Courses for Spring 2024

Courses for Spring 2024
To join a course, click here to register via PATH@Penn.
For details on our spring 2024 Bassini Writing Apprenticeships, click here.
English 3016.301
Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction and Memoir
Abbey Mei Otis M 3:30-6:30pm
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This introductory level course explores prose narratives on the spectrum from the invented to the remembered. We will write and read works that offer a variety of answers to the question, “Did this really happen?” (Definitely not, maybe, sort of, definitely yes, not yet.) We will read a range of flash fiction, fairy tales, magical realism, speculative memoir, and personal essays, as we try to discern what kinds of truths are most resonant, and how to contain them within the stories we create. Through weekly writing exercises students will hone the skills of imagining, remembering, and close observation. Within our class we will consider what it means to belong within a writing community, as we push each other to become more curious and nuanced observers of the world around us.

English 3017.301
Introduction to Creative Writing: Memoir and Literary Journalism
Taije Silverman TR 12:00-1:30pm
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A workshop focused on the way writers combine memoir and reporting in ways that illuminate the story inside history and connect the personal to public narratives. Through their own prose and the prose of celebrated contemporary essayists, students will learn to render events on the page in language that is honest and engaging—whether recounting a family drama or the real facts behind a headline. With emphasis on the question of how to situate a private life in the collective world, this course will analyze the art of narrative prose, studying some of the best practitioners of this genre including Cathy Park Hong, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Joann Beard, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Nikole Hannah-Jones in order to write and revise our own nonfiction. Students will be asked to write (and rewrite) three very short pieces and, as a final project, one longer piece that explores a historical moment through personal experience. The course is suitable for both beginners and experienced writers.

English 3027.301
Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry and Life Writing
Laynie Browne T 3:30-6:30pm
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This is a course for students who are interested in exploring a variety of approaches to creative writing, including poetry, prose narratives, autobiography, and hybrid genre writing. Readings will include poetry and memoir, and will represent various approaches to writing from life, including works by Hoa Nguyen, Renee Gladman, and Lyn Hejinian, among others. Students will be encouraged to discover new territory, to cultivate a sense of play, to collaborate, and to unhinge conventional assumptions regarding what is possible in writing. Students will write new creative texts weekly, and create a portfolio of their work from the semester.

English 3100.301
Poetry Workshop
Ron Silliman W 1:45-4:45pm
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Poetry is where the personal is always political, especially when it’s not. Often described as “the art of language,” poetry is the oldest literary genre, one that can be practiced in thousands of different ways; it is both the most traditional of art forms and the one most given to innovation. This class will both examine the constituent elements that come together to make a poem as well as sample the many types of expression and social investigation poetry makes possible: sonnets, performance poetry, documentary, visual poetry, conceptual writing, found language, prose poems, haiku, collaboration. Students will write poems weekly, build a personal anthology of poems important to them, maintain a journal, etc. There will be a lot of reading. Prior experience with poetry is not a requirement; nor is a major in English.

English 3102.401
Attention Poetics
Julia Bloch R 10:15am-1:15pm
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This poetry workshop will be devoted to tackling how to use a range of poetic forms—which may include list, lyric, documentary, collage, erasure, epistolary, sound-based, prose, performative, and other shapes and experiments. Students will explore how poetry—both their own and poetry by a number of modern and contemporary practitioners—makes us pay a different kind of attention: to identity, to the social, to the political and historical, and to the ordinary. Students will write in response to readings and creative prompts, read and discuss work by visiting writers, and workshop each other’s writing throughout the semester before producing a final portfolio of approximately 15 pages of work as well as a statement of poetic practice.

English 3201.301
Fiction Workshop: Flash Fiction
Weike Wang M 1:45-4:45pm
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This writing workshop is devoted to the shortest forms of fiction. Short-form fiction is any story under 1,000 words. We will consider the art of condensation, brevity, sudden stories, and microfiction. We’ll read a large array of arresting work written in both English and in English translation. Assigned readings will include the writing of Lydia Davis, Rivka Galchen, Amy Hempel, Vi Khi Nao, Garielle Lutz, Can Xue, Russell Edson, Daniil Kharms, and several others. The majority of our workshops will focus on creating our own very short stories through a variety of styles and approaches. Students will be responsible for writing four pieces throughout the semester to be workshopped by their peers, as well as weekly responses.

