Writing Back in America: The Political Essay
This is a writing course will introduce you to the array of approaches and issues deployed by writers in the US looking to find new ways to address political and social issues. Whether it’s simply some version of the personal or autobiographical essay, the loosely journalistic or investigative essay, or the more recent hybrid ‘lyric essay,’ what stands out is the appetite for formal innovation and experimentation. Unlike other writing classes that privilege academic or scholarly modes of writing, this course will attempt instead to encourage students to explore the limits of the assumed ‘standards’ for writing essays, as well as to challenge notions of ‘an acceptable topic.’ Requirements include two short micro-essays (2-3 pages); short, impromptu in-class writing experiments; and a final 7-9 page essay on any topic. The critical thing is that you are allowed the utmost latitude. Please see under files for a complete syllabus and listing of requirements.