Creative Writing

Undergraduate Creative Writing Program Office: 609 Kent; 212-854-3774
http://arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Prof. Anelise Chen, Fiction, Nonfiction, 609 Kent; 212-854-3774; ac4132@columbia.edu

Undergraduate Executive Committee:

  • Undergraduate Advisory Committee:

    The Creative Writing Program in The School of the Arts combines intensive writing workshops with seminars that study literature from a writer's perspective. Students develop and hone their literary technique in workshops. The seminars (which explore literary technique and history) broaden their sense of possibility by exposing them to various ways that language has been used to make art. Related courses are drawn from departments such as English, comparative literature and society, philosophy, history, and anthropology, among others.

    Students consult with faculty advisers to determine the related courses that best inform their creative work. For details on the major, see the Creative Writing website: http://arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate.

Professors

Margo L. Jefferson

Phillip Lopate

  • Benjamin Marcus
  • Alan Ziegler

Associate Professors

  • Susan Bernofsky
  • Timothy Donnelly
  • Heidi Julavits
  • Dorothea Lasky
  • Victor LaValle
  • Sam Lipsyte
  • Deborah Paredez

Assistant Professors

  • Anelise Chen
  • Lynn Xu

Adjunct Professors

  •  
  • Halle Butler
  • Frances Cha
  • Bonnie Chau
  • Jon Cotner
  • Dennard Dayle
  • Alex Dimitrov
  • Joseph Fasano
  • Elizabeth Greenwood
  • Jared Jackson
  • Katrine Øgaard Jensen
  • Joss Lake
  • Marie Myung-Ok Lee
  • Hilary Leichter
  • Madelaine Lucas
  • Patricia Marx
  • Molly McGhee
  • Mallika Rao
  • Mark Rozzo
  • Nina Sharma
  • Christine Smallwood
  • John Vincler
  • Madeleine Watts
  • James Yeh
  • Samantha Zighelboim

Graduate Faculty Fellows

  • Aamir Azhar
  • Naomi Bernstein
  • Ryan Cook
  • Rose Demaris
  • Alex Kapsidelis
  • Kai-Lilly Karpman
  • Christian Kennedy
  • Rebecca Levey
  • James McGowan
  • Wyonia McLaurin
  • Sabrina Qiao
  • Rachel Raiola
  •  
  • Rhoni Blankenhorn
  • Sophie Dess
  • Nicholas Gambini
  • Kayla Heisler
  • Benn Jeffries
  • Hannah Kaplan
  • Emmett Lewis
  • Frances Lindemann
  • Halley McDonough
  • Kellina Moore
  • Ashley Porras
  • Cory Scarola
  • Jacob Schultz
  •  

Major in Creative Writing

The major in creative writing requires a minimum of 36 points: five workshops, four seminars, and three related courses.

Workshop Curriculum (15 points)

Students in the workshops produce original works of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, and submit them to their classmates and instructor for a close critical analysis. Workshop critiques (which include detailed written reports and thorough line-edits) assess the mechanics and merits of the writing pieces. Individual instructor conferences distill the critiques into a direct plan of action to improve the work. Student writers develop by practicing the craft under the diligent critical attention of their peers and instructor, which guides them toward new levels of creative endeavor.

Creative writing majors select 15 points within the division in the following courses. One workshop must be in a genre other than the primary focus. For instance, a fiction writer might take four fiction workshops and one poetry workshop.

Beginning Workshop
Designed for students who have little or no previous experience writing literary texts in a particular genre.
WRIT UN1100BEGINNING FICTION WORKSHOP
WRIT UN1200BEGINNING NONFICTION WORKSHOP
WRIT UN1300BEGINNING POETRY WORKSHOP
Intermediate Workshop
Permission required. Admission by writing sample. Enrollment limited to 15. Course may be repeated in fulfillment of the major.
WRIT UN2100INTERMEDIATE FICTION WORKSHOP
WRIT UN2200INTERMEDIATE NONFICTION WRKSHP
WRIT UN2300INTERMEDIATE POETRY WORKSHOP
Advanced Workshop
Permission required. Admission by writing sample. Enrollment limited to 15. Course may be repeated in fulfillment of the major.
WRIT UN3100ADVANCED FICTION WORKSHOP
WRIT UN3200ADVANCED NONFICTION WORKSHOP
WRIT UN3300ADVANCED POETRY WORKSHOP
Senior Creative Writing Workshop
Seniors who are creative writing majors are given priority. Enrollment limited to 12, by instructor's permission. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. This course is only offered by graduate faculty professors.
WRIT UN3101SENIOR FICTION WORKSHOP,Senior Fiction Workshop
WRIT UN3201SENIOR NONFICTION WORKSHOP
WRIT UN3301SENIOR POETRY WORKSHOP

Seminar Curriculum (12 points)

The creative writing seminars form the intellectual ballast of our program.  Our seminars offer a close examination of literary techniques such as plot, point of view, tone, and voice.  They seek to inform and inspire students by exposing them to a wide variety of approaches in their chosen genre.  Our curriculum, via these seminars, actively responds not only to historical literary concerns, but to contemporary ones as well.  Extensive readings are required, along with short critical papers and/or creative exercises.  By closely analyzing diverse works of literature and participating in roundtable discussions, writers build the resources necessary to produce their own accomplished creative work. 

Creative writing majors select 12 points within the division. Any 4 seminars will fulfill the requirement, no matter the student's chosen genre concentration.  Below is a sampling of our seminars.  The list of seminars currently being offered can be found in the "Courses" section. 

