CRW 7005 SEMINAR IN MODERN POETRY
A course that extensively addresses the major poetic voices of the twentieth century with special emphasis on the close reading of the experimental and innovative.
CRW 7131 EKPHRASIS AND MAD ARTISTS
Ekphrasis, a literary response to visual art, combines the study of model ekphrastic poetry, drama, and fiction with the study of critical work on ekphrasis, and excerpts from the journals and letters of artists. The course focuses on the work of critics such as John Hollander, Jane Hedley, and James Heffernan and a diverse group of writers including Homer, Virgil, Keats, Rilke, Auden, Bishop, Ashbery, and Black. In addition to close readings of the literary texts and a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, students will write both ekphrastic pieces and critical responses and papers.
CRW 7150 MYSTERY/HORROR WRITING
This workshop will strengthen both the writing and editing skills of students. Features instructor-based lectures, student story contributions and round-robin critiques. In the spirit of community growth, we will become a team of writers who illuminate the errors and successes of our peers. Objectives will be instructor guided in terms of the literary elements (plot, character, setting, theme, style) and left wide open for content. Anything goes as long as it creeps, slithers, makes noise in the basement, mystifies, horrifies, shocks or sparks wonder. Truth or fiction accepted. Short stories preferred.
CRW 7155 CHILDREN'S WRITING
This workshop combines lectures exploring the craft of writing; opportunities for students to assess the strengths and weaknesses in their own work; free-writing exercises; and oral presentations on children's books or on the craft of writing for children. The goal of the course is to help each student gain an overview of children's literature and to acquire the basic tools to write for children.
CRW 7160 RESEARCHING AND WRITING HISTORICAL FICTION AND CREATIVE NONFICTION
This course will instruct students in research methods for writing historical fiction or creative nonfiction, and will give them the opportunity to workshop short fiction, memoir, and novel or full-length creative nonfiction excerpts. The emphasis here is on creating believable and accurate historical details whether the work is fiction or nonfiction.
CRW 7170 CRITICAL & CREATIVE WRITING
In a post-modern literary world, the standards for good writing are under debate. This course reviews the debate and makes claims for what constitutes good writing. This knowledge is then tested in a variety of contexts: Academic, artistic, commercial, digital, biographical etc.
Students will practice their facility in distinguishing between critical thinking and creative expression, honing when and how to combine these skills. They will learn how differing sets of skills enhance one another and when which emphasis is needed and why.
CRW 7218 EXPLORING THE MIDDLE GRADE NOVEL
As young adult fiction tackles more and more edgy and difficult topics and readers become more and more sophisticated, there is a greater need to ensure that appropriate topics are available to the middle grade reader (ages 8-12). In this class, students will explore the range of middle grade fiction, compare it to lower young adult, and discuss the decisions that necessary to determine in which category titles belong. Students will also look at writing styles, authors, themes, topics, content, etc. to better understand this segment of the children’s industry.
CRW 7405 THE WORLD OF FILM
The art of putting together a film is one that is different from any other. This course will offer an intensive study into the world of film, from the independent, small budget market, to the major markets of Hollywood. In order to build a successful future in screenwriting, a writer must understand the full depths of the market.
CRW 7407 WRITING FOR TELEVISION AND FILM
This course will provide an overview of television and film screenwriting strategies, including how to write and develop half-hour pilot formats for television comedies, how to write and develop one-hour pilot formats for television dramas, and how to write and develop feature length films.
CRW 7418 THE NOVELLA
Stephen King has called the novella an “anarchy-ridden literary banana republic.” This course explores anarchy as opportunity—the novella as a genre so aggressively uncommercial that it provides the freedom to test innovative narrative strategies and styles while at the same time accommodating traditional approaches. During this course, we will study a range of novellas, from the traditional to the experimental, to determine the characteristics that make each a novella. Weekly in-class and take-home writing exercises will allow the class to experiment with the most compelling formal element(s) of each novella studied. At the same time, the class will have a weekly assignment to produce one piece of a collage—original, found, or discarded material—with an eye toward writing their own novellas.
