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Literature MFA Course Descriptions FA20

Pre-authorization is required for students not enrolled in the Literature Department's MFA Program in Creative Writing. Please submit any pre-authorization request through the Enrollment Authorization System.

Chaos, Territory, Text

Instructor: Kazim Ali

We write in space—within bodies, houses, cities, ecosystems, planets, stellar spatiotemporal matrices.  This studio/workshop will focus on the pressures and presences in our texts produced by this precise moment of social distance and isolation resulting from biomedical and political crises as well as already existing alienations both political, ecological, economic, and psychic. Deleuze’s concepts of art’s potential and necessity, as well as various kinesthetic, kinetic, choreographic, collaborative, and flanêrique approaches, will provide a foundation to engage with the vital possibilities and provocations of students’ creative work.

Comics for Writers
Instructor: Anna Joy Springer

In this class we’ll practice storytelling and poetry in comics, with emphasis on how this time-based literary form uniquely moves a reader between reading and seeing and aspects of complex narration. This is a hybrid literary arts and literature study course. It is a class for writers, so no particular drawing skill is necessary and emphasis will be placed on written as well as visual design. The course consists of comics-making techniques, in-class drawing, sharing work for comments, and discussion of narrative & artistic features of published comics and graphic novels,. Over the course, you will make 3 finished, perfectly reproduced comics and give one professional teaching presentation on form & content in a chosen work, in addition to keeping a notebook-sketchbook for weekly practice exercises.

Course Texts: Drawing Words & Writing Pictures by Matt Madden and Jessica Abel, Why Comics by Hillary Chute, Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, Best American Comics 2019 ed Jillian Tamaki, Skim by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, and My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris. You will also need to purchase art supplies. Please note, due to the nature of the form, this course is significantly more time-intensive than most writing classes. It is not a workshop.