These seminars offer close examination of literary techniques such as plot, point of view, tone, suspense, and narrative voice. Extensive readings are required, along with creative exercises.
FICTION
WRIT UN3121HOW TO BUILD A PERSON
WRIT UN3117Fiction Seminar: The Here & Now
WRIT UN3122FIRST NOVELS: HOW THEY WORK
WRIT UN3120THE CRAFT OF WRITING DIALOGUE
NONFICTION
WRIT UN3213Nonfiction Seminar: The Literary Reporter
WRIT UN3215ART WRITING FOR WRITERS
WRIT UN3216TRUTH & FACTS
WRIT UN3217SCIENCE AND SENSIBILITY
POETRY
WRIT UN2311TRADITIONS IN POETRY
WRIT UN3313Poetry Seminar: The Crisis of the I
WRIT UN3314Poetry Seminar: 21st Century American Poetry and Its Concerns
WRIT GU4310WITNESS,RECORD,DOCUMENT
CROSS GENRE
WRIT GU4011Cross Genre Seminar: Imagining Berlin
WRIT GU4012Cross Genre Seminar: Diva Voice, Diva Style, Diva Lyrics
WRIT UN3016WALKING
WRIT UN3013Cross-Genre Seminar: Process Writing & Writing Process

Related Courses (9 points)

Drawn from various departments, these courses provide concentrated intellectual and creative stimulation, as well as exposure to ideas that enrich students' artistic instincts. Courses may be different for each student writer. Students should consult with faculty advisers to determine the related courses that best inform their creative work.

Fiction Workshops

WRIT UN1100 BEGINNING FICTION WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning workshop in fiction is designed for students with little or no experience writing literary texts in fiction. Students are introduced to a range of technical and imaginative concerns through exercises and discussions, and they eventually produce their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. The focus of the course is on the rudiments of voice, character, setting, point of view, plot, and lyrical use of language. Students will begin to develop the critical skills that will allow them to read like writers and understand, on a technical level, how accomplished creative writing is produced. Outside readings of a wide range of fiction supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects

Fall 2023: WRIT UN1100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1100 001/13875 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
568 Alfred Lerner Hall
Ronald Robertson 3.00 14/15
WRIT 1100 002/13868 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Sophie Kemp 3.00 13/15
WRIT 1100 003/13876 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
412 Pupin Laboratories
Rebecca Winterich-Knox 3.00 15/15
WRIT 1100 004/13869 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
323 River Side Church
Sofia Montrone 3.00 15/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN1100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1100 001/15112 Th 6:10pm - 8:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Ronald Robertson 3.00 15/15
WRIT 1100 002/15113 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Emily Christine Johnson 3.00 15/15
WRIT 1100 003/15163 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Emily Gutierrez 3.00 15/15
WRIT 1100 004/15164 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Alexis Hutchinson 3.00 15/15
WRIT 1100 005/15165 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Luciana Siracusano 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN2100 INTERMEDIATE FICTION WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: The departments permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Intermediate workshops are for students with some experience with creative writing, and whose prior work merits admission to the class (as judged by the professor). Intermediate workshops present a higher creative standard than beginning workshops, and increased expectations to produce finished work. By the end of the semester, each student will have produced at least seventy pages of original fiction. Students are additionally expected to write extensive critiques of the work of their peers

Fall 2023: WRIT UN2100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2100 001/13881 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Alfred Lerner Hall
Halle Butler 3.00 12/15
WRIT 2100 002/13882 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Joss Lake 3.00 16/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN2100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2100 001/15117 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Joss Lake 3.00 0/15
WRIT 2100 002/15118 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Omer Friedlander 3.00 17/15

WRIT UN3100 ADVANCED FICTION WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate.
Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Building on the work of the Intermediate Workshop, Advanced Workshops are reserved for the most accomplished creative writing students. A significant body of writing must be produced and revised. Particular attention will be paid to the components of fiction: voice, perspective, characterization, and form. Students will be expected to finish several short stories, executing a total artistic vision on a piece of writing. The critical focus of the class will include an examination of endings and formal wholeness, sustaining narrative arcs, compelling a reader's interest for the duration of the text, and generating a sense of urgency and drama in the work

Fall 2023: WRIT UN3100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3100 001/13884 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Nicola Goldberg 3.00 11/15
WRIT 3100 002/13885 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Samuel Lipsyte 3.00 15/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN3100
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3100 001/15126 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Rebecca Schiff 3.00 0/15
WRIT 3100 002/15127 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
507 Philosophy Hall
Marie Lee 3.00 7/15

WRIT UN3101 SENIOR FICTION WORKSHOP,Senior Fiction Workshop. 4.00,4 points.

Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate.
Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student. ,

Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course.  Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor.  The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major.  Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work.  In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student.

Fall 2023: WRIT UN3101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3101 001/13886 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
302 Alfred Lerner Hall
Heidi Julavits 4 13/12
Spring 2024: WRIT UN3101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3101 001/15128 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Sat Alfred Lerner Hall
Samuel Lipsyte 4 0/15

Fiction Seminars

WRIT UN2110 APPROACHES TO THE SHORT STORY. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required.
The modern short story has gone through many transformations, and the innovations of its practitioners have often pointed the way for prose fiction as a whole. The short story has been seized upon and refreshed by diverse cultures and aesthetic affiliations, so that perhaps the only stable definition of the form remains the famous one advanced by Poe, one of its early masters, as a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting. Still, common elements of the form have emerged over the last century and this course will study them, including Point of View, Plot, Character, Setting and Theme. John Hawkes once famously called these last four elements the "enemies of the novel," and many short story writers have seen them as hindrances as well. Hawkes later recanted, though some writers would still agree with his earlier assessment, and this course will examine the successful strategies of great writers across the spectrum of short story practice, from traditional approaches to more radical solutions, keeping in mind how one period's revolution -Hemingway, for example - becomes a later era's mainstream or "commonsense" storytelling mode. By reading the work of major writers from a writer's perspective, we will examine the myriad techniques employed for what is finally a common goal: to make readers feel. Short writing exercises will help us explore the exhilarating subtleties of these elements and how the effects created by their manipulation or even outright absence power our most compelling fictions

Fall 2023: WRIT UN2110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2110 001/13880 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
201a Philosophy Hall
Ronald Robertson 3.00 12/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN2110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2110 001/15119 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Ronald Robertson 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN3111 EXERCISES IN STYLE. 3.00 points.

