Course Syllabus

Schedule & Readings

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

Tuesday, January 23rd
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 25th
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, January 30th
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 1st
Reading discussion, form/style & ekphrastic essays
Share sensory detail exercise
Read: "Ekphrasis" by Marjorie Munsterberg & Ekphrastic poems at poetry foundation (bring with you next week)

Tuesday, February 6th
Art Museum Visit
e-mail art narrative proposal
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 8th
Share ekphrastic poems/activity
Reading discussion: more ekphrasis & dialogue
In-class work on dialogue
Sign up for conferences for next week!
Read: “Dead Christ” by Brian Bouldrey

Tuesday, February 13th
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 15th
Workshop art narrative essays/revisions
Read: “My Mother in Two Photographs…” by Aleida RodrÍguez


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

Tuesday, February 20th
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 22nd
Reading discussion: identity
In-class group work on visual narratives
Read: excerpt from Picturing Texts, excerpts from Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, & “Things I Thought Made Sense Just Don’t Anymore” by Mira Jacobs

Tuesday, February 27th
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, February 29th
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 5th
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 7th
Reading discussion: nonlinear/linear narrative
Workshop snapshot essays/revision
Read: “How to write like a *((@*(#$&” and excerpt from Wild by Cheryl Strayed

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

Tuesday, March 12th
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 14th
(Presentations continued)
Reading discussion: researching/capturing place, “home”
Introduce Map Essay, technology & examples
Group analysis assignments
Read: “The Nature &Travel Essay” & “History” by Dinty Moore

March 18th -22nd Spring Break!!!

Tuesday, March 26th
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 28th
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 2nd
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 4th
Workshop Map essays/revision
Read: “My Body, A Wunderkammer” by Shelley Jackson & excerpt from Bossypants by Tina Fey


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


Tuesday, April 9th
Maps Essay Due!
Reading discussion: links, connections, & hypertext

My Body assignment
Introduction to hypertext essay & examples
Read: “The Fall” by Alan Bigelow,“The Bafflement Fires” by Jason Nelson, Yesterday, Today, &Tomorrow, Infinite Worries Bash, & “The Gathering Cloud” by JR Carpenter (winner of the 2016 New Media Prize) (for in class assignment Thursday)

Thursday, April 11th
Reading discussion, media & authorship
Navigation options (a look at diverse styles)
Media options/brainstorming
Topics, planning & storyboards
Topic proposals due (via email)
Read: "Merged with the Screen for Days” by Judy Malloy & Novelling by Will Luers, Hazel Smith, and Roger Dean (winner of the 2018 Coover award for electronic literature)

Tuesday, April 16th
Reading discussion: the elegance of e-lit
In-class work on projects

Twine/ThingLink tutorial
Read: “The End of Books” by Robert Coover

Thursday, April 18th
Reading discussion: the past & future of e-lit
Virtual Reality?
Reflective memos
Work on projects
Sign up for workshop & conferences

Tuesday, April 23rd
Individual conferences this week!
Work on projects/ posting drafts

Thursday, April 25th
Workshop hypertext essays/revision

Tuesday, April 30th
Presentations & discussion/workshop

Thursday, May 2nd
Last day of class!
Presentations & discussion/workshop

Final project revisions & reflections due by Friday, May 3rd!