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ENGLISH 90: Fiction Writing

The elements of fiction writing: narration, description, and dialogue. Students write complete stories and participate in story workshops. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: PWR 1 (waived in summer quarter). 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 for credit

ENGLISH 90Q: Sports Writing

Study and practice of the unique narratives, tropes, images and arguments that creative writers develop when they write about popular sport. From regional fandom to individualist adventuring, boxing and baseball to mascot dancing and table tennis, exceptional creative writers mine from a diversity of leisure activity a rich vein of ¿sports writing¿ in the creative nonfiction genre. In doing so, they demonstrate the creative and formal adaptability required to write with excellence about any subject matter, and under the circumstances of any subjectivity. Discussion of the ways in which writers have framed, and even critiqued, our interest in athletic events, spectatorship, and athletic beauty. Writers include Joyce Carol Oates, Roland Barthes, David James Duncan, Arnold Rampersad, John Updike, Maxine Kumin, Susan Sterling, Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, Dervla Murphy, Haruki Murakami, Don DeLillo, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Annie Dillard, John McPhee, and Laura Hillenbrand. Close readings of essays on form and sport, as well as book excerpts. Students will engage in class discussions and write short weekly papers, leading to a more comprehensive project at the end of the quarter.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE
Instructors: Evans, J. (PI)

ENGLISH 91: Creative Nonfiction

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. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: PWR 1 (waived in summer quarter and for SLE students). 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 for credit

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 for credit

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 94: Creative Writing Across Genres

For minors in creative writing. The forms and conventions of the contemporary short story and poem. How form, technique, and content combine to make stories and poems organic. Prerequisite: 90, 91, or 92.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | 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: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-CE
Instructors: Pufahl, S. (PI)

ENGLISH 101C: Pursuits of Happiness

This course offers a critical and historical examination of our culture¿s obsession with defining, measuring, and representing happiness. We will explore the sources of contemporary ideas about happiness in nineteenth-century debates over the relationship between self and society; the shifting balance of desire and duty; and the complex entanglement of art, morality, and pleasure. Readings will include influential philosophical accounts of happiness from across the century, alongside major literary representations of the happiness and misery of modern life in works by Wordsworth, Austen, Dickens, and Wilde. We will consider literature¿s special power to evoke visions of the happy life, even as it questions dominant ideas about the nature and value of happiness. At the same time, we will reflect on the ways happiness informs our reading, writing, and thinking about literary texts¿above and beyond the satisfactions of a happy ending.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Taylor, M. (PI)

ENGLISH 104: The Art of the Book: Renaissance to Modernism

W.B. Yeats once sought inspiration in "the foul rag and bone shop of the heart," a place where litter and scraps were recycled into the paper that held his poems. In this course, we will reconsider the literary text as a physical object, tracing how writers integrate its physical characteristics into their poetry and prose during eras of increasing mechanization. How do these texts ask us to ¿read¿ the printed page? When and why do we ignore it? How does literature engage our senses and call attention to itself? This course will include meetings in Stanford Special collections to examine original editions of our texts. Readings include works by William Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Laurence Sterne, William Blake, William Morris, W.B. Yeats, and Gertrude Stein.
Last offered: Spring 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ENGLISH 106B: Bad Taste

While English classes usually focus on works of art and literature collectively considered good, this class revels in the bad: the embarrassing or disgusting, the artistic failure, the guilty pleasure. With the help of some influential theorists of aesthetic badness, and a selection of ¿bad¿ examples drawn from poetry, fiction, film, and visual art, we will examine the categories¿ugly, kitschy, campy, sappy, problematic, and so on¿that have been and continue to be used to police what is and is not art, and to distinguish ¿good¿ art from ¿bad.¿ We will consider how artistic hierarchies become entangled with other kinds of hierarchies, exploring how ¿bad¿ art both sustains and subverts racial, sexual, and economic power. Why, for example, are the terms ¿rom com¿ and ¿chick flick¿ so often used dismissively? What makes a work of art provocative and avant-garde, rather than offensive¿or simply gross? And when does the ¿merely¿ bad become ¿so-bad-it¿s-good¿? In the final three weeks of the course, the students will be asked to reflect on the terms they themselves use to evaluate and describe cultural products, and to provide categories and case studies from their own experiences as consumers.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Taylor, M. (PI)
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