TBA

WRIT UN3127 Time Moves Both Ways. 3 points.

What is time travel, really? We can use a machine or walk through a secret door. Take a pill or fall asleep and wake up in the future. But when we talk about magic machines and slipstreams and Rip Van Winkle, we are also talking about memory, chronology, and narrative. In this seminar, we will approach time travel as a way of understanding "the Fourth Dimension" in fiction. Readings will range from the speculative to the strange, to the realism of timelines, flashbacks, and shifts in perspective. Coursework will include short, bi-weekly writing assignments, a completed short story, and a time inflected adaptation. 

WRIT UN3128 How to Write Funny. 3.00 points.

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die." --Mel Brooks "Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue at the End." --Sid Caesar "Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it." --E.B. White "What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke." --Steve Martin "Patty Marx is the best teacher at Columbia University." --Patty Marx One of the above quotations is false. Find out which one in this humor-writing workshop, where you will read, listen to, and watch comedic samples from well-known and lesser-known humorists. How could you not have fun in a class where we watch and critique the sketches of Monty Python, Nichols and May, Mr. Show, Mitchell & Webb, Key and Peele, French and Saunders, Derrick Comedy, Beyond the Fringe, Dave Chappelle, Bob and Ray, Mel Brooks, Amy Schumer, and SNL, to name just a few? The crux of our time, though, will be devoted to writing. Students will be expected to complete weekly writing assignments; additionally, there will be in-class assignments geared to strategies for crafting surprise (the kind that results in a laugh as opposed to, say, a heart attack or divorce). Toward this end, we will study the use of irony, irreverence, hyperbole, misdirection, subtext, wordplay, formulas such as the rule of three and paraprosdokians (look it up), and repetition, and repetition

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3128
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3128 001/15131 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Patricia Marx 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN3125 APOCALYPSES NOW. 3.00 points.

From ancient myths of the world’s destruction to cinematic works that envision a post-apocalyptic reality, zealots of all kinds have sought an understanding of “the end of the world as we know it.”  But while apocalyptic predictions have, so far, failed to deliver a real glimpse of that end, in fiction they abound.  In this course, we will explore the narrative mechanisms by which post-apocalyptic works create projections of our own world that are believably imperiled, realistically degraded, and designed to move us to feel differently and act differently within the world we inhabit.  We will consider ways in which which authors craft immersive storylines that maintain a vital allegorical relationship to the problems of the present, and discuss recent trends in contemporary post-apocalyptic fiction.  How has the genre responded to our changing conception of peril?  Is literary apocalyptic fiction effective as a vehicle for persuasion and for showing threats in a new light?  Ultimately, we will inquire into the possibility of thinking beyond our present moment and, by doing so, altering our fate.

Fall 2023: WRIT UN3125
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3125 001/13887 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Molly McGhee 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN3129 Writing Nature in the Age of Climate Change. 3.00 points.

This class aims to look seriously at how we write literature about the environment, landscape, plants, animals, and the weather in an age of worsening climate change. What genres, forms, and structures can we use to creatively respond to and depict the conditions of the anthropocene? How can we use time to capture the simultaneous tedium and terror of the emergency? Can we write about the individual as well as the collective? Is it possible to write about climate change not as something that is coming, but as a phenomenon that’s already a part of our lives? In answering these questions, students will determine how best to address these issues in their own creative work. While this is a fiction class, we will take our lessons from writers working across many different formats. We will read novels and short stories, but also poetry, creative non-fiction, journalism, and theory. Through writing exercises, field journals, critical essays, and their own creative pieces, students will work through, and with, the despair and radical imaginative changes wrought on all our lives by the anthropocene

WRIT UN3130 The Punchline. 3.00 points.

Levity’s worth taking seriously. This seminar examines satire in several forms, including polemics from the late Roman Empire, stand-up from the late British Empire, and novels from the healthy and indestructible American Empire. We’ll explore satirical reactions to historic disasters, and how to apply those techniques during the next one. We’ll see satire flourish on bathroom walls and street signs (my specialty, admittedly). We’ll learn why every subculture has their own version of The Onion. Finally, we’ll apply lessons from the above to develop our own writing with creative responses, in-class exercises, and a final project. Anyone can be a satirist. Dealing with reality is the hard part

WRIT UN3131 NEW WORLDS IN WRIT & VR. 3.00 points.

