Nonfiction Writing Courses Fall 2020

These course descriptions are for ENGL0900, 0930, 1030, 1050, 1140, 1160, 1180, & 1190 for Fall 2020 (as of 7/15/20).

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2020-21 Course Prospectus for fall 2020.

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 section 03 is reserved for first-year students.  Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S01 CRN 16246
*NEW TIME* G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Austin Jackson
This course considers the central role of language within popular struggles for social justice. We will explore intersecting rhetorics of race, class, and gender in society, examine writing as an act of political activism, and experiment with various modes of argumentation and persuasion, writing in various modes or genres, for multiple audiences and different rhetorical situations.

ENGL0900 S03 CRN 16249
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. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S04 CRN 16250
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.  Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0900 S07 CRN 16253
*NEW TIME* E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Erin Prior
This course is designed to prepare students to read and write at the university level and in the world beyond. Through class discussions, peer workshops, weekly assignments, and instructor conferences, students will hone their critical thinking skills, develop original and persuasive arguments, learn to support written claims with evidence, and conduct research. The readings in this course explore issues related to the environment and political ecology—and students will be asked to evaluate a variety of interrelated issues from our individual and collective relationship to the natural world, to environmental politics and forms of activism, and finally to national and global climate policy. 

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 05 is reserved for first-year students. Enrollment limited. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S05 CRN 16468
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 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.”  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 16469
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Robert Ward
This section introduces you to the conventions of creative nonfiction. We will discuss a variety of forms, including the essay, reportage, and memoir. These discussions will be complemented with workshops, where you will practice, refine, and share your writing, and one-to-one conferences.  Assignments, including articles, in-class writing, and longer essays, are designed to recognize influential styles as well as develop your own unique narrative voice.  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 16236
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
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.

ENGL1030F The Artist in the Archives  CRN 16237
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.

ENGL1050A Narrative CRN 17955
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.  This course is listed as Hybrid but it will largely take place over Zoom. I am expecting that we will meet in-person for two or possibly three sessions after the first week of online classes to do some in class writing and meet each other in a socially distanced way. But shortly after that, as soon as we start in with full class workshops, those will happen over Zoom. 

ENGL1050G S01 Journalistic Writing  CRN 16256
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.

                     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.

ENGL1140E Writing for Activists CRN 17990
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)
Kate Schapira
How can writing support and further change? In this course students will practice grant applications, budget narratives, mission and strategy statements, press releases, position papers, op-eds, and other writing strategies with practical application in activist work. We'll read examples and theoretical grounding, and guest speakers will introduce us to writings and needs specific to a range of fields. 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. Instructor permission required. 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.

*NEW*
ENGL1160N Investigative Reporting: The Opioid Crisis in Rhode Island CRN 17571
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Tracy Breton
This advanced reporting class will bring journalism students together with computer science concentrators who together will spend the semester investigating and writing about the opioid epidemic in Rhode Island, a public health crisis that has taken thousands of lives. We will produce a series of eye-opening stories -- to be published in a newspaper of general circulation -- based on data sifting, documents and in-depth interviews. Prerequisite ENGL1160F. Not open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission required.

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 16240
M Hour (Monday 3-5:30 pm)
Michael Stewart
In this class, we will join the host of other artists, activists, and writers that have used Twitter bots, iPhone apps, virtual reality experiences, and more to tell compelling stories. No previous digital writing experience is necessary, however, as an advanced creative nonfiction class, Digital Nonfiction requires students to have completed ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Enrollment is limited to 17. Instructor permission required. S/NC.

ENGL1180E Lifewriting CRN 17993
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
Features theoretical and practical study of lifewriting's various forms--memoir, diary, essay, and autobiography-- and the crafting of personal narrative. Students read books, view films, and keep an electronic diary and paper notebook. Requirements include a personal critical essay and autobiography. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL 0130, 0160, 0180, 1140, 1160, 1180, or 1190. 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 17994
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 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. 

ENGL1180P Further Adventures in Creative Nonfiction CRN 16241
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Ed Hardy
For the advanced writer. A workshop course for students who have taken ENGL 0930 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. This course is listed as Hybrid but it will largely take place over Zoom. I am expecting that we will meet in-person for two or possibly three sessions after the first week of online classes to do some in class writing and meet each other in a socially distanced way. But shortly after that, as soon as we start in with full class workshops, those will happen over Zoom. 

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 16258
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Austin Jackson
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  CRN 16259
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Austin Jackson
See description for Section 01, above.