The Art of the Personal Essay|
The personal essay is short-form, first-person, narrative nonfiction that encompasses many genres: memoir, reflection, humor, familial and social history, and cultural criticism. Yet even these boundaries often blur within a single essay, and the personal essay can expand to include almost any topic. Writing personal essays--what author and critic Philip Lopate calls "the self-interrogative genre"--helps us find out what we think, often makes us change our minds, and, ideally, leads us to new insights. In class, we will discuss the assigned readings, participate in group responses to each others' writing (workshops), and write in response to prompts. We will study both traditional and unconventional techniques of nonfiction, focusing on the elements of craft: structure, voice, clarity, the use of descriptive detail, and revision.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Creative W)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 - Summer Session II|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
The personal essay has a long and rich history, and is still a vibrant, flourishing form. Our reading will include classic and contemporary works by authors from diverse cultural backgrounds, e.g., James Baldwin, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, E.B. White, Jo Ann Beard, Hilton Als, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Rodriguez, Ann Panning, John McPhee, Le Thi Diem Thuy, Leslie Jamison, Anwar Accari, and many others. The majority of our readings will be included in a course packet.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Class work and written assignments
Each day, be prepared to submit brief written responses about the assigned reading. These questions constitute an important part of class participation.
You will write one draft essay and one revised essay, each 3-5 pages in length, every week, in addition to in-class writing in response to prompts. With each essay you hand in to me or to the class to read in workshop, be prepared to discuss what you hoped to get across to your readers, what technical choices you made as a result, and what you found particularly difficult to do. After discussion in workshop, you will revise your essays and submit them to me. I will comment on all papers, and give a letter grade to three of them over the course of the month. Late work will be accepted only with permission, and then rarely.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course contributes to the Theory & Literary Forms concentration of the English major.
|Instructor(s): Bobrick,Elizabeth A. Times: .MTWRF. 09:00AM-10:40AM; Location: WYL113; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 18||SR major: 4||JR major: 4|| || |
|Seats Available: 6||GRAD: 0||SR non-major: 3||JR non-major: 3||SO: 4||FR: 0|
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