Creating New Worlds in Writing and in VR is a generative, exploratory fiction seminar where we will read, analyze, and experiment with the process of building new worlds. We will ask, What are the narrative possibilities that unfold within these environments? What are the conventions of sci-fi and fantasy and how can they be used to critique and scrutinize our lives on earth, particularly, experiences of violence, environmental degradation, and racial, sexual, and gender-based oppression? We will use VR technology to help us model our own invented spaces. We will examine how to incorporate traditional literary elements, such as character and dialogue, into these dynamic environments

Nonfiction Workshops

WRIT UN1200 BEGINNING NONFICTION WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning workshop in nonfiction is designed for students with little or no experience in writing literary nonfiction. Students are introduced to a range of technical and imaginative concerns through exercises and discussions, and they eventually submit their own writing for the critical analysis of the class. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects

Fall 2023: WRIT UN1200
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1200 001/13871 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
401 Hamilton Hall
Peter Raffel 3.00 13/15
WRIT 1200 002/13872 Th 10:10am - 12:00pm
Home International House
Chyana Deschamps 3.00 7/15
WRIT 1200 003/13873 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
C01 Knox Hall
Emma Golden 3.00 10/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN1200
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1200 001/15114 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Peter Raffel 3.00 15/15
WRIT 1200 002/15115 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
212a Lewisohn Hall
Wally Suphap 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN2200 INTERMEDIATE NONFICTION WRKSHP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: The departments permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. The intermediate workshop in nonfiction is designed for students with some experience in writing literary nonfiction. Intermediate workshops present a higher creative standard than beginning workshops and an expectation that students will produce finished work. Outside readings supplement and inform the exercises and longer written projects. By the end of the semester, students will have produced thirty to forty pages of original work in at least two traditions of literary nonfiction

Fall 2023: WRIT UN2200
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2200 001/13888 M 10:10am - 12:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Clare Sestanovich 3.00 9/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN2200
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2200 001/15120 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Zohra Saed 3.00 0/15

WRIT UN3200 ADVANCED NONFICTION WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Advanced Nonfiction Workshop is for students with significant narrative and/or critical experience. Students will produce original literary nonfiction for the workshop, with an added focus on developing a distinctive voice and approach

Fall 2023: WRIT UN3200
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3200 001/13889 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
212a Lewisohn Hall
Lars Horn 3.00 12/15

WRIT UN3201 SENIOR NONFICTION WORKSHOP. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate.
Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Senior Nonfiction Workshop

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3201 001/15129 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Lars Horn 4.00 0/15

Nonfiction Seminars

WRIT UN2211 TRADITIONS IN NONFICTION. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The seminar provides exposure to the varieties of nonfiction with readings in its principal genres: reportage, criticism and commentary, biography and history, and memoir and the personal essay. A highly plastic medium, nonfiction allows authors to portray real events and experiences through narrative, analysis, polemic or any combination thereof. Free to invent everything but the facts, great practitioners of nonfiction are faithful to reality while writing with a voice and a vision distinctively their own. To show how nonfiction is conceived and constructed, class discussions will emphasize the relationship of content to form and style, techniques for creating plot and character under the factual constraints imposed by nonfiction, the defining characteristics of each authors voice, the authors subjectivity and presence, the role of imagination and emotion, the uses of humor, and the importance of speculation and attitude. Written assignments will be opportunities to experiment in several nonfiction genres and styles

Fall 2023: WRIT UN2211
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2211 001/13879 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
501a International Affairs Bldg
Peter Raffel 3.00 11/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN2211
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2211 001/15121 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Peter Raffel 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN3214 HYBRID NONFICTION FORMS. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required.
Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Creative nonfiction is a frustratingly vague term. How do we give it real literary meaning; examine its compositional aims and techniques, its achievements and especially its aspirations? This course will focus on works that we might call visionary - works that combine art forms, genres and styles in striking ways. Works in which image and text combine to create a third interactive language for the reader. Works still termed fiction history or journalism that join fact and fiction to interrogate their uses and implications. Certain memoirs that are deliberately anti-autobiographical, turning from personal narrative to the sounds, sight, impressions and ideas of the writers milieu. Certain essays that join personal reflection to arts and cultural criticism, drawing on research and imagination, the vernacular and the formal, even prose and poetry. The assemblage or collage that, created from notebook entries, lists, quotations, footnotes and indexes achieves its coherence through fragments and associations, found and original texts

WRIT UN3224 Writing the Sixties. 3.00 points.

In this seminar, we will target nonfiction from the 1960s—the decade that saw an avalanche of new forms, new awareness, new freedoms, and new conflicts, as well as the beginnings of social movements and cultural preoccupations that continue to frame our lives, as writers and as citizens, in the 21st century: civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, LGBTQ rights, pop culture, and the rise of mass media. We will look back more than a half century to examine the development of modern criticism, memoir, reporting, and profile-writing, and the ways they entwine. Along the way, we will ask questions about these classic nonfiction forms: How do reporters, essayists, and critics make sense of the new? How do they create work as rich as the best novels and short stories? Can criticism rise to the level of art? What roles do voice, point-of-view, character, dialogue, and plot—the traditional elements of fiction—play? As we go, we will witness the unfolding of arguably the most transitional decade in American history—with such events as the Kennedy assassination, the Watts Riots, the Human Be In, and the Vietnam War, along with the rise of Pop art, rock ‘n’ roll, and a new era of moviemaking—as it was documented in real time by writers at The New Yorker, New Journalists at Esquire, and critics at Partisan Review and Harper’s, among other publications. Some writers we will consider: James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Susan Sontag, Rachel Carson, Dwight Macdonald, Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, Pauline Kael, Nik Cohn, Joseph Mitchell, Lillian Ross, Gore Vidal, Norman Mailer, Thomas Pynchon, John Updike, Michael Herr, Martha Gellhorn, John McPhee, and Betty Friedan. We will be joined by guest speakers

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3224
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3224 001/18550 M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Mark Rozzo 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN3225 LIFE STORIES. 3.00 points.