CRW 7445 THE CREATIVE NONFICTION BOOK
This course provides craft exercises and research strategies specific to the writers of book length memoirs and nonfiction narratives. Narrative and prose theory along with hands-on exercises provide the basis for the instruction. Reading memoirs as a writer and reading critical writings about memoirs supplement the craft coursework.
CRW 7450 WRITING FOR YOUNG ADULTS
This course provides craft exercises and research strategies specific to the writers of young adult fiction. Narrative and prose theory along with hands-on exercises provide the basis for the instruction. Reading young adult texts as a writer and reading critical writings about young adult fiction supplement the craft coursework. To develop a knowledge of and facility with the craft of young adult writing, the course relies more on exercises and excerpts rather than on the workshopping of completed, "whole" works.
CRW 7453 YA GENRE STUDY
As the YA (young adult) market grows, it continues to push at the historical boundaries by exploring controversial and edgy topics such as divorce, ethnicity, gender roles, suicide, and much more. It is also comprised of action-adventure, fantasy, historical, mystery, sci-fi, speculative fiction, as well as memoir. As a result, this has made it difficult to define the YA genre. This class, through exploration of many YA titles, will seek to define the YA genre. Is it truly a genre or sub-genre? Are there different levels of YA fiction and non-fiction, or should there be? And why to adults love some YA titles and not others? Students will lead this industry discussion by developing a set of standards and criteria to define the genre through class discussions and projects.
CRW 7075 SCRIPT ANALYSIS
This course will examine the texts of plays, television scripts, and film scripts using in depth analysis, with an emphasis on the vision and intention of the authors, and how that vision can change during production and the occasionally conflicting vision of the director.
CRW 7435 NOVEL CRAFT
This course provides craft exercises and research strategies for the writer of book length fiction manuscripts. Narrative and prose theory along with hands-on exercises provide the basis for the instruction in developing a knowledge of and facility with the craft of writing prose, while instruction in book research focuses on going beyond Google to discover original transcripts, conduct interviews, scour through local libraries, take trips, find experts, and so on.
CRW 7444 CONTENT AND FORM IN FICTION
This course is a seminar designed to help writers explore the relationship between content and form in fiction. The goal of this approach is to both further our literary background and to explore the repertoire of strategies and techniques employed by a variety of the authors we study. In addition to participating in the seminar discussion, members of this seminar should expect to respond to the works we read by writing response papers and/or discussion questions. Readings will include short fiction, novels and novellas that illustrate a range of styles and effects.
CRW 7447 SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY: THE LITERATURE OF IDEAS VERSUS THE LITERATURE OF LONGING
These two arguably very different forms of literature have long been linked together. This course will examine the seminal works of both genres in terms of form, content, and influence, both on other writers and on society.
CRW 7455 TEXTS AS TEACHERS: CRITICAL WRITINGS FOR CREATIVE WRITERS
This course uses contemporary literature as the “teachers” for the contemporary writer. Each student works with the instructor to create a reading list of four (4) books or collections that correspond with the students’ genre (poetry, creative non-fiction, and/or fiction), literary interests (steampunk, literary fiction, urban fantasy, young adult gothic, and so on), and project goals (memoir, poetry chapbook, flash fiction collection, novella, literary fiction novel, and so on). Students produce critical writings and present their “findings” while publishing for the community of writers the craft lessons and insights they’ve gleaned from their readings. All students begin by reading Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer.
CRW 7465 MAGIC REALISM AND THE AMERICAS
Lindsey Moore says, "Magical realism is characterized by two conflicting perspectives, one based on a rational view of reality and the other on the acceptance of the supernatural as prosaic reality." This course will explore the work of authors most associated with this prose style such as Marquez, Allende, and Borges.
LIT 7000 SEMINAR: CONTEMPORARY WOMEN WRITERS
This course explores the literary tradition of contemporary women writers, reading a variety of texts and genres across a range of history and cultural backgrounds, considering issues such as the relationship between gender and culture and the impacts of race, class, and sexuality as they relate to the literary marketplace.