English 3205.301
Science Fiction
Abbey Mei Otis W 5:15-8:15pm
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Science fiction as a genre is full of contradictions. It is seen as a literature specifically of Western, scientific, empirical culture, but it also resonates uniquely with marginalized experiences. It is denigrated as lowbrow and nonliterary while also being held up as the “literature of ideas.” It is a site of rich experimentation and also commercialization. In this class we will grapple with these contradictions as craftspeople, seeking to situate ourselves within the history of the genre in order to push our imaginations in new directions. We will focus on craft concepts particular to SF—worldbuilding, extrapolation, defamiliarization—as well as those more general to prose narratives—scene and structure, tension, pacing, voice, and point of view. We begin from the position that content is inseparable from aesthetic, that language is as important to the vitality of “genre” writing as to any other literary mode. Additionally, we will consider how SF has been shaped by the people both within its community (readers, fans) and without (literary gatekeepers, scientists, tech entrepreneurs). We will explore the idea of literary genres and labels as something porous, fluid, insufficient but also essential. Throughout the semester students will write in a variety of science fictional and speculative modes, seeking to answer the question: if science fiction is the narrative of the future, then how do we create the science fictions necessary to bring the world we want into being?

English 3208.301
Advanced Fiction Workshop: Short Fiction
Max Apple T 1:45-4:45pm
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The class will be conducted as a seminar. Every student will write four stories during the semester; each story will be discussed by the group. The instructor will, from time to time, suggest works of fiction that he hopes will be illustrative and inspirational but there will be no required books. Attendance and active class participation are essential.

English 3214.301
Points of View: Writing Polyvocal Fiction
Piyali Bhattacharya T 5:15-8:15pm
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What makes a piece of fiction “voicey”? What does it mean for us as writers to be inside our character’s voice? How do we switch into the voice of a different character in the same piece of fiction? How much page time does a character need in a story with multiple voices? Do characters experience the same event from different points of view, or do they examine different events in kaleidoscopic perspectives? This polyvocal fiction workshop will interrogate how we write one story from the point of view of two or more characters. Our characters might all speak in the first person, or one may be in first while another is in third. We might have two narrators, each speaking for the other. The list of possibilities is long. But most importantly, we will look at a story from inside the mind of more than one person in it. We will then decide how that story might be told by each of those people. To set ourselves some examples, we will read for class works by Jacqueline Woodson, Elizabeth Acevedo, Jennifer Egan, Tommy Orange, and Lisa Ko, and workshop our own original writing.

English 3215.301
The Art of Fiction
Karen Rile R 3:30-6:30pm
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Is it art, or is it craft? Truth is, it’s both. In this generative, interactive workshop we’ll investigate literary fiction technique through a series of directed prompts designed to unfetter your imagination and bring your fiction writing to the next level. Through weekly creative assignments, you will produce a portfolio of work ranging from quirky experiments to fully realized stories. Course readings from a diverse selection of contemporary fiction will illustrate varied approaches to the techniques we’ll explore. Every week you will read, write, react, and workshop in a supportive, inclusive environment. This class is appropriate for fiction writers of every level. Come prepared to take creative risks as you deepen your art and advance your craft.

English 3303.301
Creative Nonfiction Workshop: The Art of Experience
Jay Kirk W 5:15-8:15pm
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Every work of nonfiction is a writer’s attempt to reconstruct experience. But experience can be an elusive thing to capture: a strange hybrid of the highly subjective and the more tangible zone of perceptible fact. How do we strike a balance in narrative nonfiction? For one, we employ the same devices that we already use to navigate our way through the world—that of our senses. The more vivid the details of sight, touch, smell, taste, and sound, the more immersed the reader will become in the author’s re-created world of words. But what of the more abstract, less concrete sixth sense of thought? After all, it is our mind that perceives and finds the subjective meaning in experience. In this narrative nonfiction writing workshop, we will look at craft, literary technique, the mechanics of building vivid and powerful scenes, discuss the role of story-logic, and the importance of hard fact-checking. Yet, the student is also urged to pay close attention to their own internal narrator, and to be mindful of the intuitive (and unconscious) powers at play in their writing. Each week we will review classics in the genre, do in-class writing exercises, go on periodic “experiential” assignments, and explore how the art of playing around with the raw material of everyday life (i.e., “reality”) can make for great and unexpected stories.

