English 166

Special Topics: The Essay: Traditions and the Individual Talent


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2010 McQuade, Donald
McQuade, Don
TTh 11-12:30 185 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

Arana, Marie (ed): The Writing Life

Description

This course will focus on reading — and writing about — essays on the craft of writing by a medley of historical and contemporary figures in American literature. The essays we will read provide a view of writing literature from the inside — an opportunity for a close examination of the satisfactions and frustrations many writers experience with the composing process. We will also read these essays within the context of the literature each writer has published, and we will attend more generally to the “place” of the writer and literature in American life.

The writers we will read will be as varied as the essays themselves: award-winning and best selling novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists, and memoirists, as well as distinguished teachers and critics. Depending on the course participants’ previous reading experiences, the reading list will blend essays from among such historical luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglas, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens as well as selections from among such contemporary writers as Sherman Alexie, Julia Alvaez, Ray Bradbury, Michael Chabon, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Francine Du Plessix Gray, Frances Fitzgerald, Tracy Kidder, Stephen King, David Mamet, Alice McDermott, Gloria Naylor, David Sedaris, Amy Tan, Alice Walker, Wendy Wasserstein, and John Edgar Wideman. Working within a reading/writing workshop context, students will have several opportunities to practice and appreciate the literary qualities of their own thinking and writing about composing American literature.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

fall, 2020

166/1

Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

166/3

Special Topics: The Age of Crisis

spring, 2020

166/2

Special Topics: The Literature & Art of Incarceration

166/3

Special Topics: Moby-Dick

166/4

Special Topics: Pomo: Exploring the Landscape of Postmodernism

166/5

Special Topics: American Humor: Books & Movies

166/6

Special Topics: Art of Writing: Grant Writing, Food Writing, Food Justice

166/7

Special Topics: Arthurian Romance

summer, 2020

166/1

Special Topics: Medieval Fantasy from Tolkien to Game of Thrones

166/2

Special Topics: Global Catastrophe and Modern Literature

166/3

Special Topics: The Broadway Musical

fall, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Getting Global: Literature & Film of an Expanding & Unequal World

166/2

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

166/3

Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

166/4

Special Topics: Literatures of the Asian Diaspora in America

166/7

Special Topics: Charles Dickens

166/8

Special Topics: Green Thought in a Green Shade

166/9

Special Topics: New Orleans

166/11

Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov

Naiman, Eric
spring, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Gothic

166/2

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

166/4

Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class

166/5

Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality

166/6

Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now

166/7

Special Topics: Anton Chekhov

Muza, Anna
fall, 2018

166/2

Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock

166/3

Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700

166/4

Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson

166/5

Special Topics

spring, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Comedy & Violence

166/2

Special Topics: Romantic Science

166/3

Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama

166/4

Special Topics: Marxism & Literature

166/5

Special Topics: Emily Dickinson

166/6

Special Topics: Speculative Fiction

summer, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures

166/2

Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern


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