Topics in Journalism: Literary Journalism|
Fall 2016 not offered
ENGL 257, CSPL 250G|
In this course, we will explore the art and craft of magazine-length journalism that strives to do something different than reporting the news--it aspires to achieve the goals of literature. While this kind of writing tends to be timely, as almost all journalism must be when it's first published, at its best, it ought to be worth reading for decades to come. Truman Capote, for example, conceived of IN COLD BLOOD, which he first published as a series of articles in THE NEW YORKER in 1965, as a "non-fiction novel": a work of journalism that employed the techniques and artistry of fiction. We will study the writing of new journalists like Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe, Nora Ephron, and Gay Talese, who pioneered the idea that there is no such thing as unbiased reporting: The writer can't help but bring a point of view to his or her storytelling, so why not admit it? These writers broke with journalistic convention and admitted that there was an "I" behind the typewriter, a mediator between the "true" story and the reader.
We will focus on reading and writing two forms in particular, the profile and the essay. While an excellent profile can be a straightforward examination of another person and his or her place in the world, in the hands of a master like Janet Malcolm or George Trow, it can become an eruption of invention. Essays ask a question or argue a point--but how? There are as many ways as there are writers who explore the form, and in this course we will seek to join them.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CWRC)
A wide range of magazine pieces including work by Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe, Nora Ephron, Gay Talese, Janet Malcolm, George Trow and a range of recent journalistic pieces.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Several short writing assignments, including exercises in interviewing and profiles, and a longer final project.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
To apply for a place in the course, write a brief statement of up to 250 words, explaining why you are interested in the subject of the course. Also submit a writing sample of 2-3 pages. Send this application to Professor Ariel Levy at Ariel_Levy@newyorker.com. Use the subject line WRCT 250G Journalism. Application due by midnight on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. Also submit a POI request. Please check your portfolio before the planning period ends to see if you've been granted permission. If you have been granted permission, please add the course to your schedule. Note: Professor Greene is handling administrative arrangements for this course. If you have a question, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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