LIT 7001 ETHNIC WOMEN'S LITERATURE
A study of women writers and how their ethnic identities affect their work. Students will read work by fiction writers such as: Jhumpa Lahiri, Danzy Senna, Maureen Howard, and Nancy Zafris, memoirists such as Kate Millett, Vivien Gornick, and Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, playwrights such as Wendy Wasserstein, and poets such as Adrienne Rich, Louise Gluck, Toi Derricotte, and Louise Erdrich.
LIT 7002 SEMINAR IN THE SHORT STORY
This course will examine the literary short story, its permutations and development from its inception in the 19th century up through the work of contemporary masters of the form. While the insights of some short story theoreticians will be given consideration, the stories and the vision, sensibilities and craft of the authors will be our chief objects of analysis. The course is designed both for those who want to teach the short story at the university level and for writers of short fiction who desire to learn from the masters of the genre.
LIT 7007 POET LAUREATES
This class is designed as a seminar using a constructivist learning approach, that is, students will engage in collaborative learning and will, in a participatory seminar setting, construct their understanding of the issue of voice in poetry, and, through study of many of America’s poets laureate, will examine the concept of an “American Voice.” We will read and discuss the work of a variety of twentieth and twenty-first century American poets laureate in order to consider whether such a thing as an “American poetic voice” exists, and whether there is, has been, or should be, a “representative American voice.” We will also consider the impact individual poets have had on the contemporary American poetic cannon.
LIT 7008 SEMINAR IN FICTION SINCE 1940
An analysis of contemporary experimental fiction since 1940. The seminar will focus primarily on the study of narrative technique and analysis of the primary texts; some theoretical and contextual ideas of postmodernism will be touched on as means to further appreciate and evaluate readings. Authors include: Barth, Borges, Nabokov, Coover, Calvino, Garcia Marquez, Morrison, Baker, McCarthy, DeLillo, Martone, and Auster.
LIT 7009 LITERATURE IN THE 21ST CENTURY
This course examines the literature happening "now" and the critical thought at work in both creating and analyzing it. This course takes on contemporary issues, especially those relevant to the reasons for reading and writing in the twenty-first century, by looking at a wide range of work currently being published, from modernist to postmodern and post-postmodern aesthetics and sensibilities. The course will also examine issues within contemporary literature--such as race, ethnicity, and gender; transgressive cultures; war and terrorism; and globalization-- along with the appearance of new literary forms (e.g., electronic literatures and new media) and their impact on the evolution of current literature.
LIT 7010 SEMINAR BRITISH LITERATURE IN THE VICTORIAN AGE
An intense study of the major novels, poetry, and prose stylists of the Victorian era. The course will consider authors such as Browning, Tennyson, Carlyle, Newman, Arnold, Dickens, Eliot, and Thackeray.
LIT 7011 BRITISH LITERATURE IN THE AGE OF ROMANTICISM
A study of British authors from the Romantic era. William Wordsworth's years (1770-1850) provide a general time frame for our focus. Readings may include a variety of genres.
LIT 7015 SEMINAR IN 18TH CEN POETRY & PROSE
A study of the social, historical, and aesthetic concerns of the eighteenth century. Representative genres provide an understanding of the shifting focus of this period from satire to sensibility.
LIT 7017 SEMINAR IN THE AMERICAN RENAISSANCE 1820-1860
Readings in Cooper, Melville, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman. This course will examine the varieties of Romantic writing in America.
LIT 7019 SEMINAR IN RENAISSANCE STUDIES
LIT 7020 THE BIOGRAPHER'S ART
A course which focuses on combining the study of examples of biography, ancient and modern, from The Book of Ruth and Plutarch’s Lives through Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, to such recent experimental works as Richard Holme’s Footsteps, with practice in biographical research and writing. Requirements include several short papers and the development of an article-length biographical study that is to be submitted for possible publication to one or more journals.
LIT 7025 SEMINAR IN MEDIEVAL READINGS
A consideration of the medieval signature as it appears in late antiquity, flourishes in the Middle Ages, and leaves its traces in modernity. Some attention will be given to manuscript form and to those textual changes occasioned by the arrival of print.
