English 143N

Prose Nonfiction: Creative Nonfiction Workshop: Covering Culture

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2017 Saul, Scott
MW 9:30-11 305 Wheeler

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A course reader.


This course is a nonfiction workshop in which you'll learn to write about many different types of art and culture, from TV and music to theater and visual art—in other words, the genres discussed in the culture-and-arts pages of major newspapers and magazines. By the end of the class, you should come away with a working knowledge of how to write reviews, profiles, "think pieces," and essays of cultural criticism. For examples of student writing from an earlier version of the course, visit "The Annex" at www.medium.com/the-annex.

Our semester will be guided by a few basic questions: what can we demand from culture? What does it mean to love or hate a song, TV show, or work of art? How are we changed by our encounters with specific works of art? And how do our arguments about a particular piece of "culture" connect to broader dreams about politics, freedom, community, and our sense of the possible?

Two special features of the course bear specific mention. First, on several occasions, we will be honored to host a visit with an esteemed writer, whose work will be featured in the class. Second, the class will at times take us out of the classroom and have us engage with artists and the public. For one assignment in particular, you will have the opportunity to connect with local artists. You are also invited to publish some of your work in digital form so as to shape ongoing cultural conversations in the Bay Area and at large.

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 11 PM, THURSDAY, APRIL 27.

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

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