⚠⚠⚠ Due to uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it may become necessary to alter a course, including its mode of delivery, after registration. Changes will be communicated in advance whenever possible, accompanied by resources for student support. Regardless of delivery mode changes, we will continue to provide students with the type of personalized, active learning environments that are the hallmark of the St. Thomas educational experience. ⚠⚠⚠
Introduction to Creative Writing and Publishing provides a primer to the expectations and conventions of graduate study in the field of creative writing, including creative writing pedagogy and practice, the running of a literary reading series, innovative forms of creative writing such as podcasting and interactive writing, as well as the study of the publishing world from the point of view of a writer, reader, and editor. Additionally, it will introduce students to the academic field of creative writing: its area of specialization, key issues, and forms of writing. How do writers orient themselves and their work in 21st century workshops? What are the tools that govern print design, interactive prose, or literary podcasts? What is the history of the publishing industry and how does that inform our present moment? This course is required for the Master of Arts in Creative Writing & Publishing and is an elective for the Master of Arts in English.
This course provides an introduction to the expectations and conventions of graduate study, including research and writing methodology. In addition, it will introduce students to the field of English studies: its areas of specialization, key issues, and genres of writing. This course must be taken as one of the first three courses in the MA in English program.
How do we write about—or from—perspectives that differ greatly from our own? Is doing so an “act of ethical urgency” (Hari Kunzru), or is it cultural appropriation? In this hybrid creative writing/literature course, we will write from places of discomfort and unfamiliarity. We will write from positionalities of gender, (dis)ability, sexuality, age, religion, class, and race that differ from our own. Before doing so, we will read broadly and discuss theories of otherness, normativity, craft, research, and writing; we will also read recent examples of both ethical and problematic fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and the discourses that surround them. The course will be approximately fifty percent creative writing & fifty percent craft/critical theory, with an eye toward balancing Kunzru’s call for “humility in the face of otherness” with Toni Morrison’s injunction to “[t]hink of somebody you don’t know.” Students are encouraged to write creative work in any of the major genres, including genre hybrids.
In the twenty-first century, celebrities are a ubiquitous feature of everyday life—in part due to the rise of new media, which allow for the viral transmission and recirculation of news across culture. The postmodern idea of the literary celebrity got its start during the nineteenth century with the development of new communication technologies: film, photography, illustrated advertising, and mass-market newspapers. In this course, we will explore case studies from the nineteenth century—Letitia Landon, Frederick Douglass, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde—in order to consider how their engagement with popular media anticipated celebrity culture in the present moment. We will also examine the fan groups and literary tourism industries that sprang up in response to writers’ celebrated book publications. In the process, we will examine novels, biography, autobiography, and recent theory on literary celebrity. The course will meet for two hours per week via Zoom; the remaining hour per week will be dedicated to asynchronous learning activities. After 11/19, students will work independently and in Zoom conference with the instructor on independent research projects. There will be a final online meeting of the class on 12/17 for a mini conference.