Curriculum: Nonfiction Writing Courses Fall 2014

These course descriptions are for ENGL0110, 0130, 0160, 0180, 1050, 1180, & 1190 for Fall 2014.

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2014-15 Course Prospectus.

ENGL0110   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, 03, 08, 09, and 12 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.

ENGL0110 S01   (section reserved for first-year students)  CRN:15278
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 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.

*CANCELLED*
ENGL0110 S02   (section reserved for first-year students)  CRN:15282
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)

Catherine Imbriglio

This section offers an introductory forum for responsible, engaged critical reading and writing for academic audiences. Its primary thematic focus will be issues of power, knowledge, and authority–in public spaces and in private–as seen through such interdisciplinary lenses as literature, philosophy, urban studies, visual studies, science, and psychology. There will be daily as well as long-term writing assignments, with strategies for college-level inquiry (exploration, reflection, analysis, synthesis, revision, and evaluation) strongly emphasized. Our main goal for the semester will be to explore, re-envision and deepen our sense of what it means to be imaginative critical thinkers, readers, and writers–dynamic participants in the ongoing intellectual conversations that take place here at Brown. The course is designed to meet the needs of entering students and is therefore limited to 17 incoming first-year students. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S03   (section reserved for first-year students)  CRN:15283
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 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.

ENGL0110 S05   CRN:15284
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 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. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S06   CRN:15285
AB Hour (Mon/Wed 8:30-9:50 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. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S07   CRN:15286
AB Hour (Mon/Wed 8:30-9:50 am)

Andrew Naughton

This course aims to improve students’ academic and professional writing.  Working on critical skills in reading and writing—including elements of style, organization, research, and revision—students are encouraged to cultivate and apply argumentative thinking in their work.  In addition to classroom discussion, students will complete response papers and a final research paper. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S08   (section reserved for first-year students)  CRN:15287
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)

Swetha Regunathan

Essay derives from the French “essayer,” meaning to “to try.” We will approach academic writing as an experimental process that requires close reading and thoughtful revision. As we examine a range of media, you will prepare a portfolio of reading responses, short essays, and a final paper. Peer-review workshops and conferences with the instructor will allow further opportunities for revision. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S09   (section reserved for first-year students)  CRN:15288
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)

Sean Keck

We practice several genres of academic writing (textual analysis, research, and creative non-fiction) to become more effective communicators at the university level.  While working with literary, pop cultural, and scholarly sources, we explore a broad range of compositional structures and argumentative strategies.  Students use feedback from the instructor and their peers to revise their essays throughout the semester. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S10   CRN:15289
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)

James Beaver

This introduction to academic writing will focus on developing reading and analytical skills to engage a variety of texts, including personal essays and journalistic pieces, as well as more canonical essays.  Students will learn to formulate arguments and organize ideas while developing their own critical voices.  Assignments include short writing assignments and three longer papers, including a research essay. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S11   CRN:15290
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)

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.

ENGL0110 S12   (section reserved for first-year students)  CRN:15291
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)

Jerrine Tan

This course is an introduction to university-level academic writing. Students will revise multiple drafts of essays and practice essential skills in paragraph organization and sentence-level writing. They also will develop techniques in close reading, research, and peer workshopping. We will engage critically with a wide range of essays, literature, and films. Assignments will vary from personal response papers to formal academic essays. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S13   CRN:15292
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)

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. S/NC.

ENGL0110 S14   CRN:15293
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)

Adam Golaski

See description for Section 13, above.

ENGL0130   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.  Writing sample may be required.  Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0130 S01   CRN:15257
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)

Elizabeth Taylor

“The Thoughtful Generalist” -- To prepare for academic and real world discourse, we will study essays by nationally known writers as exempla of deep research turned into engaging intellectual journey. In practice we will generate, research, plan, draft, and revise several essays, moving from close reading to inter-textual analysis to complex grappling with varied sources to explore a subject, issue, or artist. Writing sample may be required. Enrollment limited to 17 undergraduate students. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0130 S02   CRN:15258
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)

Robert P. Ward

This course guides you through the process of writing a research essay in various academic disciplines. We will discuss, practice, and refine a number of key skills, including the formulation of a research question, identifying, using, and documenting appropriate scholarly evidence, as well as planning, revising, and structuring an extended piece of critical work. The class is a collaborative and supportive setting that will also enable you to improve your research writing through regular peer-review, conferences, academic debate, and research symposia. S/NC.

ENGL0160   Journalistic Writing

An introduction to journalistic writing that focuses on techniques of investigation, reporting, and feature writing.  Uses readings, visiting journalists, and field experience to address ethical and cultural debates involving the profession of journalism. Writing assignments range from news coverage of current events to investigative feature articles. Prerequisite: ENGL0110 or equivalent. Writing sample required.  Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0160 S01  News and Feature Writing and Reporting  CRN:15259
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)

Tracy Breton

Pulitzer Prize-Winning reporter for Providence-Journal teaches news reporting and writing and feature writing. This course is designed to teach students how to report and write hard news and feature stories for newspapers and to hone students' skills as interviewers and observers of daily life.  The first half of the semester will focus on hard news writing, everything from police, government and court reporting to news analysis. The second half of the semester will be devoted to feature writing -- profiles and the art of narrative story-telling. There will be a particular emphasis on one genre, the nonfiction short story.

