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ENGL 257
Personal Essay: Writing Workshop Fall 2020
Division I Writing Skills

Class Details

The personal essay as a literary form includes a wide range of genres including literary journalism, creative nonfiction and the lyric essay. Note the exclusion of “memoir” or “autobiography” in this list. This course is NOT a course in memoir or autobiography. As we become more mindful of our particular points of view (and of ways to explore and exploit this subjectivity), we will turn the focus outside of ourselves. We will experiment with writing that is extro- rather than introspective. While this is primarily a course in creative writing, we will give much of our time to literary analysis and imitation of exemplary essayists (primarily from the 20th and 21st centuries, and primarily from the U.S.) including James Baldwin, James Agee, Annie Dillard, John McPhee, Joan Didion, Adrian NicholeLeBlanc, Jennifer S. Cheng, Anne Carson, Samuel Delaney, Maggie Nelson, Alexander Chee, Lydia Yuknavitch, Saidiya Hartman and Karen Green.
The Class: Format: seminar; This course will be taught remotely, with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous meetings, assignments, short lectures, and opportunities for engagement (e.g. Zoom, Glow, Panopto & Loom). There will be a single, collective meeting every week in the time slot assigned to this course; as well as a single, weekly meeting of small groups of three students in which creative and critical writing will be shared, critiqued and discussed.
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 2280
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Evaluation will be based on class participation, peer editing, writing and revision, with special attention given to the student's engagement in every aspect of the writing process.
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: students who have not yet taken Creative Writing courses will be given priority
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills
WS Notes: This course will demand weekly writing and critical responses, as well as regular opportunities for revision. Total number of pages written will amount to approximately 35.
Attributes: ENGL Creative Writing Courses

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