LIT 7030 THE MODERN NOVEL
An exploration in depth of the literary condition called Modernism through an investigation of the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Anita Loos, Gertrude Stein, Nella Larson, E.M. Forster, Rose Macaulay, Virginia Woolf, and D.H. Lawrence.
LIT 7031 SEMINAR: CLASSICAL READINGS
A study of ancient Greek and Latin writers in the genres of epic, lyric poetry, and prose. The selection includes Home (Iliad), Pindar (the odes), Thucydides (History of the Peloponnesian War), Vergil (Aeneid), Horace (odes and epodes), and Cicero (political speeches), in translation. The purpose of this course is to ground the student in the material that was the common repertory for western authors.
LIT 7032 TOLKIEN
This course examines the major works of J.R.R. Tolkien (The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings) as both the modern continuation of the mythic cycle and the genesis of the contemporary fantasy genre. Students will study Tolkien's attempt to create a deliberate "mythology" for Britain in the context of his medieval and classical influences, as well as how his works have not only founded the basis of modern fantasy writing but also continue to influence the creation and publication of works in this genre. Finally, Peter Jackson's film adaptations of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings will be examined as a entrée into the ongoing debate as to whether the film version of a text will ultimately become the "official" version due to its potential for more widespread cultural context.
LIT 7034 CONFESSIONAL POETRY
Robert Lowell’s landmark volume, Life Studies (1959) forever changed the content of American poetry. What can be seen as “too much information” in the hands of lesser writers, becomes profoundly moving in masters such as Lowell, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and their literary offspring in the 21st century--writers such as Gregory Orr and Sandra Kohler. To round out our knowledge of their lives and the background for their art, we will also read biographies and autobiographical/memoir texts by the major authors in the course.
LIT 7035 MASTERPIECES IN EUROPEAN DRAMA
From ancient Greece to contemporary Ireland, drama is rooted in the age during which it is born. Through the action and the characters of a drama, the playwright shares his or her view of the nature of life and suggests an age's assessment of what it means to be human. This course will focus on a selection of the great European playwrights, such as Wilde, Shaw, Euripedes, Marlowe, Moliere, Ibsen, Chekhov, Brecht, and Friel.
LIT 7041 INTRODUCTION TO CRITICAL THEORY: EXPLORING MEANING
This course will introduce students to the discipline of critical thought and its use in the study of literature and art, particularly the concept of how meaning is shaped and interpreted by both the individual and society at large.
LIT 7042 RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION
Composition pedagogies—process, expressive, rhetorical, collaborative, cultural studies, critical, feminist, community-service, writing across the curriculum, writing center, and basic writing—and the compositional and rhetorical practices associated with them make up the content of this course. As writers, readers, teachers, and scholars, students develop the skills and experience to teach, develop, and assess critical reading, writing, and research skills in the composition classroom.
LIT 7045 SELF-PORTRAITS IN LITERATURE
How do writers shape their experience and try to define themselves in their art? We will explore these questions by reading memoirs such as Virginia Woolf's Moments of Being, Marjorie Keenan Rawling's Cross Creek, Anne Lamott's Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Sons' First Year, Richard Wertime's Citadel on the Mountain, and Kate Millett's AD, as well as poets such as Yeats, Robert Lowell, and Adrienne Rich. Artists and photographers such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Imogen Cunningham and Becky Young will supplement discussions of literature with some attention to self-portraits. Students will keep a journal for the initial weeks of class. They will draw from that journal to transform their experience into a short story, poem, or short memoir.
LIT 7050 THE IRISH NOVEL
This course will explore the rich literary traditions of Ireland in relation to the novel. Through the works of Irish authors, such as James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Emma Donoghue, and Roddy Doyle, we will examine the history, culture, politics, and socioeconomic conditions of Ireland.
LIT 7051 SEMINAR: SHAKESPEARE
LIT 7052 SHAKESPEARE AND ADAPTION
One of the reasons that Shakespeare has survived to become the literary and cultural force he is today is because of the endless possibilities embodied in his dramatic works. Shakespeare's plays have fostered a nearly endless trail of adaptations, continuations, reinterpretations, and revisions, reaching as far back as the seventeenth century. This course will focus both on Shakespeare's original texts and on a corresponding body of adapted works -- written, drawn, filmed and staged.
