Upcoming Special Topics Courses

Special Topics Courses 2017-2018

 

Fall 2017:

9CT Fire Stories with Kai Carlson-Wee From the onset of language, the art of storytelling has played an enormous roll in the development of human culture, allowing us to learn, retain knowledge, entertain friends, and empathize deeply with others. With the advancement of so many digital mediums, there are now more ways to tell stories than ever. In Fire Stories we will be exploring the art of storytelling in the digital age. We will be reading and writing in a variety of genres, workshopping our own personal projects, and frequently meeting outdoors to tell stories around a fire.

190T.1 First Person Fiction with NoViolet Bulawayo

190T.2 Novel Writing Intensive (NaNoWriMo) with Scott Hutchins and Tom Kealey Based on National Novel Writing Month, students write a full-length (50,000 words) novel during the month of November. We’ll spend the first four to five weeks of the course carefully laying the groundwork for our novels. We’ll look at several published models, write synopses, outlines, character sketches, and search tirelessly for the novel’s engine: its voice. And then, we’ll write 1700 words a day, every day, for the month of November.

190T.3/192T Flash Fiction/Prose Poetry with Keith Ekiss and Brittany Perham This workshop will explore the range of the prose poem and short-short forms. We will consider the history of the genres, discussing how they originate from the craft of lineated poetry and traditional narrative (parables and fables, for example). Weekly exercises will push our writing in new directions as we explore micro-forms that encourage risk-taking and playfulness. Authors under discussion will include: Arthur Rimbaud, Edgar Allan Poe, Claudia Rankine, Maggie Nelson, and Lydia Davis.

Winter 2018:

9CT Poetic Forms with Michael Shewmaker  This course is a poetry workshop. We will spend the first half of the quarter reading and writing in traditional forms (blank verse, sonnet, villanelle, ghazal, sestina, etc.) and the second half innovating from those forms. We will consider how a writer might honor tradition without being confined by it. The culmination of the course will be a project in which the student invents (and writes in) a form of their own.

90Q Sophomore Seminar: Sports Writing with John Evans Study and practice of the unique narratives, tropes, images and arguments that creative writers develop when they write about popular sport. 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. Visit https://exploreintrosems.stanford.edu/sophomores-transfer-students for information about applying for the course.

91.1 with Austin Smith This section of Creative Nonfiction is focused on nature writing. We’ll be reading essays, stories, and poems that explore and meditate upon humanity’s relationship (and, in some cases, estrangement from) the natural world. As to our own writing, prospective students can expect to: keep a journal throughout the quarter; become very well-acquainted with a particular campus tree of their choice; and write and act in a class play. Our goal is to make our own small but important contribution to the vast and diverse field that is “nature writing.”

91xx (new course – suffix TBA) Asian-American Autobiography/Writing with Prof. Chang-rae Lee This is a dual purpose class: a writing workshop in which you will generate autobiographical vignettes/essays as well as a reading seminar featuring prose from a wide range of contemporary Asian-American writers. Some of the many questions we will consider are:  What exactly is ‘Asian-American’ memoir? Are there salient subjects and tropes that define the literature? And in what ways do our writerly interactions – both resistant and assimilative – with a predominantly non-Asian context in turn recreate that context? We’ll be working/experimenting with various modes of telling, including personal essay, the epistolary form, verse, and even fictional scenarios.

190D Dialogue Writing with Harriet Clark

190F Fiction into Film with Shimon Tanaka   Fiction Into Film is designed as a bridge from fiction writing to writing for film. We will be reading adapted screenplays and source material (novels and short stories), completing writing exercises to help us learn the form and craft of screenplays, and also watching and analyzing movies to see how film structure works.

190T.1 Novella Salon with Mark Labowskie and Kate Petersen Students in the novella salon will read widely in the genre and have the opportunity to discuss craft issues peculiar to the form with visiting writers throughout the quarter. A series of short writing exercises based on the novellas we read will serve to explore and refine principles like compression, world-building, voice, and dramatic structure, and prepare students to write their own novella-length works.

190T.2 Twitter Fiction with Scott Hutchins

190T.3 Young Adult Writing with Nina Schloesser  This is an intermediate course on the art and craft of fiction writing in the young adult genre. We’ll read widely in the genre, discovering principles of craft that generate powerful and enduring young adult fiction. Students will begin a young adult novel and submit pages to the class on a weekly basis. The goal of our workshop will be to support and encourage one another through the early stages of novel-writing, so that each of us finishes the quarter at a high point of motivation and interest in our material.

192V The Occasions of Poetry with Mohr Visiting Poet Louise Glück: author info here

Spring 2018:

9CT.1 Flash Fiction with Kate Petersen Brevity may be the soul of wit, but it’s also the power-source for “flash” or “sudden” fiction. We’ll read widely in this form of very short stories, essays and prose poems, investigating what happens to narrative when it’s highly compressed. Students will complete in-class and take-home craft exercises, and write and workshop “sudden” pieces of their own, culminating in a chapbook.

9CT.2 Form and Transformation with Shannon Pufahl  How do we turn what we feel into what we write? And how do we make readers feel what we want them to? In this course we’ll examine work across genres — fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry — paying careful attention to the ways in which a poem or story or essay transforms language into emotion.  We will learn to describe emotion more fully and deeply, and to create work that evokes emotion elegantly and subtly.

92T Poetry in Translation with Solmaz Sharif

93Q Sophomore Seminar: The American Road Trip with Kai Carlson-Wee 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. We will be looking at films, 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. Visit https://exploreintrosems.stanford.edu/sophomores-transfer-students for information about applying for the course.

190T.1 Video Games with Scott Hutchins and Michael Shewmaker

190T.2 Novel Salon with Sarah Frisch and Shimon Tanaka :Who better to discuss a book with than its author? Each week at the Novel Salon, you will meet and talk with prize-winning authors about their novels, their writing practice, and what it takes to get a book out into the world. If you want to read like a writer and read with other writers, then join us each Monday night to discuss, debate, and absorb. This class will not involve workshops but will include in-class writing exercises and a reading load of one novel a week.

190T.3 Script Writing Intensive – Hoffs-Roach Tutorials with Tom Kealey and Shimon Tanaka: Students will complete a full-length film script (80-120 pages) during the quarter – This is similar to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), but for film scripts. We will spend the first four weeks hashing out the loglines, pitches, and structure of our stories, and then six weeks writing our scripts.  We’ll also do a number of exercises along the way to help us understand our characters and we’ll read examples of effective screen writing.

190V Reading for Writers with Stein Visiting Writer Ron Carlson: author info here

191V Reading for Nonfiction Writers with Stein Visiting Writer Rebecca Solnit: author info here

192T Poetry Salon with Keith Ekiss and Brittany Perham In the Poetry Salon, you will meet and talk each week with prize-winning authors about what it takes to craft a book of poetry and make your way in the world as a writer. Reading in a diversity of styles, from a wide range of contemporary poets, we’ll stretch our understanding of the possibilities of poetic form. Weekly writing exercises and emulations will allow us to develop our own writing alongside our classroom guests.