Upcoming Special Topics Courses

Special Topics Courses 2016-17


Winter 2017:

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.

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.

190D Dialogue Writing with Tom Kealey 

190F Fiction into Film with Shimon Tanaka

190T.1/191T.1 Family Stories with Dana Kletter: Using short stories, personal essays, and memoir, examines various ways to approach family history, negotiate memory, and locate the story within our stories.

190T.2 Young Adult Writing with Nina Schloesser

190V Reading for Writers with Stein Visiting Writer Stuart Dybek

192V The Occasions of Poetry with Mohr Visiting Poet Robert Pinsky



Spring 2017:

9CT Nature Writing with Austin Smith: The focus of this course will be on the essay, though we will be reading work across genres. There will be at least one field trip off the Stanford campus to the redwoods and the ocean. And throughout the quarter we will be taking good advantage of our beautiful campus: the Arboretum, the Sculpture Garden, the museums, etc. Expect to spend lots of time immersed in nature, literally and literarily. Required materials include: pen, notebook, magnifying glass, binoculars, and a good pair of shoes.

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.

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

190T.2 Novel Salon with Sarah Frisch and Harriet Clark: Each week students will read a novel by a contemporary author, analyze the book as writers, and discuss the process of writing, revising, and sending a book out into the world during a class visit with the author.

191V Reading for Writers with Stein Visiting Writer Rebecca Solnit

92/192T Political Poetry with Solmaz Sharif: This poetry workshop will look at the intersection between activism, identity, and form. We will read poetry, manifestos, and essays demonstrating how poets have responded to sociohistorical realities. We will play close attention to political ruptures in literature formulating our own individual and collective position on what poetry of today should do.