050G S01 Journalistic Writing  (section 01 reserved for first-year and sophomores only)  CRN:15755
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)

Tracy Breton
This course, taught by a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, teaches students how to report and write hard news and feature stories. Students learn to gather and organize material, develop in-depth interviewing techniques, use public records to report stories and become better observers of everyday life. The first half of the semester focuses on hard news and investigative reporting -- crime, government and court news. The second half is devoted to feature writing -- profiles and the art of narrative storytelling. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1050G S02  Journalistic Writing  CRN:15756
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)

Tracy Breton
See description for Section 01, above.

ENGL1050J  Multimedia Nonfiction  CRN:16549
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Michael Stewart
In this class students will write and explore essays that focus on the meaningful integration of images, videos, and web tools with traditional nonfiction subgenres. No previous digital experience is necessary. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1050M  Music Writing  CRN:16548
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)
Adam Golaski
Music writing asks that we take readers across a space not entirely tangible. To listen—with care—and then articulate, with words written, what was heard and what was experienced. Music writing is a big genre, encompassing journalism (especially criticism), memoir (by listeners and by direct participants), long-form essay, and lyric forms. This course will touch upon these categories. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. 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.

 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.

ENGL1160J Advanced Journalistic Nonfiction CRN:16447
P Hour (Tues 4-6:30 pm)

Ted Gup
For experienced writers. We will study and emulate the works of journalists who write across genres. We will focus on observational skills, narrative arc, the capturing of critical detail, scene setting, character, anecdote, thematic development, precision with words, and voice. Because all such writing is dependent upon quality reporting, we will explore the relationship between fidelity to fact and creativity. Class list will be reduced to 12 after writing samples are reviewed during first week of classes. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Prerequisites: ENGL0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. 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.

ENGL1180I Writing Medical Narrative  CRN:15757
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)

Kate Schapira
This class will examine the recent turn toward the use of narrative in medicine and the recent trend of published medical narrative. We'll look at literary and cultural narratives of sickness and health and how they shape perceptions and treatments, while keeping the science and politics of health care—and its public discourse—in view. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL0900, ENGL0930, 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. S/NC.


ENGL1180K The Art of Literary Nonfiction CRN:15759
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)
Catherine Imbriglio
For the advanced writer. Based on Roland Barthes' notion of the fragment, this workshop features an incremental, literary approach to writing nonfiction, in both traditional and experimental formats. In response to daily assignments, students will produce numerous short pieces and three extended "essays," to be gathered into a chapbook at the end of the course. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Not open to first year students. Class list reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed during first week of classes. Preference given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1180P Further Adventures in Creative Nonfiction CRN:15761
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)

Ed Hardy
For the advanced writer. A workshop course for students who have taken ENGL 0180 or the equivalent and are looking for further explorations of voice and form. Work can include personal essays, literary journalism and travel writing. Readings from Ian Frazier, Joan Didion, David Sedaris, John McPhee and others. Writing sample required. 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.

 

ENGL1190M S01  The Theory and Practice of Writing: Writing Fellows Program CRN:15762
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)

TBD

ENGL1190M S02  The Theory and Practice of Writing: Writing Fellows Program CRN:15763
CANCELLED


For students accepted as Writing Fellows, this course offers the study of literary essays and composition theory to help develop their own writing with a critical awareness of the elements of an essay.  Students will write essays throughout the semester and will confer with each other for every paper, thereby gaining experience in peer tutoring and becoming better writers through the help of an informed peer. They will also respond to the writing of a cohort of students in another designated Writing Fellows class. Enrollment is restricted to undergraduates who have been accepted into the Writing Fellows Program in the preceding July. Instructor's permission required. S/NC.

ENGL1190U  Nature Writing  CRN:16448
M Hour (Mon 3-5:30 pm)
Robert Ward

This course seeks to develop your skills as a senstive reader and writer of the natural world. You will build a portfolio of revised work through a process of workshops, tutorials, and conferences, and engage in discussion of a range of written and visual narratives with reference to their personal, political, and ecological contexts. Writing sample required. 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. S/NC.