Nonfiction Writing Courses Fall 2021

These course descriptions are for ENGL0900, 0930, 1030, 1050, 1140, 1160, 1180, & 1190 for Fall 2021.

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2021-22 Course Prospectus for fall 2021 and spring 2022.

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 01 and 02 are reserved for first-year and sophomores only. Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.  

ENGL0900 S01 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students)  CRN 16478
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am) 
Jack Quirk
If writing is one of the most effective means of communication we have, why do we so often struggle to reproduce our thinking in writing? In this course, students will reflect, discuss, and develop their own academic writing processes by focusing on the relation between law, culture, and society. We discuss a variety of texts (legal, literature, film) and issues (morality, justice, discrimination) as students produce their own thesis-driven arguments about why and how cultural texts inform our understanding of how law functions and affects our lives.

ENGL0900 S02   (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students)  CRN 16479
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm) 
Semilore Sobande
This course will teach students how to write about multiple forms of media by introducing them to African diasporic musical traditions. We will sharpen our skills in critical reading, argumentation, revision, as well as creative voice and style while exploring how music connects black peoples throughout the world. Readings include works by Shauna Redmond, Daphne Brooks, and Nicole Fleetwood.

ENGL0900 S03 CRN 16480
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm) 

Benjamin Rosenberg
This course teaches college-level writing, critical analysis and research skills through a survey of topics. Topics regarded will include (en)closure, climate change, modes of living under and in distinction to duress, ecological rhythms and history, etc. We’ll consider writing by poets, critics, artists, environmentalists, and others in order to inspire and glean essayistic forms.

ENGL0900 S04CRN 16481
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm) 

Fabrizio Ciccone
Three major genres of essay-writing (personal, analytical, researched) serve as the backbone for this course. Students will produce multiple drafts in each genre, reading widely in exemplary works of non-fiction selected for their openness to generic experimentation. Designed around developing a toolkit of writerly strategies, our goal will be to understand writing as equipment for living. The thematic focus: disappointment.

ENGL0900 S05   CRN 16482
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm) 
Scott Jackshaw
"How do we write the body? How does the body write? This course introduces theories of embodiment through experiments in creative research and the argumentative essay. We will encounter a variety of literature and media, including body horror and queer cultural production, to explore the limits and possibilities of embodied research and writing practices. Students will develop creative and research-based projects to intervene in debates surrounding knowledge production, representation, and embodiment."

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 sections 02, 04, and 07 are reserved for first-year and sophomores only. Enrollment limited. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S01 CRN 16484
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 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, technique and voice in many subgenres including: the personal essay, literary journalism, travel writing, science writing and memoir. Student work will be discussed both in full-class workshops and conferences. There will be weekly short assignments during much of the semester and at the semester's end students will turn in a portfolio with several polished shorter pieces and one longer essay. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S02 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students) CRN 16485
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Emily Hipchen
My approach to this class is ekphrastic: we’ll work from objects (selected by you) to essays that arise by association, memory, and research. In the process, you’ll read extensively in the genre and practice the skills and techniques that authors use to write effective creative nonfiction. The course includes peer workshops and requires both a midterm portfolio and a final portfolio with at least three revised essays. S/NC.

ENGL0930 S04 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students) CRN 16487
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Elizabeth Rush
In this course we will read, write, and workshop creative nonfiction essays in a number of different forms––lyric essay, memoir, and literary reportage among others. We will explore how to write works that are connected to actual affairs in the world and that 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 they can create a set of literary relationships that encourage readers to gain insight into something they might not have otherwise had.

ENGL0930 S05  CRN 16488
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm) 
Kate Schapira
In this class we'll practice some of the things that writing can do, together. Writing together, including reading and discussing what we've written as well as the writings of people who aren't in our class, can help us make each other's writing better. That means finding out what “better” writing means for each of us and also helping each other expand that definition by asking questions like, “Good for who?” and “Good at what?” and other questions that will come to light. We'll read and write works with a range of styles and subjects, by writers including Jamaica Kincaid, Stephen J. Gould, Layli Long Soldier, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Brown alums working as writers like Wudan Yan, Sabrina Imbler and Doreen St. Felix. Rewriting will form a key part of the course, and students will choose pieces to rework for a final portfolio.

