Fall 2018 Writing Studies Course Offerings

We have a great lineup for you this fall! Take a look:

ENG 550: Practice of Writing (Core Class)

(CRN 40668)

Mondays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.

Professor Tom Coyne

This course is designed as an Introduction to the Writing Studies Program, and it allows students to explore a variety of genres while they explore career options within the writing/publishing world. Students will literally “walk in the shoes” of different writers, playing the role of columnist, reporter, editor, poet, and fiction writer. At the end of the course, students will reflect on these different roles and begin brainstorming a possible thesis project in one area. Core Course

ENG 620: Special Topics in Literature: Literature of Place (Area I)

(CRN 40669)

Tuesdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.

Dr. Owen Gilman

The role of place looms large in a wide range of American literary texts—the South of James Dickey (Deliverance) and Eudora Welty (Golden Apples); the New England of Stephen King (Carrie), Edith Wharton (Ethan Frome), Emily Dickinson, and Robert Frost; the West of Gretel Ehrlich (The Solace of Open Spaces) and Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It).  Texts such as these show how the details of life experience in a given place add hugely to the shape and spirit of the narratives and poems created within those places.  As the concept of place takes hold, we will look to identify place-specific details and patterns that could be used in writing reflective of Philadelphia and its environs.  There will be both creative explorations of place and analytical responses to the assigned texts. This course fulfills Area I.

ENG 680: Writing for Nonprofits (Area III)

(CRN 40672)

Tuesdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.

Professor Maureen Saraco

Open to grad students with permission from the director.

Precise, exciting, accessible, and emotive writing is central to the success of any nonprofit organization. Writing is how these organizations explain their missions, make people care, and raise the money they need to keep the doors open and advance their causes. This course will teach you the basics of how to write for a nonprofit organization, and how to tailor your message and style to various audiences. Focusing primarily on grant writing, you will learn the basics of how to ask for money from organizations in writing and how to navigate the grant-making process from the initial research to the submission of the final proposal. You will also practice writing other important pieces for any nonprofit, like appeal letters, blog posts, social media outreach, performance reports, and more. Through hands-on practice with real Philadelphia-area nonprofits, you’ll learn how to write for the different audiences a nonprofit organization needs to reach. By the end of the course, you will have learned about writing’s relationship to the nonprofit fundraising and donor outreach processes. You’ll also have completed a portfolio of professional pieces designed to positively impact local communities in need. While this course is geared towards the writing skills suited to nonprofit organizations, many of these skills are also transferrable to writing at other kinds of professional organizations. This course fulfills Area III.

ENG 641: Special Topics Writing Workshop – Bodies in Crisis: Narratives of Illness, Medicine and Hope (Area II)

(CRN 40670)

Wednesdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.

Dr. Ann Green

In “Bodies in Crisis,” we’ll explore how race, class, gender, and sexuality are depicted in “medical writing,” broadly defined. By reading the writing of caregivers, medical professionals, and patients, we will consider how systemic racism, sexism, and homophobia have affected how all of us engage with the medical system.  We’ll particularly focus on the medicalization/crisis of the Black body through poetry by Bettina Judd and a novel by Writing Studies alum David Jackson. We will also consider how gender impacts access to care and perceptions of the female body throughout the U.S. Participants will write about their own experience with bodies/medicine, explore what medical writing as a profession looks like, engage in some service with people whose bodies are in crisis (during class time), and conceive of and execute a final project relevant to the course topic and the participant’s goals for his/her/they writing. We will read poetry, a novel, a memoir, and a collection of vignettes as we consider these ideas. This course fulfills Area II.

  • Brother I am Dying, Edwidge Danticat
  •  Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir, Ellen Forney.
  • State of the Nation, David Ambrose Jackson (SJU Writing Studies graduate)
  • Patient: Poems, Bettina Judd.
  • Kitchen Table Wisdom, Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

ENG 668: Creative Nonfiction Workshop (Area III)

(CRN 40671)

Thursdays – 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.

Dr. Melissa Goldthwaite

Creative Nonfiction will explore literary diaries and journals, memoir, the personal essay, cultural criticism, and literary journalism. We’ll analyze and practice different forms of creative nonfiction with attention to both student and professional writing. This class will provide a context in which students can learn the conventions of the genre—from finding a topic to creating a structure, from scene making to fact finding and more; participate in the process of discovery and research; and work with others in crafting, drafting, revising, and seeking a larger audience through publication. Assignments include discussion of assigned readings, keeping a writer’s notebook, participating in weekly writing exercises, and writing, workshopping, and revising short (2-pages), medium (5-7 pages), and longer (20-pages) creative nonfiction pieces. This course fulfills Area III.

Registration begins Monday, April 9!




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