In this seminar, we will target nonfiction that tells stories about lives: profiles, memoirs, and biographies. We will examine how the practice of this kind of nonfiction, and ideas about it, have evolved over the past 150 years. Along the way, we will ask questions about these nonfiction forms: How do reporters, memoirists, biographers, and critics make sense of their subjects? How do they create work as rich as the best novels and short stories? Can criticism explicate the inner life of a human subject? What roles do voice, point-of-view, character, dialogue, and plot—the traditional elements of fiction—play? Along the way, we’ll engage in issues of identity and race, memory and self, real persons and invented characters and we’ll get glimpses of such key publications as The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, and The New York Review of Books. Some writers we will consider: Frederick Douglass, Louisa May Alcott, Walt Whitman, Henry Adams, Joseph Mitchell, Lillian Ross, James Agee, John Hersey, Edmund Wilson, Gore Vidal, Gay Talese, James Baldwin, Vladimir Nabokov, Janet Malcolm, Robert Caro, Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, Joan Didion, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. The course regularly welcomes guest speakers

WRIT UN3226 NONFICTION-ISH. 3.00 points.

This cross-genre craft seminar aims to uncover daring and unusual approaches to literature informed by nonfiction (and nonfiction-adjacent) practices. In this course we will closely read and analyze a diverse set of works, including Svetlana Alexievich’s oral history of women and war, Lydia Davis’s “found” microfictions, Theresa Hak Cha’s genre-exploding “auto-enthnography,” Alejandro Zambra’s unabashedly literary narratives, Sigrid Nunez’s memoir “of” Susan Sontag, Emmanuel Carrére’s “nonfiction novel,” John Keene’s bold counternarratives, W. G. Sebald’s saturnine essay-portraits, Saidiya Hartman’s melding of history and literary imagination, Annie Ernaux’s collective autobiography, Sheila Heti’s alphabetized diary, Ben Mauk’s oral history about Xinjiang detention camps, and Edward St. Aubyn’s autobiographical novel about the British aristocracy and childhood trauma, among other texts. We will also examine Sharon Mashihi’s one-woman autofiction podcasts about Iranian Jewish American family. What we learn in this course we will apply to our own work, which will consist of two creative writing responses and a creative final project. Students will also learn to keep a daily writing journal

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3226
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3226 001/15130 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Sat Alfred Lerner Hall
James Yeh 3.00 19/20

WRIT UN3227 TRUE CRIME. 3.00 points.

The explosion of true crime programming in the past few years—from podcasts to documentaries to online communities sleuthing cold cases—would make you think that poring over real-life atrocities is a recent phenomenon. But in fact, our obsession with death, destruction, duplicity, and antisocial behavior is as old as humanity itself. In this class, we will trace the origins of true crime in nonfiction literature in the United States from Puritanism to the present. We will see how the genre has developed and how its preoccupations reflect the zeitgeist. We will consider how race, gender, class, and other identities shape narratives around victims and victors, guilt and innocence. We will think broadly about what, exactly, crime is, not limiting ourselves to the obvious. We will also look at corruption, fraud, systemic discrimination. Once (and sometimes still) considered a trash genre, we will read elevated works that turn that notion on its head. We will host guest speakers from the multifaceted perspectives true crime writing touches: victims, law enforcement, journalists, and convicts themselves. Since recent true crime reporting is such an expansive field that we can only begin to scratch the surface of in this class, students will present and analyze true crime artifacts to the class. The centerpiece of the semester will be students reporting and writing on a real crime themselves. It is all too easy to critique the work of others at a comfortable distance when one has not entered the thorny fray oneself. Students will craft their own true crime writing project, interrogate their own motivations and interest, and present their findings to the class. The subject matter of this class is disturbing in nature, and we will be looking at all manner of crimes from violent to white collar to sexual to social. Consider this a blanket trigger warning for each and every class. We will cultivate a safe space to think and feel through the crimes we examine and share ways to take care of ourselves. I am here as a resource and to help students navigate university resources as appropriate

Poetry Workshops

WRIT UN1300 BEGINNING POETRY WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. The beginning poetry workshop is designed for students who have a serious interest in poetry writing but who lack a significant background in the rudiments of the craft and/or have had little or no previous poetry workshop experience. Students will be assigned weekly writing exercises emphasizing such aspects of verse composition as the poetic line, the image, rhyme and other sound devices, verse forms, repetition, tone, irony, and others. Students will also read an extensive variety of exemplary work in verse, submit brief critical analyses of poems, and critique each others original work

Fall 2023: WRIT UN1300
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1300 001/13877 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Latif Ba 3.00 13/15
WRIT 1300 002/13874 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
607 Hamilton Hall
Iva Moore 3.00 14/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN1300
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 1300 001/15116 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Latif Ba 3.00 15/15
WRIT 1300 002/15167 T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
308a Lewisohn Hall
Joel Sedano 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN2300 INTERMEDIATE POETRY WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: The departments permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Intermediate poetry workshops are for students with some prior instruction in the rudiments of poetry writing and prior poetry workshop experience. Intermediate poetry workshops pose greater challenges to students and maintain higher critical standards than beginning workshops. Students will be instructed in more complex aspects of the craft, including the poetic persona, the prose poem, the collage, open-field composition, and others. They will also be assigned more challenging verse forms such as the villanelle and also non-European verse forms such as the pantoum. They will read extensively, submit brief critical analyses, and put their instruction into regular practice by composing original work that will be critiqued by their peers. By the end of the semester each student will have assembled a substantial portfolio of finished work