ENGL0930 S06 CRN 16489
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.”  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 16490
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 pm)
Michael Stewart
This is a class about telling true stories. Through weekly writing assignments, you will be encouraged to take risks, inspire one another, and feed your curiosity. We will uncover stories by conducting interviews, digital investigations, and digging into the archives. Lastly, we will read a diverse collection of writers, and by doing so, learn to be better storytellers and more aggressive, appreciative readers.

ENGL0930 S08 CRN 16491
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 pm)
Robert Ward
E.B. White once said that writing is an act of faith. The ambition of the course, then, is to enable you to find and grow that faith in yourself as a nonfiction writer. To achieve this, we will work on several creative forms and build a portfolio of revised and crafted written work shaped by a blend of learning activities.

ENGL0930 S09 CRN 16492
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Robert Ward
See description for Section 08, 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. Enrollment limited to 17. No pre-requisites. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1030H Writing Black Popular Culture CRN 17745
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm) 

Austin Jackson
As a site of critical inquiry, Black popular culture provides valuable insight into the ways oppressed people (and allies) identify and mobilize against unjust power structures in society. We will begin with immersion experiences with primary and secondary resources that reveal how “voices on the margins” assert agency, identity, and community. Enrollment limited to 17. No pre-requisites. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.  WRIT DIAP

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.

ENGL 1050G S01 Journalistic Writing  (S01 reserved for first-year and sophomores only)  CRN 16510
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.

ENGL 1050G S02 Journalistic Writing CRN 16512
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Tracy Breton
See description for Section 01, above.

ENGL 1050P Reframing Race in Art Writing CRN 16493
AB Hour (Mon/Wed only 8:30-9:50 am)
Mary-Kim Arnold
This seminar will consider how contemporary writers and critics respond to art that directly addresses race and challenges institutional power. We will discuss past and recent controversies involving race and representation in exhibitions and examine the relationships between artists, museums and other art institutions, and public audiences. We will consider how writing about arts and culture can advance public discourse about race, equity, and justice. Enrollment limited to 17. No pre-requisites. Writing sample required. Instructor permission required.  CBLR, DIAP

                     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.

ENGL1140B The Public Intellectual CRN 16386
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Lawrence Stanley
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.

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 CRN 16494
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
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.

ENGL1180R Travel Writing: Personal and Cultural Narratives  CRN 16387
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
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.

ENGL1180V Contemporary Asian American Writers  CRN 16495
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm) 

Mary-Kim Arnold
In this advanced writing workshop, we will explore the work of Asian American writers who are engaging with questions of race and ethnicity; self-invention and identity; visibility and representation. We'll consider how authors use writing to give voice to marginalized experiences, preserve cultural memory, and redress injustice. Guest writers will read from and discuss their own work. Prerequisite: ENGL0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Writing sample required. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writings samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. Preference given to English concentrators. Instructor permission required. 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.

ENGL1190J African American Literacy CRN 17744
P Hour (Tuesday 4-6:30 pm) 

Austin Jackson
In this course, we will explore the social, educational, and political implications of AAL in the 21st century. Our task is threefold: we will 1) examine AAL semantics, syntax, phonology, and morphology, 2) identify underlying historical and socio-economic forces responsible for shaping AAL, and 3) explore the impact of AAL within Black speech communities and U.S. and global popular culture. 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.  WRIT DIAP

ENGL1190M S01  The Theory and Practice of Writing: Writing Fellows Program  CRN 16382
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Charles Carroll
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.

ENGL1190X Nonfiction Now  CRN 16380
N Hour (Wednesday 3-5:30 pm)

Michael Stewart and Elizabeth Rush
Nonfiction Now introduces students to contemporary nonfiction writing through in-person exposure to professional writers, who will visit the course to deliver a craft lecture, read from their latest work and discuss the labor that goes into maintaining a professional writing life. Students will be expected to read the work of the visitor and produce creative work in response. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Class list will be reduced to 30 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.  WRIT

ENGL1190Y Editing as Revision  CRN 18125
ONLINE Time: ARRANGED
Emily Hipchen
This fully gamified course, organized by historically-based writing guilds and their competitors in bookselling, introduces students to content, copy, and proofs editing as revision praxis. Students will edit publishable texts inside an imaginative game-world, learning editing strategies that help expert authors revise scholarly nonfiction—strategies students will find useful in working with their own writing as well. A writing sample required. 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. Open to juniors and seniors only. Instructor permission required. S/NC.