Nonfiction Writing Courses Fall 2017

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

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2017-18 Course Prospectus for fall 2017 and spring 2018.

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, 03, 04, 06, and 11 are reserved for first-year students. Spring section 01 is reserved for first-year students. Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

 

ENGL0900 S01 CRN15607
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 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. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S02 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN15608
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
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 S03 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN15609
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 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 S04 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN15610
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 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 S05 CRN15611
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Jennie Snow
An introduction to university-level writing. Students develop their own writing processes through the planning, composition, and revision of multiple drafts of essays (from personal essays to formal academic essays with research). Discussion of critical analysis and research, argument construction, use of evidence, paragraph organization. Readings from texts in literature, the media, and academic disciplines focus on “ways of seeing.”
Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S06 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN15612
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)
Eleanor Rowe
This course will develop students’ skills in writing academic essays on an assortment of media, in an attempt to teach the elements of style, grammatical conventions, and how to write rigorously, sharply and with aplomb. To this end, this course has a focus on self-making and self-expression: how can we express ourselves? How can we write for and with others? Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S07 CRN15613
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
MJ Cunniff
This course helps students practice writing, research, analysis and revision skills in a variety of genres, with a topical emphasis on the ways we think and write about our physical environment. We will read, discuss, and learn to emulate interdisciplinary works on the city and the natural world in fields including literature, urban design, sustainability, history, new media, and ecology. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S08 CRN15614
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)
Rithika Ramamurthy
This course will teach students three different types of academic essays: personal, analytic, and research. We will focus on how to conduct critical analysis of texts, organize ideas and arguments, and draft an essay from start to finish. The course will feature readings drawn from literature, journalism, critical theory, and other disciplines. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S09 CRN15615
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Zachary Krowiak
This course is intended to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to write academic essays at the college level and for the job world beyond.  Students will learn how to generate analytical ideas and claims, compose well-structured paragraphs and sentences, conduct research, utilize evidence, and write with a clear and convincing voice. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S10 CRN15616
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Claire Grandy
This course furnishes students with the skills required for academic essay writing and critical reading at the college level. Students will learn to employ the basic rhetorical, analytic, and formal devices that comprise the personal, academic, and research essay. We will analyze writing concerned specifically with the planetary environment and with political, aesthetic, and economic responses to global climate change. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S11 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN16220
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)
Lawrence Stanley
“Re-visioning Writing” encourages a meditative and reflective approach to language. It will familiarize you with the processes of close and intertextual reading, with different modes of analytical thought, and with the practice of translating reading and thinking into writing. We will carefully examine essays that cover a range of issues from ideas about reading and writing to culture and identity; writing assignments, which stress revision, will explore the articulation of your perceptions and thoughts with the rigor and discipline necessary to university studies. This section is reserved for first-year students. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. 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 03 is reserved for first-year students and sections 01 and 06 are reserved for first-year and sophomores only. Spring section 03 is reserved for first-year students. Spring section 04 and 05 are reserved for first-year and sophomores only. Enrollment limited. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

 

ENGL0930 S01 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students) CRN16279
AB Hour (Mon/Wed only 8:30-9:50 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 S02 CRN16281
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 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN16282
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 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.”  Enrollment limited to 17. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S04 CRN16283
AB Hour (Mon/Wed only 8:30-9:50 am)
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 S05 CRN16284
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Mary-Kim Arnold
See description for Section 04, above.  S/NC.

ENGL0930 S06 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students) CRN16285
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Elizabeth Rush
In this course you will write three creative nonfiction essays in the following genres: memoir, lyric, travelogue. Each of these essays will be uploaded to a course-run website, and will be workshopped according to how the essay appears online. As creative nonfiction, the works you will write in this course are to be connected to actual affairs in the world and they are expected to appear as art, as motivated by something beyond the simple desire to transmit information. While creative nonfiction writers cannot conjure up events they wished had happened but they can create formal structures that allow the reader to gain insight into real events they might not have otherwise had. 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.

ENGL1030D Myth + Modern Essay CRN15596
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.

ENGL1030F The Artist in the Archives CRN16518
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.

ENGL1050G S01 Journalistic Writing (section 01 reserved for first-year and sophomores only) CRN15598
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
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 CRN15599
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Tracy Breton
See description for Section 01, above.  

ENGL1050J Multimedia Nonfiction CRN15597
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Michael Stewart
Through a series of short assignments, we will learn what audio, visual, and performative tools are available to us and how these different mediums can affect our stories. The course culminates in a final project where each student will pursue a long-form story of their choice of subject and medium. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1050L Writing in Place: Travel, Ecology, Locality CRN16517
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 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. 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. 

ENGL1140D Writing Diversity: A Workshop CRN15606
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
This course explores various forms of writing that address the broad spectrum of human experience, including issues of race, gender, varying physical and mental ability, social class, and inequities resulting from colonization, among others. Students will attempt to understand the issues and each other through class readings and articulating personal responses in writing. Writing sample required. Pre-requisite: ENGL 0900, ENGL 0930, or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Class list reduced to 12 after writing samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. S/NC. DPLL 

 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.

*CANCELLED*
ENGL1160K Literary Reporting: Writing Literature on Deadline CRN16519

How does a writer go into the world, observe closely, and turn those observations into something artful? Students will read and discuss works in the genre, and produce their own. Enrollment limited to 12. Prerequisites: ENGL0900, ENGL0930, or any intermediate or advanced nonfiction course. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Writing sample may be required. 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.

ENGL1180P Further Adventures in Creative Nonfiction CRN15605
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 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.

ENGL1180U Testimony CRN16520
P Hour (Tues 4-6:30 pm)
Elizabeth Rush
How does the creative nonfiction writer bear witness to profound political, social, and environmental change? In this course students engage with the world as writers. They will conduct extensive interviews within the Brown community and beyond and will turn those first hand testimonials into a suite of creative nonfiction pieces in various genres including the lyric, personal, "found," and multi-media essay. 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. 

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 CRN15618
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Stacy Kastner
This course prepares students for their work as Writing Fellows. Course readings, activities, and assignments introduce students to: post-process writing theory and pedagogy; data-based investigations of the revision habits of experienced and inexperienced writers; and effective methods for responding to student writing and conferencing with student writers. Enrollment is restricted to undergraduates who have been accepted into the Writing Fellows Program in the preceding July. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL1190M S02 The Theory and Practice of Writing: Writing Fellows Program CRN17532
J Hour (T/Th 1:00-2:20 pm)
Jenna Morton-Aiken

ENGL1190U Nature Writing CRN15604
P Hour (Tues 4-6:30 pm)
Robert Ward
This course seeks to develop your skills as a sensitive 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. 

*NEW*
ENGL1190W, Fiction of Nonfiction CRN17494

M Hour (Mon 3-5:30 pm)
Lawrence Weschler
Nonfiction texts are fictions in that they deploy the devices of fiction (pacing, voice, etc.), but even more so in that they are constructs (they’re in-formed and made up). In this seminar we will revel in the architectonic of good nonfiction writing. Upending the myth of “objectivity,” we will read as if writing mattered, and write as if reading did. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Class list reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed during first week of classes. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.