Fall 2023: WRIT UN2300
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2300 001/13883 M 12:10pm - 2:00pm
301m Fayerweather
Alexander Dimitrov 3.00 12/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN2300
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2300 001/15122 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
602 Lewisohn Hall
Alexander Dimitrov 3.00 0/15

WRIT UN3300 ADVANCED POETRY WORKSHOP. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: The departments permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. This poetry workshop is reserved for accomplished poetry writers and maintains the highest level of creative and critical expectations. Students will be encouraged to develop their strengths and to cultivate a distinctive poetic vision and voice but must also demonstrate a willingness to broaden their range and experiment with new forms and notions of the poem. A portfolio of poetry will be written and revised with the critical input of the instructor and the workshop

Fall 2023: WRIT UN3300
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3300 001/13890 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
212a Lewisohn Hall
Emily Luan 3.00 13/15

WRIT UN3301 SENIOR POETRY WORKSHOP. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: The department's permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate.
Prerequisites: The departments permission required through writing sample. Please go to 609 Kent for submission schedule and registration guidelines or see http://www.arts.columbia.edu/writing/undergraduate. Seniors who are majors in creative writing are given priority for this course. Enrollment is limited, and is by permission of the professor. The senior workshop offers students the opportunity to work exclusively with classmates who are at the same high level of accomplishment in the major. Students in the senior workshops will produce and revise a new and substantial body of work. In-class critiques and conferences with the professor will be tailored to needs of each student

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3301
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3301 001/15132 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
212a Lewisohn Hall
Emily Luan 4.00 0/15

Poetry Seminars

WRIT UN2311 TRADITIONS IN POETRY. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required.
Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. “For those, in dark, who find their own way by the light of others’ eyes.” —Lucie Brock-Broido The avenues of poetic tradition open to today’s poets are more numerous, more invigorating, and perhaps even more baffling than ever before. The routes we chose for our writing lead to destinations of our own making, and we take them at our own risk—necessarily so, as the pursuit of poetry asks each of us to light a pilgrim’s candle and follow it into the moors and lowlands, through wastes and prairies, crossing waters as we go. Go after the marshlights, the will-o-wisps who call to you in a voice you’ve longed for your whole life. These routes have been forged by those who came before you, but for that reason, none of them can hope to keep you on it entirely. You must take your steps away, brick by brick, heading confidently into the hinterland of your own distinct achievement. For the purpose of this class, we will walk these roads together, examining the works of classic and contemporary exemplars of the craft. By companioning poets from a large spread of time, we will be able to more diversely immerse ourselves in what a poetic “tradition” truly means. We will read works by Edmund Spencer, Dante, and Goethe, the Romantics—especially Keats—Dickinson, who is mother to us all, Modernists, and the great sweep of contemporary poetry that is too vast to individuate. While it is the imperative of this class to equip you with the knowledge necessary to advance in the field of poetry, this task shall be done in a Columbian manner. Consider this class an initiation, of sorts, into the vocabulary which distinguishes the writers who work under our flag, each of us bound by this language that must be passed on, and therefore changed, to you who inherit it. As I have learned the words, I have changed them, and I give them now to you so that you may pave your own way into your own ways, inspired with the first breath that brought you here, which may excite and—hopefully—frighten you. You must be troubled. This is essential

Fall 2023: WRIT UN2311
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2311 001/13878 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
103 Knox Hall
Latif Ba 3.00 8/15
Spring 2024: WRIT UN2311
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 2311 001/15123 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
327 Uris Hall
Latif Ba 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN3315 POETIC METER AND FORM. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required.
Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. This course will investigate the uses of rhythmic order and disorder in English-language poetry, with a particular emphasis on formal elements in free verse. Through a close analysis of poems, well examine the possibilities of qualitative meter, and students will write original creative work within (and in response to) various formal traditions. Analytical texts and poetic manifestos will accompany our reading of exemplary poems. Each week, well study interesting examples of metrical writing, and Ill ask you to write in reponse to those examples. Our topics will include stress meter, syllable-stress meter, double and triple meter, rising and falling rhythms, promotion, demotion, inversion, elision, and foot scansion. Our study will include a greate range of pre-modern and modern writers, from Keats to W.D. Snodgrass, Shakespeare to Denise Levertov, Blake to James Dickey, Whitman to Louise Gluck etc. As writers, well always be thinking about how the formal choices of a poem are appropriate or inappropriate for the poems content. Well also read prose by poets describing their metrical craft

WRIT UN3320 Provocations in Twentieth-Century Poetics. 3.00 points.

This is a class about poetry and revolt. In a century of wars, unchecked proliferation of industrial and market systems in the continued legacy of settler-colonialism and the consolidation of state powers, does language still conduct with revolutionary possibilities? In this class, we will read manifestos, philosophical treatises, political tracts, literary polemics, poems, scores, and so on, as we consider poetry’s long-standing commitment to visionary practices that seek to liberate consciousness from the many and various structures of oppression. The term “poetry” is not limited to itself but becomes, in our readings, an open invitation to all adjacent experiments with and in the language arts. As such, we will look at the emergence of the international avant-gardes as well as a few student movements that populate and complicate the explorations of radical politics in the twentieth-century. In addition to our readings, students will be asked to produce creative responses for class discussion. Final projects will be provocations of their own design. Required Texts: Friedrich Nietzsche: On the Genealogy of Morality Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto Aimé Césaire: Notebook of A Return to the Native Land Hilda Hilst: The Obscene Madame D Marguerite Duras: Hiroshima Mon Amour Guy Debord: Society of the Spectacle

WRIT UN3316 WEST TO EAST. 3.00 points.

