Creative Nonfiction Workshop: New Forms of Sensuous Knowledge

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Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
ENGL 435 942
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Course Description: 

This creative nonfiction writing workshop focuses on student work. We will immerse ourselves in essays by writers such as Alice Walker, Andrei Codrescu, Susan Orlean, and Hilton Als, and in radio journalism such as This American Life. The workshop goes beyond true stories artfully told. Watchwords include cunning and experimentalism, as the selected authors forge new and vital forms of sensuous knowledge. Through immersion and modeling, students will have the opportunity to expand their repertoire and gain a deeper understanding of creative nonfiction craft. A common thread will be stories where lives are at stake, and those which reverberate in larger, unexpected ways. We will continually interrogate where the stories come from and how they speak their truth. Our charge will be to traverse the often vexed and uncharted ground of untold stories and lives. This is the kind of deep story that reveals as much about whoever is reading it as it does about the author or the characters who live in it. Our goal will be to go beyond making nonfiction stories that simply read like fiction, and instead for each telling to discover its own form, each essay to discover its plot, each piece to think through what the very writing of it means. 

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