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ENGLISH 91DF: Documentary Fictions

More and more of the best American fiction, plays, and even comics are being created out of documentary practices such as in-depth interviewing, oral histories, and reporting. Novels like Dave Eggers' What is the What, plays like Anna Deavere Smith's Twilight: Los Angeles, and narrative journalism like Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, all act as both witnesses and translators of people's direct experience and push art into social activism in new ways. In this course students will examine the research methods, artistic craft, and ethics of these rich, genre-bending works and then create documentary fictions of their own. Readings will include works by Truman Capote, Dave Eggers, and Lisa Taddeo, as well as Katherine Boo, author of the award-winning Behind the Beautiful Forevers, who will visit the class. No prior creative writing or journalism experience required. Note: First priority to undergrads. Students must attend the first class meeting to retain their roster spot.
Last offered: Winter 2020 | UG Reqs: WAY-CE | Repeatable 2 times (up to 8 units total)

ENGLISH 91V: Creative Nonfiction

Online workshop course. Historical and contemporary as a broad genre including travel and nature writing, memoir, biography, journalism, and the personal essay. Students use creative means to express factual content.
Last offered: Summer 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-CE

ENGLISH 92: Reading and Writing Poetry

Prerequisite: PWR 1. Issues of poetic craft. How elements of form, music, structure, and content work together to create meaning and experience in a poem. May be repeated for credit. NOTE: First priority to undergrads. Students must attend the first class meeting to retain their roster spot.
Terms: Aut, Win, Spr, Sum | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE | Repeatable 2 times (up to 10 units total)

ENGLISH 93Q: The American Road Trip

From Whitman to Kerouac, Alec Soth to Georgia O¿Keeffe, the lure of travel has inspired many American artists to pack up their bags and hit the open road. In this course we will be exploring the art and literature of the great American road trip. We will be reading and writing in a variety of genres, workshopping our own personal projects, and considering a wide breadth of narrative approaches. Assignments will range from reading Cormac McCarthy¿s novel, The Road, to listening to Bob Dylan¿s album, ¿Highway 61 Revisited.¿ We will be looking at films like Badlands and Thelma and Louise,¿acquainting ourselves with contemporary photographers, going on a number of campus-wide field trips, and finishing the quarter with an actual road trip down the California coast. Anyone with a sense of adventure is welcome!
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

ENGLISH 94Q: The Future is Feminine (FEMGEN 94Q)

Gender is one of the great social issues of our time. What does it mean to be female or feminine? How has femininity been defined, performed, punished, or celebrated? Writers are some of our most serious and eloquent investigators of these questions, and in this class we'll read many of our greatest writers on the subject of femininity, as embodied by both men and women, children and adults, protagonists and antagonists. From Virginia Woolf to Ernest Hemingway, from Beloved to Gone Girl (and even "RuPaul's Drag Race"), we'll ask how the feminine is rendered and contested. We'll do so in order to develop a history and a vocabulary of femininity so that we may, in this important time, write our own way in to the conversation. This is first and foremost a creative writing class, and our goals will be to consider in our own work the importance of the feminine across the entire spectrum of gender, sex, and identity. We will also study how we write about femininity, using other writers as mo more »
Gender is one of the great social issues of our time. What does it mean to be female or feminine? How has femininity been defined, performed, punished, or celebrated? Writers are some of our most serious and eloquent investigators of these questions, and in this class we'll read many of our greatest writers on the subject of femininity, as embodied by both men and women, children and adults, protagonists and antagonists. From Virginia Woolf to Ernest Hemingway, from Beloved to Gone Girl (and even "RuPaul's Drag Race"), we'll ask how the feminine is rendered and contested. We'll do so in order to develop a history and a vocabulary of femininity so that we may, in this important time, write our own way in to the conversation. This is first and foremost a creative writing class, and our goals will be to consider in our own work the importance of the feminine across the entire spectrum of gender, sex, and identity. We will also study how we write about femininity, using other writers as models and inspiration. As we engage with these other writers, we will think broadly and bravely, and explore the expressive opportunities inherent in writing. We will explore our own creative practices through readings, prompted exercises, improv, games, collaboration, workshop, and revision, all with an eye toward writing the feminine future.
Terms: Sum | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE
Instructors: Pufahl, S. (PI)