This course examines two central movements in post World War II American poetry, The San Francisco Renaissance and The New York School, and uncovers their aesthetic impacts on language and cultural production, as well as the relationship to the city as a defining agent in the poetic imagination

WRIT UN3319 POETICS OF PLACE:AMERICAN LANDSCAPES, VO. 3.00 points.

When the American Poet Larry Levis left his home in California’s San Joaquin Valley, “all [he] needed to do,” he wrote, “was to describe [home] exactly as it had been. That [he] could not do, for that [is] impossible. And that is where poetry might begin. This course will consider how place shapes a poet’s self and work. Together we will consider a diverse range of poets and the places they write out of and into: from Philip Levines Detroit to Whitmans Manhattan, from Robert Lowells New England to James Wrights Ohio, from the Kentucky of Joe Bolton and Crystal Wilkinson to the California of Robin Blaser and Allen Ginsberg, from the Ozarks of Frank Stanford to the New Jersey of Amiri Baraka, from the Pacific Northwest of Robinson Jeffers to the Alaska of Mary Tallmountain. We will consider the debate between T. S. Eliot and William Carlos Williams about global versus local approaches to the poem, and together we will ask complex questions: Why is it, for example, that Jack Gilbert finds his Pittsburgh when he leaves it, while Gerald Stern finds his Pittsburgh when he keeps it close? Does something sing because you leave it or because you hold it close? Do you come to a place to find where you belong in it? Do you leave a place to find where it belongs in you? As Carolyn Kizer writes in Running Away from Home, Its never over, old church of our claustrophobia! And of course home can give us the first freedom of wanting to leave, the first prison and freedom of want. In our reflections on each “place,” we will reflect on its varied histories, its native peoples, and its inheritance of violent conquest. Our syllabus will consist, in addition to poems, of manifestos and prose writings about place, from Richard Hugos Triggering Town to Sandra Beasleys Prioritizing Place. You will be encouraged to think about everything from dialect to economics, from collectivism to individualism in poems that root themselves in particular places, and you will be encouraged to consider how those poems “transcend” their origins. You will write response papers, analytical papers, and creative pieces, and you will complete a final project that reflects on your own relationship to place

WRIT UN3321 Ecopoetics. 3.00 points.

“There are things / We live among ‘and to see them / Is to know ourselves.’” George Oppen, “Of Being Numerous” In this class we will read poetry like writers that inhabit an imperiled planet, understanding our poems as being in direct conversation both with the environment as well as writers past and present with similar concerns and techniques. Given the imminent ecological crises we are facing, the poems we read will center themes of place, ecology, interspecies dependence, the role of humans in the destruction of the planet, and the “necropastoral” (to borrow a term from Joyelle McSweeney), among others. We will read works by poets and writers such as (but not limited to) John Ashbery, Harryette Mullen, Asiya Wadud, Wendy Xu, Ross Gay, Simone Kearney, Kim Hyesoon, Marcella Durand, Arthur Rimbaud, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, Muriel Rukeyser, George Oppen, Terrance Hayes, Juliana Spahr, and W.S. Merwin—reading several full collections as well as individual poems and essays by scholars in the field. Through close readings, in-class exercises, discussions, and creative/critical writings, we will invest in and investigate facets of the dynamic lyric that is aware of its environs (sound, image, line), while also exploring traditional poetic forms like the Haibun, ode, prose poem, and elegy. Additionally, we will seek inspiration in outside mediums such as film, visual art, and music, as well as, of course, the natural world. As a class, we will explore the highly individual nature of writing processes and talk about building writing practices that are generative as well as sustainable

Cross Genre Seminars

WRIT UN3011 TRANSLATION SEMINAR. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Students do not need to demonstrate bilingual ability to take this course. Department approval NOT needed.
Corequisites: This course is open to undergraduate & graduate students.
Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Students do not need to demonstrate bilingual ability to take this course. Department approval NOT needed. Corequisites: This course is open to undergraduate & graduate students. This course will explore broad-ranging questions pertaining to the historical, cultural, and political significance of translation while analyzing the various challenges confronted by the arts foremost practitioners. We will read and discuss texts by writers and theorists such as Benjamin, Derrida, Borges, Steiner, Dryden, Nabokov, Schleiermacher, Goethe, Spivak, Jakobson, and Venuti. As readers and practitioners of translation, we will train our ears to detect the visibility of invisibility of the translators craft; through short writing experiments, we will discover how to identify and capture the nuances that traverse literary styles, historical periods and cultures. The course will culminate in a final project that may either be a critical analysis or an original translation accompanied by a translators note of introduction

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3011
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3011 001/15125 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
511 Kent Hall
Bonnie Chau 3.00 15/15

WRIT UN3010 SHORT PROSE FORMS. 3.00 points.

Note: This seminar has a workshop component.

Prerequisites: No Prerequisites. Department approval NOT required.
Prerequisites: No Prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. Flash fiction, micro-naratives and the short-short have become exciting areas of exploration for contemporary writers. This course will examine how these literary fragments have captured the imagination of writers internationally and at home. The larger question the class seeks to answer, both on a collective and individual level, is: How can we craft a working definition of those elements endemic to short prose as a genre? Does the form exceed classification? What aspects of both crafts -- prose and poetry -- does this genre inhabit, expand upon, reinvent, reject, subvert? Short Prose Forms incorporates aspects of both literary seminar and the creative workshop. Class-time will be devoted alternatingly to examinations of published pieces and modified discussions of student work. Our reading chart the course from the genres emergence, examining the prose poem in 19th-century France through the works of Mallarme, Baudelaire, Max Jacob and Rimbaud. Well examine aspects of poetry -- the attention to the lyrical, the use of compression, musicality, sonic resonances and wit -- and attempt to understand how these writers took, as Russell Edson describes, experience [and] made it into an artifact with the logic of a dream. The class will conclude with a portfolio at the end of the term, in which students will submit a compendium of final drafts of three of four short prose pieces, samples of several exercises, selescted responses to readings, and a short personal manifesto on the short prose form