English 3306.401
Writing and Politics
Lorene Cary W 1:45-4:45pm
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This is a creative writing workshop for students who are looking for ways to use their writing to participate in electoral politics. Student writers will explore a number of different forms—such as blogs, essays, op-eds, fairy tales, social media posts, short videos, or podcasts. We will publish your work, in real time, with the multimedia platform #VoteThatJawn. Launched in 2018 after the March For Our Lives urged youth to register and vote, #VoteThatJawn greatly helped increase registration of 18-year-olds in Philadelphia in 2018, 2020, and 2022.

Imagine a creative writing class that answers our desire to live responsibly in the world and to have a say in the systems that govern and structure us. Plus, a course devoted to learning to write with greater clarity, precision, and whatever special-sauce Jawn your voice brings. Student writers act as an editorial group sharing excellent, nonpartisan, fun, cool, sometimes deadly earnest content for and about fresh voters. In addition, you will gain experience in activities that writers in all disciplines need to know: producing an arts-based event and a social media campaign, working with multimedia content, and collaborating with other writers, artists, and activists. You will develop greater resourcefulness and initiative in writing, connecting, researching, editing, and publishing. English 3306 will sometimes work directly with diverse populations of youth from other colleges and high schools throughout Philadelphia, too.

As it performs a civic service, this class is listed as an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course. This course is cross-listed with Africana Studies.

English 3355.301
Memoir Workshop
Lise Funderburg M 1:45-4:45pm
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Memoir is more than well-told anecdotes; it’s carefully crafted prose that transforms personal experience into art. Like all great art, great memoirs may challenge or comfort, affirm or elucidate, but they always connect audiences to the fundamental prospect of what it means to be human. In this workshop intensive, you’ll combine your lived experience and point of view with literary techniques and tools to create work that connects to the world outside yourself. You’ll try out different structures, such as personal essay, lyric, hermit crab, epistolary and satire, all while keeping your anchors in nonfiction. We’ll look to masters of the craft for inspiration and insight, including readings/videos from Naomi Shihab Nye, Jonathan Lethem, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Joan Didion, Marlon James, Barry Lopez, Zadie Smith, Eula Biss, Jenifer Sang Eun Park, Phillip Lopate, and others. Through assigned readings, exercises, writing (so much writing!), workshopping, and revision (so much revision!), expect to become a stronger writer (technically and artistically), a more discerning reader, and a skilled editor.

English 3356.401
Asian American Nonfiction Workshop
Weike Wang M 10:15am-1:15pm
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Contemporary literature has seen a recent rise of Asian American nonfiction writing, particularly in the form of essays and memoirs. Asian American writers are reshaping the form of the immigration story and the personal narrative, and are adding their voices to the pressing topics of political activism, STEM, and mental health. This course will include readings by authors such as Hsu, Hong, Nunez, Chang, Fan, Wang, Jacob, and Kalanithi, amongs others. For memoir and personal pieces, we will discuss how these writers transform their own material through craft, structure, and perspective.  For essays, we will discuss how writers use research (and, yes, craft!) to present difficult and/or technical information in an engaging way.  Students will write and workshop their own pieces of nonfiction (8-12 pages), with a choice of memoir or essay. No prior experience is necessary except for an eagerness to engage with the material and an open-mindedness during workshop discussions.

English 3410.301
Writing from Photographs
Paul Hendrickson M 1:45-4:45pm
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A creative writing course built entirely around the use of photographs, and the crafting of compelling nonfiction narratives from them. The essential concept will be to employ photographs as storytelling vehicles. So we will be using curling, drugstore-printed Kodak shots from our own family albums. We will be using searing and famous images from history books. We will be taking things from yesterday’s newspaper. We will even be using pictures that were just made by the workshop participants outside the campus gates with a disposable camera from CVS or with their own sophisticated digital Nikon. In all of this, there will be one overriding aim: to achieve memorable, full-bodied stories. To locate the strange, evocative, storytelling universes that are sealed inside the four rectangular walls of a photograph. They are always there, if you know how to look. It’s about the quality of your noticing, the intensity of your seeing.

Writers as diverse as the poet Mark Strand and the novelist Don DeLillo and the memoirist Wright Morris have long recognized the power of a photograph to launch a story. In this course we are going to employ memory and imagination to launch our stories, but most of all we are going to make use of fact: everything that can be found out, gleaned, uncovered, dug up, stumbled upon. Because first and last, this is nonfiction, this is the art of reported fact. So a lot of this class will go forward using the tools and techniques of journalism: good, old-fashioned reporting and research, legwork. And turning that reporting into writing gold. A photograph represents time stopped in a box. It is a kind of freeze-frame of eternity. It is stopped motion, in which the clock has seemed to hold its breath. Often, the stories inside photographs turn out to be at surprising odds with what we otherwise thought, felt, imagined.

