Creative Writing

Curriculum & Classes

Class descriptions

Topics in American Literature: Contemporary Drama

Through reading and analyzing serious and evocative drama and viewing plays adapted to film, this course attempts to unravel the intricate mosaic that constitutes contemporary American society. Issues of race, gender, class, peace, justice, the American Dream, alienation and the yearning for spiritual fulfillment will be discussed in reference to historical conflicts and continuities in contemporary American society.

Topics in European Literature: Literature of the Holocaust

In a terrible but understandable way the Holocaust radically altered the conception of the human. As Elie Wiesel said, “at Auschwitz not only man died but also the idea of man.” Holocaust literature is the record of what one critic called this double dying, and an affirmation of a spirit that could not be vanquished. This course will study a select group of novels and short stories, poems and plays, memoirs, diaries, journals and films in an attempt to adequately measure a chronicling of radical evil and the range of human responses to it.

Topics in Global/Comparative Literature: The Japanese Novel

This course will focus on the 11th century masterpiece “The Tale of Genji,” the world’s first novel. Murasaki Shikibu, an aristocratic lady-in-waiting of middle rank at the Heian court, captures the essence of the Japanese aesthetic in a melancholy journey into the heartbreak and beauty of court life. Shikibu explores Japan’s deep connection to nature and its Buddhist foundation. The book is a marvelous read in which the reader enters the strange lost world of the shining prince.

Formal Pop Poetry Workshop

This creative writing class begins with identification of formal principles of poetry and how they are appropriated by the popular arts and consumerist culture to do everything from soothe, edify, cajole, sell, seduce and create desire. We will study these poetic principles as we try and determine what is the best, better, good and poor writing in the following market forms: greeting cards, product names, restaurant menus, magazine ad copy, movie and videotape descriptions, personals, comic book dialogue, billboards and radio ads. Students will create their own pieces using traditional poetic elements to meet the demanding formal constraints of market needs.

Class schedules and course requirements

For a list of class schedules, click here.

For a list of major academic requirements, click here.

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