English 165

Special Topics: Telling Stories: The Power of Narrative in Academic Writing

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2016 Donegan, Kathleen
MWF 1-2 note new location: 242 Dwinelle Special Topics

Book List

Fish, Stanley: How to Write a Sentence; Hayot, Eric: The Elements of Academic Style; Sword, Helen: Stylish Academic Writing


This seminar is dedicated to the principle that because narrative is at the core of how we come to understand the world, narrative is also an especially powerful method of scholarly practice. We will study the art of storytelling as it is practiced in several academic disciplines – literary criticism, cultural studies, history, anthropology, psychology, medicine – to learn how scholars combine story and argument, imagination and analysis, vivid perspective and broader provocation.  Through discussions and workshops, students will develop individual research projects that experiment with narrative as a stylistic choice, as vehicle for analysis, and as a method for asking deeper questions by sinking into the place where so many questions begin: the story.  We will read works concerning (among others) poets and housewives, kidnapped Africans, 16th century French workers and peasants, early psychiatric patients, and survivors of modern disasters natural and perpetrated.  There will be a rich collection of texts available in a course reader, and a few books to purchase on the craft of writing.

This small seminar will be limited to twelve students.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
165/1 Special Topics: Genres of Free Speech Lavery, Joseph
165/2 Special Topics: Art of Writing Benjamin, Daniel
Hejinian, Lyn
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
165/1 Special Topics: The Graphic Memoir Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
165/2 Special Topics: Incarcerations: The Literatures of Physical Confinement and Spiritual Liberation Padilla, Genaro M.
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
165/1 Special Topics: Arthurian Medievalisms No instructor assigned yet.
165/2 Special Topics: 21st-Century U.S. Poetry O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
165/3 Special Topics: Oscar Wilde and the Nineteenth Century Lavery, Joseph
165/4 Special Topics: Representing Non-Human Life in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Britain Picciotto, Joanna M
165/5 Special Topics: Is It Useless to Revolt?: Literature of Revolt Goldsmith, Steven
165/6 Special Topics: Queer Lifestyles in Literature and Theory Weiner, Joshua J
165/7 Special Topics: Later 17th-Century Nonfictional Prose Starr, George A.
165/8 Special Topics: Arts of Writing: Academic Writing, Grant Writing, Food Writing Rahimtoola, Samia Shabnam
Schweik, Susan
165/9 Special Topics: Ovid and the English Renaissance Landreth, David
Fall, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
165/1 Special Topics: Contemporary Poetry Gaydos, Rebecca
T. B. A.
165/2 Special Topics Thomas-Bignami, Ian M.
T. B. A.
165/3 Special Topics Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
165/4 Special Topics: Longing and Belonging in Contemporary Writing Langan, Celeste
165/5 Special Topics: Hardly Strictly Lyric Poems Hanson, Kristin
165/6 Special Topics Lavery, Joseph
165/7 Special Topics: Modern California Books and Movies Starr, George A.
165/8 Special Topics: Modern Medievalism: A Study of Medieval Poetry and Modern Fantasy No instructor assigned yet.
Spring, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
165/1 Special Topics: American Modernism Goble, Mark
165/2 Special Topics: Fathers and Sons Isenberg, Steven
Isenberg, Steven

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