Nonfiction Writing Courses Fall 2015

These course descriptions are for ENGL0900, 0930, 1030, 1050, 1160, 1180, & 1190 for Fall 2015.

For all other English course descriptions, see our 2015-16 Course Prospectus for fall 2015 and spring 2016.

ENGL0900 (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, 02, 04, 06, 08, and 09 are reserved for first-year students. Spring section 04 is reserved for first-year students.  Enrollment limited to 17. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

 

ENGL0900 S01  (section reserved for first-year students) CRN:15274
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 S02   (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15275
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)

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 S03   CRN:15276
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.

ENGL0900 S04   (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15277
J Hour (T/Th 1-2:20 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 S05   CRN:15278
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 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.

ENGL0900 S06  (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15279
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.

ENGL0900 S07 CRN:15280
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Adam Golaski
See description for Sec. 06, above.

ENGL0900 S08  (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15281
AB Hour (Mon./Wed. 8:30-9:50 am)
TBA

ENGL0900 S09  (section reserved for first-year students)   CRN:15282
B Hour (MWF 9-9:50 am)
TBA

ENGL0900 S10  CRN:15283
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
TBA

ENGL0900 S11  CRN:15284
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
TBA

ENGL0900 S12  CRN:15285
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)
TBA

ENGL0900 S13  CRN:15286
F Hour (MWF 1-1:50 pm)
TBA

ENGL0900 S14  CRN:15287
AB Hour (Mon./Wed. 8:30-9:50 am)
TBA

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 01 is reserved for first-year students and section 03 is reserved for first-year and sophomores only.  Spring sections 02 and 05 are reserved for first-year students.  Spring section 07 is 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 students) CRN:15292
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.

ENGL0930 S02 CRN:15294
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)

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.

ENGL0930 S03 (section reserved for first-year and sophomore students) CRN:15295
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)

Susan Resnick
See description for Sec. 02, above.

ENGL0930 S04 CRN:15296
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.

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

ENGL1030A Research Essay  CRN:15403
D Hour (MWF 11-11:50 am)
Elizabeth Taylor

This section of “ENGL1030: Critical Reading and Writing II: Research” will prepare you for academic and real world discourse. We will study essays by well-regarded writers as examples of deep research distilled into engaging intellectual journey. In practice you will generate, research, plan, draft, and revise four essays, moving from explanatory to analytical to persuasive essays, and culminating in a final research project grappling with varied sources to explore a subject, issue, or artist of your choice. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample may be required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1030B Research Essay: Investigative Nonfiction  CRN:15530
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)
Michael Stewart

This class is founded on the idea that research is a creative act in and of itself. Using a series of real-world drills we will explore the local archives, court documents, libraries, and electronic resources that are essential to investigative nonfiction. Additionally, we will look at a number of contemporary texts to examine how scholars, professional writers and journalists have integrated their research into their writing. 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. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval.  S/NC.

ENGL1050B  True Stories  CRN:15595
C Hour (MWF 10-10:50 am)
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.

ENGL1050G, S01 (formerly 0160)  Journalistic Writing  CRN:15596
H Hour (T/Th 9-10:20 am)
Tracy Breton

This course, taught by a Pultizer 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 (formerly 0160)  Journalistic Writing  CRN:15597
K Hour (T/Th 2:30-3:50 pm)
Tracy Breton
See description for Section 01, above.

ENGL1050J  Multimedia Nonfiction  CRN:15396
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Michael Stewart

In this class students will write and explore essays that focus on the meaningful integration of images, videos, and web tools with traditional nonfiction subgenres. No previous digital experience is necessary. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1050K  Flash Nonfiction  CRN:15395
G Hour (MWF 2-2:50 pm)
Elizabeth Taylor

The nonfiction "short" is an old and shape-shifting form, ranging from 250 to 2000 words. You will study and imitate historical and contemporary short forms of the nonfiction list, scene, letter, prose poem, essay, memoir, story, profile, and history. Inspirations will come from international and North American authors -- including Jean Toomer, Kenneth Koch, Margaret Atwood, Amy Hempel, Naomi Shihab Nye, John Edgar Wideman, Richard Rodriguez, and Dave Eggers. Enrollment limited to 17. Writing sample required. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

 

NONFICTION WRITING ADVANCED

 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.

ENGL1160G Literary Journalism: Writing About Politics and Culture  CRN:15399
P Hour (Tues 4-6:30 pm)

TBA

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: ENGL0900, ENGL0930, or any intermediate or advanced nonfiction course. Preference will be given to English concentrators. 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.

ENGL1180C Writing with Food CRN:15598
M Hour (Mon. 3-5:30 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.

ENGL1180K The Art of Literary Nonfiction CRN:15398
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: ENGL0930 or any 1000-level nonfiction writing course. Not open to first year students. Class list reduced to 17 after writing samples are reviewed during first week of classes. Preference given to English concentrators. Banner registrations after classes begin require instructor approval. S/NC.

ENGL1180P Further Adventures in Creative Nonfiction CRN:15397
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. 

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:15400
I Hour (T/Th 10:30-11:50 am)

TBA
ENGL1190M, S02  The Theory and Practice of Writing: Writing Fellows Program CRN:15401
J Hour (TTh 1-2:20 pm)

TBA

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.


ENGL1190P  Art of Memoir: Theory/Practice  CRN:15402
E Hour (MWF 12-12:50 pm)
Robert Ward

The course introduces students to the historical and theoretical nuances of memoir. You will critically engage with a variety of readings and develop an appreciation of your creative role as a memoirist. In the process of crafting a portfolio of work you will explore the complexities of remembering and experiment with the style of narrative voice and structure. 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.