ENGL 364 Fall 2014 Documentary Poetry (D)

One of the most vibrant trends in contemporary writing, documentary poetry draws on various kinds of source materials (including photographs, newspapers, legal records, and public testimonials) in the creation of innovative forms. This course will be a joint adventure in the reception and production of such work, and is designed for anyone interested in the intersections of the creative and the socio-political. Our documentary models treat a range of subjects -- from a slave-ship massacre, to coal mining accidents in West Virginia and China, to American gun violence, to the impact of climate change -- yet all share both an investigative approach and a commitment to thinking about the way individual lives are shaped by larger social and historical structures. Generically, these works make use of the strategies of poetry, but also frequently incorporate essay, narrative, and image to create distinctly mixed forms. Students likewise will choose topics to investigate over the term, and their final projects will be printed through Publication Studio, an on-demand press in residency at WCMA in Fall 2014. As part of the Exploring Diversity Initiative, this tutorial engages questions of power and privilege, asking students to pursue an independent writing project that works empathically to understand a situation by uncovering its social, political, cultural, and historical contexts. Readings will likely be drawn from the following authors: Anne Carson, Julie Carr, Bhanu Kapil, Myung Mi Kim, Mark Nowak, Craig Santos Perez, M. NourbSe Philip, Claudia Rankine, Julianna Spahr, and C.D. Wright.
Class Format: tutorial
Requirements/Evaluation: students will meet with the instructor in pairs for an hour each week; they will write a 5- to 7-page critical paper or installment of their documentary project every other week (five in all), and comment on their partners' work in alternate weeks
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: a 100-level English course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: if over-enrolled, admission will be decided based on a writing sample
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division I,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories C
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 1632
ENGL 364 - T1 (F) TUT Documentary Poetry (D) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsExploring Diversity Initiative Jessica M. Fisher
TBA 1632
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