Nonfiction Writing Courses Spring 2016

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

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2015-16 Course Prospectus for fall 2015 and spring 2016.

ENGL0900 (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 01, 02, 04, 06, 08, and 09 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 S02  CRN:24510
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)
Claire Gullander-Drolet

This is an introductory course for students interested in developing strong writing and critical reading skills. Students will learn the fundamentals of research methodology and essay organization, familiarize themselves with university-level writing across the disciplines, and engage with a variety of texts, from academic essays and creative nonfiction to films and documentaries, memoir, short fiction, and comics.  Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.


ENGL0900 S03 CRN:24511
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Aaron Apps

In this course students will approach different types of college-level writing such as personal narratives, poems, stories, blog posts, op-eds, and research papers. Students will learn to approach new ideas, annotate articles, draft theses, outline arguments, work toward conclusions, revise, and edit. This class fosters a collaborative environment in which students will strengthen their professional, creative, and academic writing skills.  Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.


ENGL0900 S04 (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:24512
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 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.

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 03 is reserved for first-year and sophomores only.  Spring sections 02 and 05 are reserved for first-year students.  Spring section 07 is reserved for first-year and sophomores only. Enrollment limited. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

*CANCELLED* 
ENGL0930 S01 CRN:24513
Elizabeth Taylor
This section of Introduction to Creative Nonfiction is for students with a serious interest in writing narrative essays based on fact, research, interviews, and memory. Through assignments and revisions, students will hone their investigative, analytical, and creative skills, inspired by close readings of 20th century nonfiction writers, including Jamaica Kinkaid, Annie Dillard, John McPhee, and David Foster Wallace.  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.

*NEW TIME*
ENGL0930 S02
(section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:24514
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 pm)
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, historical—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 S03 CRN:24515
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 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:24516
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Ed Hardy
See description for Sec. 03, above.

ENGL0930 S05 (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:24517
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Jonathan Readey
This course introduces students to the practice of writing in a variety of creative nonfiction genres, particularly in the personal essay, memoir, and feature writing (including literary journalism, historical narrative, and writing about travel, science, or nature).  Readings include works by Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Steven Pinker, David Sedaris, Zadie Smith, Henry David Thoreau, John Edgar Wideman, and others.  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 S06 CRN:24518
E Hour (12-12:50 pm)
Susan Resnick
Creative Nonfiction is true writing with personality. In this section, we will read the masters of the genre, such as E.B. White, Frank McCourt and Nora Ephron, and learn to write many forms of Creative Nonfiction, including essay, memoir and  immersion  journalism. Assignments will include in-class writing, short profiles and articles, and longer essays and pieces of reportage.  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 S07 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students)   CRN:24519
G Hour (2-2:50 pm)
Susan Resnick
See description for Sec. 06, above.

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.  No pre-requisites. Writing sample may be required.  Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1030C Research Essay: Science  CRN:24520
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.

 

*NEW TIME*
ENGL1030D Research Essay: Myth and Modern Essay  CRN:25153
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 Research Essay: Literature  CRN:25157
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
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.

 

ENGL1050H (formerly 0160)  Journalistic Writing  CRN:25159
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.

 

ENGL1050L Writing in Place: Travels, Localities, Ecologies  CRN:24987
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Kate Schapira
To explore the relationships among people, places and language, this course will incorporate science and nature writing, environmental / ecological writing, travel writing, psychogeography and architectural writing. Assignments and practices will include diaries, observational writing, reporting, criticism and more lyrical forms. We may read works by Bhanu Kapil, Amitava Kumar, Katherine Boo, Matsuo Basho, Joe Sacco, Elizabeth Kolbert, June Jordan. 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.

 

*NEW TIME*
ENGL1140A  The Literary Scholar  CRN:24521
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 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:25005
M Hour (Mon. 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.

ENGL1160F  Reporting Crime and Justice  CRN:24522
O Hour (Fri. 3-5:30 pm)
Tracy Breton
Crime and justice stories are people stories. The drama of everyday life is played out every day in courtrooms. This advanced journalism course will get students into the courtrooms, case files and archives of Rhode Island's judicial system and into committee hearings at the State House where they will report on stories that incorporate drama, tension, and narrative storytelling. Prerequisite: ENGL1050G, ENGL1050H or ENGL1160A (Advanced Feature Writing). Enrollment limited to 17. Instructor permission required. Preference will be given to English concentrators. 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:24523
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
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.

 

ENGL1180G  Lyricism and Lucidity  CRN:24524
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 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.

 

ENGL1180H  Satire and Humor Writing  CRN:25161
Q Hour (Thurs. 4-6:30 pm)
Jonathan Readey
For the advanced writer. This course will introduce students to the practice of writing satire and humorous essays. Readings will include works by Jonathan Swift, Mark Twain, Garrison Keillor, Bill Bryson, David Foster Wallace, David Sedaris, and others, and students will develop skills in analyzing, writing, and workshopping in the genre. 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.

 

ENGL1180I  Writing Medical Narrative  CRN:24525
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
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.

 

ENGL1180Q  Narrating History  CRN:24526
N Hour (Wed. 3-5:30 pm)
Elizabeth Taylor
For the advanced writer: the protocols of historical narrative and essay for a general audience. Using the archives of Brown, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and the student's family (if feasible), each writer will research primary and secondary sources, use interviews and oral histories, to help shape three engaging, instructive true stories of the past. Intensive library work, revisions, and peer editing. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. 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.

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.


ENGL1190C  Biography  CRN:25211
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
Biography, one of the oldest forms of creative nonfiction, tells the life story of a person, idea, place, or thing. We consider old and new forms of biography, experiment with those forms, and practice them as a method of inquiry as well as presentation of self. We also explore biography’s connection to journalism, autobiography, memoir, and history. 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.

*NEW COURSE* ENGL1190T Writing the Mythic Life: The Use of Traditional Narrative  CRN:26327
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Lesley Jacobs
This course explores the theory and practice of traditional narrative structures such as fairy-tale, myth, and legend in creating stories about ourselves. We will read fiction and nonfiction by Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, A.S. Byatt, and others, engaging critically with the texts as well as creating new ones modeled on them. Writing assignments will include several short papers and a longer end-of-term project. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL 0900, 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.