ENG 463—Literary Journalism MWF 10:10 – 11 a.m.
In this course we will read seminal works in the field of literary journalism in the United States, starting with Nellie Bly, who, in 1887, feigned insanity to get herself committed to a mental institution in New York in order to explore conditions there. We’ll continue our march toward the present, lingering in the middle of the 20th century with the infamous New Journalists: Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S. Thomson, and Tom Wolfe. We’ll end in the present with writers like Ted Conover, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, Raffi Khatchadourian, and Sarah Stillman. Our reading explorations will help us to investigate the various craft elements that literary journalists employ as well as ponder the larger ethical questions that the genre of literary journalism prompts us to ask, questions that are linked to the author’s role in and access to the story, to immersion reporting practices, and to the pursuit of objectivity. Additionally, and significantly, you will try your hand at immersion reporting and writing, completing a number of literary journalism outtakes based on individual and group reporting exercises. For your major project for the course, you may choose to write a scholarly essay or a longer work of literary journalism. This course counts as a Writing Track course for the English Major/Minor, a Journalism course for the Journalism Minor, and a Communication Studies Elective for the Communication Studies Major/Minor