Experimentation Creates Unique English Course

During a lifetime of teaching, English professor Charles Bernstein has created and tested various writing “experiments” that now number 95 on a list used by professors and writers worldwide.

Bernstein used many of those writing exercises in his English 111 “Experimental Writing” course last semester. The students published their work in an online book, Paper Excuse, in December.

The course was special not only because of the unique publication, but because it will be the last “Experimental Writing” class Bernstein will teach; he is planning to retire from the classroom at the end of 2018.

“I think of this class as a seminar on the nature of writing, the different kinds of structures and constraints within writing,” said Bernstein, who is Penn’s Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature.

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