PDFs: 501.01/.02



Course Syllabus


Schedule & Readings

Unit 1: The Art of Writing (& writing about art)  

Tuesday, January 25th     
Introduction to each other and course
Read: Syllabus, “What is Creative Nonfiction?” & excerpt from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, come with an example of creative nonfiction for discussion

Thursday, January 27th
Continue introductions, class schedule
Reading discussion: defining creative nonfiction & the art of writing (& broccoli)  
Read: “How to Write Vivid Descriptions,” “Write till You Drop” & “Total Eclipse” by Annie Dillard

Tuesday, February 1st   
Reading discussion: descriptive writing & sensory details
Intro to Art Narrative assignment 
Sensory detail exercise
Read:, “Why I Write” by TTW & Leap by Terry Tempest William & Still Life with Oysters and Lemon by Mark Doty excerpts

(interviews with the authors: "On Writing as an Act of Living: An Interview with Terry Tempest Williams" in Brevity & An Interview with Poet Mark Doty at Poets & Writers)

Thursday, February 3rd
Reading discussion, form/style & ekphrastic essays
Share sensory detail exercise
About Art Museum trips!
Read: "Ekphrasis" by Marjorie Munsterberg & Ekphrastic poems at poetry.org (bring with you next week)

Tuesday, February 8th
Art Museum Day!
Read: “Building Blocks of Creative Nonfiction: Characterization and Scene,” NowNovel dialogue examples, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers excerpt

(From Your Fathers, Where are They? And the Prophets, Do they Live Forever? by Dave Eggers)

Thursday, February 10th
Share ekphrastic poems/activity
Reading discussion: more ekphrasis & dialogue
In-class work on dialogue
e-mail art narrative proposal
Sign up for conferences for next week!
Read: “Dead Christ” by Brian Bouldrey

Tuesday, February 15th
Individual conferences this week!
Reading discussion: ekphrasis, visuals, & video essays
Art narratives in process check-in, preparing for workshop
Rough draft for Thursday

Thursday, February 17th
Small group workshop rough draft/revisions
Read: “My Mother in Two Photographs…” by Aleida RodrÍguez


Unit 2: Identity (A picture is worth a thousand words) 

Tuesday, February 22nd
Art Narrative due!
Visual rhetoric & terms for analysis
Photo essays
Introduction to Snapshot essays, technology & examples
Visual narrative group assignments
Read: “Caring for your Introvert” by Jonathan Rauch, “A Path Taken, with All the Certainty of Youth” by Margaret Atwood, & individual excerpts from The 27th Letter of the Alphabet by Kim Adrian

Thursday, February 24th   
Reading discussion: identity
In-class group work on visual narratives
Read: excerpt from Picturing Texts& excerpts from Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Tuesday, March 1st
Reading discussion: images & text
Group Visual Narrative presentations
Pre-writing/Planning/Storyboarding snapshot essays
Read: "On the Origin of the Video Essay" & Mangoes by John Bresland & Baptism by Marilyn Freeman

Thursday, March 3rd
Reading discussion: video essays & identity
Work on snapshot essays
Sign up for conferences
Read: “Walking the Line,” “That Kind of Daughter” by Kristen Radtke, & “UN/TIED Shoes” by Evie Ruddy & Tracey Lebedovich

(& City Fish by JR Carpenter?)

Tuesday, March 8th
Individual conferences this week!
Reading discussion: interactivity & reader/author relationships
Hypertext, how to talk about e-lit, terms for analysis
Work on snapshot essays
Read: “Electronic Literature: What is it?” by N. Katherine Hayles & “Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge” by Dinty Moore

Thursday, March 10th
Reading discussion: nonlinear/linear narrative
Workshop snapshot essays/Revision
Read: “How to write like a *((@*(#$&” and excerpt from Wild by Cheryl Strayed

March 14th -18th Spring Break!!!

Unit 3: Place (Where we have been & where we are going)

Tuesday, March 22nd
Snapshot Essays due (& presentations)
Reading discussion: Merging identity & place & home & maps 
Read: “How to write about Place in Creative Nonfiction” & “The Ashes of August” by Kim Barnes

Thursday, March 24th
(Presentations continued)
Reading discussion: researching/capturing place, “home”
Introduce Map Essay, technology & examples
Group analysis assignments
Read: “The Art of the Travel Essay” & “History” by Dinty Moore

Tuesday, March 29th
Analyzing place & travel
Home freewrite
Pre-writing/planning/mapping Map Essay
Read: “Taroko Gorge” by Nick Montfort and excerpts from A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

(and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer?)

Thursday, March 31st
Reading discussion: code, generative text, & authorship
In-class work on Map essays
Read: “High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese” by Nicola Harwood & co. and excerpt from Stealing Buddha’s Dinner by Bich Minh Nguyen,

(and "The Book of Distance" (trailer?))

Tuesday, April 5th
Individual conferences this week!
Reading discussion: multimedia elements & design & co-authorship
In-class work on Map essays
Read: “As we May Think” by Vannevar Bush, excerpt from Computer Lib/Dream Machines by Ted Nelson & excerpt from Circle K Cycles by Karen Tei Yamashita

Thursday, April 7th
Workshop Map drafts/revision
Reading discussion: links, connections & hypertext (& collage)
Introduction of hypertext project
Media options/brainstorming
Bring images/text for hypertext tutorial next Tuesday!
Read: “My Body, A Wunderkammer” by Shelley Jackson & excerpt from Bossypants by Tina Fey


Unit 4: Connections (Listen to your (multimodal) broccoli)


Tuesday, April 12th
Maps Essay Due!
Reading discussion, hypertext, fragmentation & lexias/My Body assignment
Introduction to hypertext essay & examples
Topics, planning & storyboards
Dreamweaver/Twine/ThingLink tutorial
Read: “The Fall” by Alan Bigelow,“The Bafflement Fires” by Jason Nelson, Yesterday Today Tomorrow, & Infinite Worries Bash (for in class assignment Thursday)

Thursday, April 14th
Reading discussion, media & authorship
Navigation options (a look at four diverse styles)
In-class work on projects
Topic proposals due (via email)
Read: “The Gathering Cloud” by JR Carpenter (winner of the 2016 New Media Prize) & "Merged with the Screen for Days” by Judy Malloy

Tuesday, April 19th
Reading discussion: the elegance of e-lit
In-class work on projects
Read: “The End of Books” by Robert Coover & Novelling
by Will Luers, Hazel Smith, and Roger Dean (winner of the 2018 Coover award for electronic literature)

Thursday, April 21st
Reading discussion: the past & future of e-lit
Virtual Reality?
Reflective memos
Work on projects
Sign up for workshop & conferences

Tuesday, April 26th
Individual Conferences
Work on projects/ posting drafts
Workshop & conferences

Thursday, April 28th
Individual Conferences
Work on projects
Workshop & conferences

Tuesday, May 3rd
Presentations & discussion/workshop

Thursday, May 5th  
Last day of class!
Presentations & discussion/workshop

Final project revisions & reflections due by Tuesday, May 10th!