Nonfiction Writing Courses Spring 2020

These course descriptions are for ENGL0900, 0930, 1030, 1050, 1140, 1160, 1180, & 1190 for Spring 2020.

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2019-20 Course Prospectus for fall 2019 and spring 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. Spring 2020 sections 01 and 02 are reserved for first-year students.  Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL 0900, Section S01, CRN 25173
(section reserved for first-year students only)
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)
Robert P. 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 0900, Section S02, CRN 25174
(section reserved for first-year students only)
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 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. 

ENGL 0900, Section S03, CRN 25175
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 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. 

ENGL 0900, Section S05, CRN 25177
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Ashley Dun
An introduction to university-level writing. Students produce and revise multiple drafts of essays, practicing essential skills of organization, critical analysis, and research. Readings from a range of texts - including, but not limited to: literature, pop culture analyses, research studies, and academic articles - all related to the concept of "beauty." Assignments move from personal response papers to formal academic essays. 

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. Spring 2020 sections 01 and 03 are reserved for first-year and sophomores only. Enrollment limited. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL 0930, Section S01, CRN 25178
(section reserved for first-year and sophomores only)
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 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 essay, and essays about crime, travel, and history—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. 

ENGL 0930, Section S02, CRN 25179
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
Robert P. 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. 
 

ENGL 0930, Section S03, CRN 25180
(section reserved for first-year and sophomores only)
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, writing about art and music, literary journalism, and lyric essay -- to identify techniques and choices that authors use to transform experience and research into effective texts. In peer workshops, we'll give and receive feedback to facilitate the revision process and by the end of the semester, we'll have completed a portfolio of three revised essays. Through class exercises, assignments, and discussion, we will become more skilled readers, writers, and thinkers. 

ENGL 0930, Section S04, CRN 25181
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
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. 


ENGL 0930, Section S05, CRN 25182
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Kate Schapira
How can nonfiction also be creative? In this course, we'll look at writing that's inventive rather than invented, examining and imitating the tactics writers use and the risks they take to convey what happened, what's happening, and what they hope or fear will happen. Writing and rewriting (reportage, cultural critique, literary response, opinion, memoir) will form a key part of the course, and students will rework a number of pieces for a final portfolio. Authors considered include, but are not limited to, Antjie Krog, Richard Feynman, M.F.K. Fisher, James Thurber, Naomi Klein, John Lahr. 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. 

                   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.

ENGL 1030A, The Thoughtful Generalist, CRN 25195
(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. 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. Learn what it is like to take an online course at Brown and view technical requirements at:
http://brown.edu/go/whatisonlinelike 

ENGL 1030C, Writing Science, CRN 24584
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. 

ENGL 1030G, Backstory, CRN 24586
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Ed Hardy
Everything has a backstory—every event, every object, every idea. In this workshop-based course we will explore the archives at Brown and RISD to write three research essays for general audiences. You can expect readings, looking at how authors like David Foster Wallace, John McPhee and Eula Biss structure their pieces, workshops and in-class writing prompts to get you going. 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.


ENGL 1050A, Narrative, CRN 24585
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
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. 

ENGL 1050F, Line Work: Experiments in Short-Form Writing, CRN 24587
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Michael Stewart
This class is based on the premise that to improve your writing, you need to write often. By responding to almost daily drills, you will develop a regular writing habit and explore a range of styles. We will take your most successful pieces through a series of workshops, helping you refine your work and ultimately build a writing portfolio. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL 1050H, Section 01, Journalistic Writing, CRN 24589
(section reserved for first-year and sophomores only)

AB Hour (Mon & Wed only 8:30-9:50 am)
Tom 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. 

ENGL 1050N, Writing for Today's Electronic Media, CRN 25900
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Jonathan Readey
This course introduces students to the practice of reporting for television news, radio, and their online equivalents--online news and podcasts. Exploring the world of communications for contemporary media, the course features hands-on work in writing news, features, and opinion pieces for television, radio, online news, and podcasts. Students will develop skills in analyzing, writing, revising, and workshopping in these media. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC. 

ENGL 1050Q, Writing the Family, CRN 26437
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Emily Hipchen
"You must not tell anyone" writes Hong Kingston's auto-fictional narrator—and then a book of family secrets follows. This class examines how authors (authorized or not) use their families as subject matter, storying family and family life. Over the term, we'll work on developing a practical and theoretical ethics of family-writing while contextualizing and practicing writing nonfiction about the family. Enrollment limited to 17. No prerequisites. Writing sample required. Instructor permission required. 

                     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 1140A, Intellectual Pleasures: Reading/Writing the Literary Text, CRN 24590
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)
Lawrence Stanley
Riffing on the generative tensions between intellectual rigor and aesthetic pleasure, this seminar will examine (through the theoretical framework of cognitive poetics) a richly diverse range of literary texts, from Susan Howe to Beowulf. Our objective: to develop an awareness of language that will reshape how we read and how we write literary texts in various genres. Writing centered. Enrollment limited to 12. Prerequisite: ENGL 0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. S/NC. 

ENGL 1140E, Writing for Activists, CRN 25729
N Hour (Wed. 3-5:30 pm)
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.
CBRL  DIAP

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 1160F, Reporting Crime and Justice, CRN 24591
M Hour (Mon. 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.

ENGL 1180B, Digital Nonfiction,CRN 24592
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 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. 

ENGL 1180C, Writing with Food, CRN 24593
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)
Carol DeBoer-Langworthy
This course examines writing about food and how writing affects food and food culture. We shall explore the relationship of food to the pen through reading classic texts, writing in and out of class, guest lectures, and touring culinary archives. The goal is to polish personal voice in menus, recipes, memoir, history, reportage, and the lyric essay. 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 1180G, Lyricism and Lucidity, CRN 24594
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
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. 

ENGL 1180H, Satire and Humor Writing, CRN 24595
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. 

ENGL 1180U, Testimony, CRN 24596
O Hour (Fri. 3-5:30 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 1180V, Asian American Narrative, CRN 24597
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Mary-Kim Arnold
This course considers themes, forms, and contexts of Asian American narratives. We will examine diverse representations of Asian American experience and explore the questions these texts raise about race and ethnicity; self-invention and identity; and visibility and representation. We'll consider how Asian American authors have used writing to reclaim agency, preserve cultural memory, and redress past and present injustice. 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.  DIAP

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.