Say, for instance, that you hunger to enter the photographic heart of this youthful, handsome, dark-haired man—who is your father—as he leans now against the gleaming bumper of a 1965 red-leather, bucket-seat Mustang. It was three decades before you were born. The moment is long buried and forgotten in your collective family’s past—and yet in another way, it is right here before you, on this photosensitive surface. Whether the figure in the photograph is alive or deceased, you are now going to try with all of your writing and reporting might to “walk back in.” Almost literally. You are going to achieve a story about this moment, with a beginning, middle, and end.

“Every great photograph has a secret,” a noted critic once said. An essayist for Time magazine once wrote: “All great photographs have lives of their own. But sometimes they can be false as dreams.”

English 3420.301
Political Journalism: The Presidential Primaries
Dick Polman W 1:45-4:45pm
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Ben Bradlee, the legendary editor of The Washington Post, once said that political journalism is “the first rough draft of history”—an opportunity to report and write about the tumultuous civic life of this nation as it unfolds in real time. Accordingly, in this course we will spend much of our time feeding off the political news as it happens—and, during the winter and early spring of 2024, the news will indeed be tumultuous. Democrats will coalesce behind incumbent President Biden—or perhaps they won’t. Republicans, in their primaries, will move toward renominating Donald Trump—or perhaps not, given his status as a criminal defendant in multiple trials. National politics is a 24/7 staple on streaming sites, social media, and in the minds of tens of millions of Americans who struggle to make sense of the cacophonous news overload. Political journalists have a great challenge: Seemingly by the hour, they are tasked with making smart judgments, supporting their analyses with empirical reportage, and communicating those judgments in clear language. They must cut through the clutter and engage the reader—smartly and often entertainingly—in a climate where journalists are still derided in some circles as “enemies of the people.” And in this era of “alternative” facts, even the dictionary definition of “truth” is widely under assault. Political journalists are tasked with holding the Biden administration accountable—properly so, as traditional watchdogs—while still seeking to cover the Trump movement-in-exile without amplifying its misinformation. Students in this course will get a taste of these challenges, while airing some broader issues, such as: Is traditionally objective “both sides” journalism up to the task of watchdogging the newsmakers in an era when democracy itself is under serious threat? Political journalism is clearly at an historic crossroads: Is it feasible to provide “balanced” coverage of two parties—when many members of one party have openly worked to undermine democracy? So this course could not be more timely. Only true “junkies” of national politics—those who follow the news closely, and those who aspire to write about it—are likely to love this course. Students who are passionate about writing and politics will track the national political news week by week, and write posts that will be workshopped in class. At a time when Americans are more awash in political news than ever, the goal of this course is to help students master the craft of writing clear, responsible, incisive, substantive, and engaging political journalism—and backing it up with factual research/reporting. The hope is that students can live off the news and develop their “earned voice” via effective writing, reporting, thinking, and communication.

English 3422.301
Advanced Long-Form Nonfiction
Paul Hendrickson TBD
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An advanced course in long-form nonfiction journalistic writing for a select group of experienced and self-starting student writers. (Ideally, each accepted member will have already taken one or two nonfiction seminars within the creative writing program.) The goal will be to tailor a reporting and writing project to your interest, one you may have long wished to take up but never had the opportunity. It could be a project in the arts. It could be a profile of a person or place. It might be documentary in nature, which is to say an extremely close-up observation of your subject. (An example: think of a hospital chaplain at Penn, going on his dreary, redemptive, daily rounds, to visit the sick and anoint the dying. What if you were there, for most of the term, as unobtrusively as possible, at his black-clad elbow?) The group will meet at to-be-determined intervals. In between, the enrollees will be pairing off and in effect serving as each other’s editor and coach and fellow (sister) struggler. When we do assemble as a group, we will be reading to each other as well as discussing the works of some long-form heroes—Didion, Talese, Richard Ben Cramer, one or two others you may not have heard of. In essence, this is a kind of master course, limited in enrollment, and devoted to your piece of writing, to be handed in on the final day. It will be in the range of 25 to 30 pages, something above 8,000 words. The course presumes a lot of individual initiative and self-reliance. Permission to enroll is required. If you’re interested, please email and suggest your qualifications.