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3010 001/15124 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
317 Hamilton Hall
Alan Ziegler 3.00 21/20

WRIT UN3016 WALKING. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: No prerequisites. Department approval NOT required. As Walter Benjamin notes in The Arcades Project: Basic to flanerie, among other things, is the idea that the fruits of idleness are more precious than the fruits of labor. The flaneur, as is well known, makes studies. This course will encourage you to make studies -- poems, essays, stories, or multimedia pieces -- based on your walks. We will read depictions of walking from multiple disciplines, including philosophy, poetry, history, religion, visual art, and urban planning. Occasionally we will walk together. An important point of the course is to develop mobile forms of writing. How can writing emerge from, and document, a walks encounters, observations, and reflections? What advantages does mobility bring to our work? Each week you will write a short piece (1-3 pages) that engages your walks while responding to close readings of the assigned material

WRIT UN3027 Science Fiction Poetics. 3.00 points.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." —Carl Sagan "Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming." —David Bowie "I grew up reading science fiction." —Jeff Bezos Science fiction is the literature of the human species encountering change. It is the literature of the Other, of philosophy and ideas, of innovation and experimentation. This seminar will examine how poets and writers from around the world have imagined alternate realities and futures, linguistic inventions, and new poetic expressions inspired by science. We will discuss what these imaginings might tell us about the cultural and political presents in which they were conceived, as well as what the extreme conditions offered by science fiction might teach us about writing into the unknown. Topics will include astroecology and apocalyptic ecopoetics, extraterrestrial aphrodites, monstrous bodyscapes, space exploration and colonization, future creoles and the evolution of language, bio-poetics and crystalline formations, immortal texts, and global futurisms—from the European Futurists of the early 20th century to Afrofuturism, as well as recent figurations such as Gulf Futurism and Arabfuturism. Course reading will include work by Aase Berg, Etel Adnan, Chen Qiufan, Johannes Heldén, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Velimir Khlebnikov, Hao Jingfang, Eve L. Ewing, Sun Ra, Ursula K. Le Guin, Italo Calvino, Anaïs Duplan, Ursula Andkjær Olsen, Dempow Torishima, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, Octavia E. Butler, Tracy K. Smith, Cathy Park Hong, and others

WRIT UN3028 LOST & FOUND IN THE ANTHROPOCENE. 3.00 points.

We are living through a time of unprecedented change. This change is characterized by “solastalgia,” a word that describes a response to environmental loss in our daily lives which encompasses both pain and solace. In this course we will think seriously about the imperative to notice, pay attention, and remember that which is changing or disappearing. How might we work through and with loss, and how might we harness attention and awareness to envision different futures and new creative approaches? Students will consider the ways writers and other artists are working with losing and finding in a posthuman world across different forms, genres, and cultures. Will take an imaginative and interdisciplinary attitude to these questions, studying literary work alongside visual art, anthropology, psychology, literary theory, and science. We will consider extinction, elegy, landscape, geological temporalities, fragments, trash, and ghosts. In his call to arms, The Great Derangement, author Amitav Ghosh writes that climate change resists so many of the literary and artistic forms we currently possess. As such, he calls for an embrace of hybrid genres. Through reflections, critical essays, and their own creative work, students will think seriously about hybridity and the imaginative challenge of being alive in the world today

WRIT UN3031 INTRO TO AUDIO STORYTELLING. 3.00 points.

It’s one thing to tell a story with the pen. It’s another to transfix your audience with your voice. In this class, we will explore principles of audio narrative. Oral storytellers arguably understand suspense, humor and showmanship in ways only a live performer can. Even if you are a diehard writer of visually-consumed text, you may find, once the class is over, that you have learned techniques that can translate across borders: your written work may benefit. Alternatively, you may discover that audio is the medium for you. We will consider sound from the ground up – from folkloric oral traditions, to raw, naturally captured sound stories, to seemingly straightforward radio news segments, to highly polished narrative podcasts. While this class involves a fair amount of reading, much of what we will be studying and discussing is audio material. Some is as lo-fi as can be, and some is operatic in scope, benefitting from large production budgets and teams of artists. At the same time that we study these works, each student will also complete small audio production exercises of their own; as a final project, students will be expected to produce a trailer, or “sizzle” for a hypothetical multi-episode show. This class is meant for beginners to the audio tradition. There are some tech requirements: a recording device (most phones will suffice), workable set of headphones, and computer. You’ll also need to download the free audio editing software Audacity

Spring 2024: WRIT UN3031
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WRIT 3031 001/15460 W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Mallika Rao 3.00 20/20

WRIT UN3032 IT'S COMPLICATED: WRITING AS A RELATIONSHIP. 3.00 points.

In this cross-genre class, we’ll explore writing process as relationship, one that reflects how we relate to both ourselves and the world. How do we bring the public back to the private space of the writing desk? How do our social, cultural, and political realities and histories influence our writing process? How is our relationship with our audience informed by our relationship with language? How can we be at play in structures of grammar and narrative without assimilating to what seems otherwise unrelatable? Seeing the sentence as a set of relationships, one tied to our human relations, we will write and revise with the hope of fostering an enduring relationship with the page. Coursework will include in-class writing exercises and 3 short (3-6 page) pieces