LIT 7055 SHAKESPEARE IN PERFRMNCE: PAGE TO STAGE
Employing the techniques of John Barton (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Patsy Rodenburg (Royal National Theatre), students will discover and experience the performance language of 3 plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth. These techniques transform the dynamics of these texts—structure, rhythm, and imagery—into specific and clear action, so that the text can be brought to life physically and emotionally.
LIT 7056 CONTEMPORARY PLAYS AND PLAYWRIGHTS
This course will examine the work of some of the most influential and interesting playwrights of the 20th and 21st centuries, and specific themes/issues that connect them. Particular attention will be paid to how the playwright's success hinges not only on the actual written element of his or her work, but also upon production of the work. Playwrights may include Wendy Wasserstein, David Mamet, Paula Vogel, Tony Kushner, and Beth Henley.
LIT 7061 GOTHIC LITERATURE
An examination of Gothic literature, its prevailing tropes, and the far-reaching effects that this genre has had on subsequent literary movements and even modern fiction. The conflict between the high-reaching artistic achievements of novels, such as Walpole's The Castle of Otranto and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and the popular, money-making works of the Gothic trade will be discussed, with a particular view as to what works should constitute the Gothic canon. Reading selections may include The Castle of Ortranto, Frankenstein, Radcliffe's The Italian, as well as several Gothic-influenced works and authors, such as Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Edgar Allan Poe, Joyce Carol Oates, and Ann Rice.
LIT 7063 DRAMATURGY
The first part of this course will be devoted to understanding the historical and cultural background of playwrights and how the societal context influences the creation of the work. The second component involves understanding the work of the dramaturge as an assistant to help the playwright improve the script.
LIT 7065 PERCEPTIONS OF WITCHCRAFT IN LITERATURE
Using works by writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Arthur Miller, as well as fables and fairytales, this course will study the witch as a stock character of literature. It will focus on the perception of this character in fairy tales, novels, and plays and then compare these perceptions with the reality of witchcraft through the ages.
LIT 7070 FILM: ADAPTATION OF LITERATURE TO FILM
Like the translator, the adaptor who translates a classic work of literature for the screen is engaged in an act of transformation which requires him or her to balance the narrational, thematic, and stylistic elements of one moment in a text with those in another and to choose from this nexus of interaction and meaning a solution that is cinematically equivalent to the original situation. The central aim of this course then is to examine the challenging process of translating literature to film and to determine either the richness or the impoverishment of adaptations based on the works of celebrated authors.
LIT 7072 POP CULTURE IN LITERATURE
This course examines the relationship between pop cultural forms and literature of the 20th-century. We will investigate the ways that film, radio, television, music, comic books, pop art, and advertising have influenced literature since the Second World War, in terms of both form and content. Situating each work within its historical, social, and political contexts, we will examine how specific writers engaged with the pop culture of their day and confronted such issues as civil rights, feminism, class conflict, racial antagonism, intimacy, sexual liberation, war, and terrorism. In addition to works of pop culture, our reading list will draw on novels, poems, plays, memoir, and creative nonfiction.
LIT 7075 SCRIPT ANALYSIS
The course will examine the text of plays from contemporary dramatic writing with in-depth analysis, with emphasis on the vision and intention of the playwright.
LIT 7080 MODERN CREATIVE NONFICTION
This course takes a look at modern creative nonfiction memoirs and narrative, beginning with Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and ending with contemporary works. Creative Nonfiction entails a variety of texts: personal essays, memoir, travel and food writing, biography, literary journalize, and other hybridized forms. This course not only involves reading contemporary creative nonfiction texts but also scholarly and generalist writings about contemporary creative nonfiction, its characteristics and definitions, the ethics of writing “factual fiction.” and the seeming lack of published literary criticism of nonfiction texts. There will be the option to respond to the published works with one’s own creative nonfiction.