English 3423.301
Planet on the Brink: Climate and Environment Journalism
Peter Tarr T 1:45-4:45pm
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This course is for students who care about “the fate of the earth,” and who want to try their hand at formulating relevant publication-quality fact and opinion pieces. Those students include: STEM students who are writing-curious; journalism students interested in sci-tech writing; and prose writers who care about using facts to tell urgently important stories. We'll tackle urgent topics that regularly command today's headlines, such as: global warming (should we risk geoengineering the climate?); “the 6th Extinction" (should we try to save every endangered species?); and preventing the next pandemic (should researchers be allowed to augment non-virulent viruses to learn how to defeat them should they mutate?). Inaction on issues that threaten life in the world your generation is now inheriting may be due, partly, to the difficulty of formulating coherent opinions about corrective courses of action. One way to avoid the “deer-in-headlights” non-response is to learn enough facts to formulate compelling, persuasive opinions.  This course gives you the chance to do precisely that—while improving your writing skills.  You will also work on a semester-long reporting project of profiling a scientist, doctor, or researcher who is involved in sci/tech/fate-of-the-earth issues. This course fulfills attributes in Science, Technology, and Society. For students in the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, this course meets the Humanities and Public Engagement requirements.

English 3424.301
Let It Rock: The Rolling Stones, Writing and Creativity
Anthony DeCurtis R 1:45-4:45pm
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The Rolling Stones formed in London nearly sixty years ago, and the band is still actively touring and recording. This course will focus on the band’s songs, films, solo projects and lifestyles as a source of creative inspiration. The course will, in part, take its shape based on the interests of the students who enroll in it: while Stones obsessives—you know who you are—are, of course, welcome, if you are new to this music and these lives, curious about how these iconic musicians might inspire your own creative output, then your curiosity, adventurousness and willingness to take a deep dive into this work are all that is required. We will listen to and discuss Stones songs, watch movies and performances, explore their influence across the arts and culture (very much including style and fashion), and meet critics and artists who have engaged their work in meaningful ways. For those reasons, the course will be more impressionistic than strictly schematic—that is, we will follow various threads in the Stones’s work as they emerge in our discussions and as our mutual fascination guides us. The goal is for us to achieve an understanding of this work and these artists that is as visceral as it is intellectual. The class will do some analytic and critical writing. But students who are so inclined will be encouraged to pursue their own creative work—which is to say that, in consultation with the instructor, short stories, songs, poems, plays, paintings, photography or videos inspired by the Stones will be acceptable projects to complete the course’s requirements. You will be allowed a good deal of freedom in charting your own independent course, in other words, as appropriate to our subject and the gift their work has given to us all.

English 3428.301
Deep Dive Arts and Culture Writing
Anthony DeCurtis TBD
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This course in writing about the arts and popular culture (interpreted broadly) is limited in enrollment and focuses on a semester-long project that each student defines in consultation with the instructor. The course will be run something like a group independent study, in which students pursue their specific, personal projects and share their work on an ongoing basis with the class as a whole. Ideally, students will informally serve as each other’s editors, sharing suggestions, sources, approaches and encouragement. Occasional meetings of the full group will concentrate on issues relevant to all aspects of arts-and-culture writing—including writing about the fine arts, popular culture, fashion, comedy, sports, or some other related topic—while meetings with individual students will focus and help realize the individual projects that will constitute the course’s main work. Writing produced in this course will typically be a lengthy feature (6,000+ words) of the sort that regularly appears in publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine or Rolling Stone. Other approaches to the project, however, will certainly be considered. Readings for the course will be geared specifically to the interests of the students who have been selected, and will be drawn from relevant work that is appearing at that time in journalistic publications. Ideally, applicants will have already taken Writing about the Arts and Popular Culture with the instructor, but that is not a firm prerequisite and other students should absolutely feel free to contact the instructor for more information. Permission to enroll is required. Please send an email describing your interest to

English 3600.401
Screenwriting Workshop
Kathleen DeMarco Van Cleve M 1:45-4:45pm
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This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens.This class is cross-listed with Cinema & Media Studies.