ENGLISH 146S: Secret Lives of the Short Story

An exploration of the short story¿s evolution, variety of voices, and formal techniques from its emergence in the 19th century to the present day. We¿ll study a range of American writers, with an aim to uncover the historical, cultural, and stylistic secrets of the Short Story, from both a literary criticism and a creative writing viewpoint.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

ENGLISH 157H: Creative Writing & Science: The Artful Interpreter (BIOHOPK 157H, BIOHOPK 257H)

What role does creativity play in the life of a scientist? How has science inspired great literature? How do you write accessibly and expressively about things like whales, DNA or cancer? This course usually begins with a field trip to Hopkins Marine Station where Stanford labs buzz with activity alongside barking seals and crashing waves. While we won't be able to visit Monterey Bay this quarter, the spirit of interdisciplinary exchange will not be lost, and students will be encouraged to get outside and engage with their local environments. As historian Jill Lepore writes of Rachel Carson: ¿She could not have written Silent Spring if she hadn't, for decades, scrambled down rocks, rolled up her pant legs, and waded into tide pools, thinking about how one thing can change another...¿n nAs a small workshop course writing process and the study of literary craft form the foundation of our work together. For inspiration we will read nonfiction by scientists who write for wide audiences and more »
What role does creativity play in the life of a scientist? How has science inspired great literature? How do you write accessibly and expressively about things like whales, DNA or cancer? This course usually begins with a field trip to Hopkins Marine Station where Stanford labs buzz with activity alongside barking seals and crashing waves. While we won't be able to visit Monterey Bay this quarter, the spirit of interdisciplinary exchange will not be lost, and students will be encouraged to get outside and engage with their local environments. As historian Jill Lepore writes of Rachel Carson: ¿She could not have written Silent Spring if she hadn't, for decades, scrambled down rocks, rolled up her pant legs, and waded into tide pools, thinking about how one thing can change another...¿n nAs a small workshop course writing process and the study of literary craft form the foundation of our work together. For inspiration we will read nonfiction by scientists who write for wide audiences and literary giants who draw from science. Students will explore the intersection between creative expression and scientific curiosity, completing three short essays and offering supportive peer feedback throughout the quarter. This course is open to all undergraduates. Note: Students must attend the first class meeting to retain their roster spot.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

ENGLISH 158H: Science Meets Literature on the Monterey Peninsula (BIOHOPK 158H, BIOHOPK 258H)

(Graduate students register for 258H.) This course will consider the remarkable nexus of scientific research and literature that developed on the Monterey Peninsula in the first half of the 20th century and how the two areas of creativity influenced each other. The period of focus begins with the 1932 association of John and Carol Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts, and Joseph Campbell, all of whom were highly influenced by the Carmel poet, Robinson Jeffers ¿ and ends with the novels Cannery Row (1945) and Sweet Thursday (1954). An indisputable high-tide mark, Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely of Travel and Research (1941) will be considered in detail. Weekend field trips will include intertidal exploration, a tour of the Jeffers Tor House in Carmel, and whale watching on Monterey Bay.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

ENGLISH 177B: Contemporary American Short Stories

An exploration of the power and diversity of the American short story ranging from the 1970s to the present day. By examining short stories historically, critically, and¿above all¿as art objects, students will learn how to read, interpret, critique, and enjoy short stories as social, political, and humanist documents. Students will learn techniques to craft their own short stories and their own critical essays in a course that combines creative practice and the art of critical appreciation.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE

ENGLISH 182E: Photography in Fiction

Since its invention in the early 19th century, photography has found countless documentary and artistic applications. As an art form, it is not only a medium of its own, but one which has entered into fascinating dialogue with other media, from film to dance. Perhaps nowhere has photography been put to such intriguing multimedia use as in fiction. Since the early 20thcentury, authors as diverse as Virginia Woolf, German novelist W.G. Sebald, and the contemporary Sri-Lankan-Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje, have deployed photographs throughout their texts. In this course, we will look at this literary tradition, exploring the way that text and image enter into a complex dance, at times enhancing narrative, at times troubling it. What can we make of these strange and wonderful hybrids? What place do images have in traditional narratives? What are the ethics of such work in an age in which the technological distinction between truth and fiction is becoming ever more blurred? As we read (and look), we will find ourselves not only drawn into the narratives themselves, but sent beyond them, into questions of history, gender, trauma, and memory.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-CE
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