Students will learn how to select a topic, structure and organize material, use description effectively and rid their writing of clutter. Topics covered will include the art of the interview; writing about people and places--the twin pillars on which most nonfiction is built; developing a voice and presenting a point of view while avoiding bias.  Journalistic ethics will be discussed. Some of the classes will be held off campus where students will be gathering information for written assignments.  There will be writing assignments every class and individual critiques. Prerequisite: ENGL0110 or equivalent. Writing sample required. Class list will be reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed during the first week of classes. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0160 S02  News and Feature Writing and Reporting  CRN:15260
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)

Tracy Breton

See description for Section 01, above.

ENGL0180   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 01 and 03 are reserved for first-year students.  Spring sections 01, 03, and 05 are reserved for first-year students.  Spring section 06 is reserved for first-year and sophomores only. Enrollment limited. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL0180 S01 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN:15272
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.”  S/NC.

ENGL0180 S02 CRN:15273
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)

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.  S/NC.

ENGL0180 S03 (section reserved for first-year students) CRN:15274
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)

Susan Resnick

See description for Sec. 02, above.

ENGL0180 S04 CRN:15275
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)

Michael H. Stewart

In this section we will explore several genres of creative nonfiction, including the lyric essay, historical narrative, science narrative and memoir. We will look closely at several readings culled from modern and contemporary sources and then engage in a series of workshops, writing drills and one-on-one conferences. The focus of the class will be on further developing your unique voice and range as well as augmenting your talents as a critical reader. 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.

ENGL0180 S05 CRN:16688
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)

Anna Solomon

This section will engage students as readers and writers of creative nonfiction, and explore central questions––of technique, methodology, ethics, etc.––that shape and complicate this flexible yet demanding form. Texts will include classic and contemporary work of various genres, including the lyric essay, memoir, literary journalism, science and nature writing, investigative personal narrative, and more. Emphasis will be placed on learning to read as writers, gaining control over the writerly choices we make, and developing concrete tools for pre-writing, drafting, research, and revision. Frequent private conferences and peer-to-peer workshops will encourage rigorous, inventive writing based in fact. S/NC.

(NEW)
ENGL1050 Intermediate Creative Nonfiction

For the confident 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. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval.  S/NC.

ENGL1050A Narrative  CRN:15788
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. Writing sample required. S/NC.

ENGL1050B True Stories  CRN:15245
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)

Kate Schapira

This class will allow confident writers to explore and develop their creative nonfiction writing. We'll focus on two structures--nonfiction narratives and essays--with occasional forays into other forms. Students will work simultaneously on several small assignments and two larger, self-directed pieces. Readings will include cultural reportage, lyric memoir, science and nature writing, standard and hybrid essays. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1050C Creative Nonfiction: Practice/Criticism  CRN:15247
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)

Elizabeth Taylor

What is Creative Nonfiction? It has a long history and recently writers have flocked to it; scholars have questioned it: Academic enough? Harm the truth? Narrative with too much “I” and too little “Eye”? Literary? Significant? By reading historical and contemporary examples along with critics, we will explore persistent questions about form, method, ethics, and significance. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1160   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.

ENGL1160G Literary Journalism: Writing About Culture  CRN:15789
P Hour (Tues 4-6:30 pm)

Mark Feeney

Students are introduced to procedures and techniques of cultural journalism through reading and discussing work of notable practitioners and writing their own reviews, profiles, and reportage. Enrollment limited to 12. Prerequisites: ENGL0110, ENGL0130, ENGL0160, ENGL0180, or any advanced nonfiction course. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1180   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: ENGL0130, 0160, 0180, 1050, 1140, 1160, 1180, or 1190. Preference will be given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1180B Digital Nonfiction  CRN:15265
M Hour (Mon 3-5:30 pm)

Michael H. 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 0130, 0160, or 0180. Enrollment is limited to 17. Instructor permission required. S/NC.

ENGL1180I Writing Medical Narrative  CRN:15790
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 pm)

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: ENGL 0110, 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. S/NC.

ENGL1180K  The Art of Literary Nonfiction  CRN:15267
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)

Catherine Imbriglio

For the advanced writer. Based on Roland Barthes' notion of the fragment, this workshop features an incremental, literary approach to writing nonfiction, in both traditional and experimental formats. In response to daily assignments, students will produce numerous short pieces and three extended "essays," to be gathered into a chapbook at the end of the course. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL0130, 0160, 0180, 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.

ENGL1180M Special Delivery: Letters and Diaries  CRN:15268
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)

Carol DeBoer-Langworthy

For the advanced writer. While letters and diaries are constrained by "dailiness"--the writer's informal situation in time--they often form the basis of more formal communications, including the novel. We will keep diaries as self-conscious intellectual enterprises and write letters to address their roles in various literary modes. The final project will be an epistolary essay incorporating structures and motifs from both sub-genres. Writing sample required. Prerequisite: ENGL0130, 0160, 0180, 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:15269
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)

Ed Hardy

A workshop course for students who have taken ENGL0180 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: ENGL0130, 0160, 0180, 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.

ENGL1190   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 for most sections: ENGL0130, 0160, 0180, 1050, 1140, 1160, 1180, or 1190. 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:15261
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)

Kathleen McSharry

ENGL1190M S02  The Theory and Practice of Writing:  Writing Fellows Program CRN:15262
J Hour (TTh 1-2:20 pm)

Kathleen McSharry

For students accepted as Writing Fellows, this course offers the study of literary essays and composition theory to help develop their own writing with a critical awareness of the elements of an essay.  Students will write essays throughout the semester and will confer with each other for every paper, thereby gaining experience in peer tutoring and becoming better writers through the help of an informed peer. They will also respond to the writing of a cohort of students in another designated Writing Fellows class. Enrollment is restricted to undergraduates who have been accepted into the Writing Fellows Program in the preceding July. Instructor's permission required. S/NC.