English 3600.402
Screenwriting Workshop
John Scott Burkhardt W 1:45-4:45pm
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This is a workshop-style course for those who have thought they had a terrific idea for a movie but didn't know where to begin. The class will focus on learning the basic tenets of classical dramatic structure and how this (ideally) will serve as the backbone for the screenplay of the aforementioned terrific idea. Each student should, by the end of the semester, have at least thirty pages of a screenplay completed. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class, and students will also become acquainted with how the business of selling and producing one's screenplay actually happens.This class is cross-listed with Cinema & Media Studies.

English 3601.401
Advanced Screenwriting
Kathleen DeMarco Van Cleve W 1:45-4:45pm
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This is a workshop-style course for students who have completed a screenwriting class, or have a draft of a screenplay they wish to improve. Classes will consist of discussing student's work, as well as discussing relevant themes of the movie business and examining classic films and why they work as well as they do. Classic and not-so-classic screenplays will be required reading for every class in addition to some potentially useful texts like What Makes Sammy Run? This class is cross-listed with Cinema & Media Studies.

English 3603.401
Writing for Television
John Scott Burkhardt W 5:15-8:15pm
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This is a workshop-style course for those who have an interest in writing for television. The course will consist of two parts: First, students will develop premise lines, beat sheets and outlines for an episode of an existing television show. Second, students will develop their own idea for a television series which will culminate in the writing of the first 30 pages of an original television pilot. This class is cross-listed with Cinema & Media Studies.

English 3609.401
The Short Film: Writing, Producing, Directing
John Scott Burkhardt R 5:15-8:15pm
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In this class students will write and prepare a short film for production with the INTENT to direct it. The first half of class is devoted to coming up with an idea and writing a short film with a total run time of around 8-12 minutes. This is the ideal length for a short. The second half of the class is devoted to preparing to shoot the film which will include scheduling, budgeting, casting, crewing up, location scouting and creating a directorial look book for the film. At the end of class each student will have a short film script and all the necessary materials to start production of that film. This class is cross-listed with Cinema & Media Studies.

English 3650.401
Self-Scripting: Writing through Body and Space
Brooke O'Harra MW 1:45-3:15
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In Self-Scripting, students will write through a variety of exercises and activities that put text into play with the body and space. Over the course of the semester, students will actively engage space and composition as they develop and explore scriptwriting for performance. We will explore exercises in an active laboratory setting. This course aims to expand on techniques for writing plays, poetry, and experimental biography. This class is cross-listed with Theatre Arts.

English 3660.401
Movement Song: The Poetics of Liberation
Ricardo Bracho R 3:30-6:30pm
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This creative and critical poetry writing workshop will focus on the study of poets associated with antiwar, feminist, leftist, queer/trans and racial justice liberatory movements. We will study the work of Pablo Neruda, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Sean Bonney, Ntozake Shange, Jake Skeets, Chrystos, Natalie Diaz, Adelaide Ivánova, Adrienne Rich and Sonia Sanchez in relationship to the communities and movements which their work engages. Students will also work on their own poetry and will formulate innovative ways to present their work to a wider audience in the forms of video poems, zines, broadsides, social media posts, podcasts and letter print posters. This class in cross-listed with Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies; Fine Arts; and Latin American & Latinx Studies.

MLA Courses

English 9016.640
Being Human:  Personal Perspectives to Race, Class & Gender
Kathryn Watterson R 5:15-8:15pm
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In this graduate writing workshop, we will explore the roots of how we think about and experience race, class, and gender. We will delve into the myths embedded in systems of power and privilege that divide us from one another and impact our lives, the lives of others around the world, the future of the planet, and humanity itself.  We will be inspired by authors Isabelle Wilkerson, David Grann, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde and other creators of compelling literary nonfiction. As a class, we will build connection and community by practicing deep listening, daily writing, reflective reading, meditation, and sharing how we convey our personal truths to the world through our writing. This class is cross-listed with Africana Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, and Urban Studies. Undergraduates are welcome.

English 9008.640
Writing Experiments
Christy Davids W 5:15-8:15pm [online]
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In this creative writing workshop, students will try their hand at multiple genres, and will explore and challenge the boundaries between them. When does a poem behave as a story? When does a personal essay turn into a lyric soundscape? How does bringing an attitude of experimentation and play to our writing deepen what we know about our craft and encourage us to try new tools and bring a fresh aliveness to the tools we thought we knew how to use all along? Over the course of the semester, we’ll read a number of adventurous and rule-breaking texts as well as workshop our own original writing.