Creative Writing

What is a comparative poetics? Across which boundaries does poetry move—and move us? This creating writing course takes up the question of how poetry moves across form, language, media, the self, geography, and our readerly expectations. Over the course of the summer session, we will pair the practice of writing our own poetry with the critical reading of poetic texts and one another’s work. Each week of this course is organized around a theme: form(ation), translation, mixed-mediation, narrativization, re/dislocation, and experimentation.

Topics in American Cultures

The Statue of Liberty with welcome torch always raised. The Hollywood sign against golden California hills. Subways and freeways running like arteries above and below ground, offering to transport us around and across the city. Many iconic images of New York City and Los Angeles construct U.S. urban centers as a space of endless movement and possibility.

Reading & Composition

What does life look like in “plague-time”?

What does it mean for a body, a place, a community to be “clean” or “unclean”?

What can we learn from fictional and historical sites of contamination?

Reading & Composition

A revenant is defined as that which returns, the remnant of being that clings to the earth beyond the boundary of death. In other words, a ghost.

Reading & Composition

Sagas of outlaws and Viking warriors fated to die. Verses containing wisdom, magic, and myth. Songs of legendary heroes and the treacheries that befall them. Medieval Scandinavians left us a vast literary inheritance in both Old Norse poetry and prose. These texts present a unique window into Scandinavian worldview that emerges on the periphery of the known world during the Middle Ages.

Reading & Composition R1A (Cancelled 05/10/21)

This course takes up its task of developing critical reading and writing skills via an exploration of texts that stage their own reading and reception within the work. More specifically, we will focus on texts—such as Boccaccio’s Decameron and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales—in which the characters themselves narrate and discuss other stories. Though this genre emerges in the West in the Middle Ages, it remains productive up to the present day, and similar literary traditions exist in other cultures across the globe.

Fiction and Culture of the Americas

What is meant when we say someone or something “sounds American”? Can a person sound like a certain gender, social class, sexuality, or race? How would we possibly define that sound? And what might it mean to think of a culture by the ways it sounds and listens, instead of how it looks or sees? This course will explore these questions and others by studying podcasts, poems, songs, novels, and the changing forms of sonic technologies like microphones, radios, mp3s, turntables, and more.