English 143N

Prose Nonfiction: Covering Culture

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Fall 2016 Saul, Scott
TTh 12:30-2 C57 Hearst Annex


This course is a nonfiction workshop in which you’ll learn to write about many different types of art and culture, from theater and visual art to music and TV — in other words, the genres that one finds discussed in the culture-and-arts pages of major newspapers and magazines. By the end of the class, students should come away with a working knowledge of how to write reviews, interviews, profiles, “think pieces,” and essays of cultural criticism. Participants in the class will try their hands at all these forms and analyze classic and contemporary examples of each. Since writing is a craft that requires constant exercise of the appropriate muscles, students can expect to be writing for this class on a weekly basis.

Two special features of the course bear specific mention. First, on four separate occasions, we will be honored to host a visit with an esteemed writer, such as New Yorker music critic Hua Hsu and TV critic Lili Loofbourow, whose work we will discuss in class. Second, the class will take us out of the classroom and have us engage with artists, curators, and the public: you will be connecting with local arts organizations, such as the Berkeley Art Museum and Shotgun Players, and will be publishing some of your work in digital form so as to shape ongoing cultural conversations in the Bay Area and at large.

This course is sponsored by the Art of Writing curriculum initiative.

Only continuing UC Berkeley students are eligible to apply for this course. To be considered for admission, please electronically submit 5-10 double-spaced pages of your creative nonfiction (no poetry or academic writing) by clicking on the link below; fill out the application you'll find there and attach the writing sample as a Word document or .rtf file. The deadline for completing this application process is midnight, THURSDAY, APRIL 28.

Also be sure to read the paragraph concerning creative writing courses on page 1 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for further information regarding enrollment in such courses.

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