The Scriptorium: Finding Meaning in the Madness (WRI2160.01)

Jeni Legg

The Scriptorium, a “place for writing,” is a class for writers interested in improving their critical essay-writing skills. We will read to write and write to read. Much of our time will be occupied with writing and revising—essai means “trial” or “attempt”—as we work to create new habits and productive strategies for analytical writing. As we write in various essay structures with the aim of developing a persuasive, well-supported thesis statement, we will also revise collaboratively, improve our research and citation skills, and study grammar and style. We will strive for clarity, concision, and expressiveness as we read and respond to historical and contemporary interpretations of madness. In particular, we will explore how writers have used the theme of madness to investigate, represent, and understand larger social ills. We will study essays, short stories, novels, films, as well as brief histories and theories of madness. Our readings may include such authors as: Plato, Edgar Allen Poe, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Frantz Fanon, Ernst Canetti, Vladimir Nabokov, Michel Foucault, and a series of essays by contemporary writers.

Learning Outcomes:
• Closely read and analyze a variety of texts on the topic of madness, representing a range of voices and styles
• Learn about and practice grammar, revision, and research and citation skills
• Write in various styles, including personal reflections, explications, and longer, revised essays
• Engage with your colleagues to create a productive writing community
• Use inquiry to create a persuasive, well-supported thesis statement
• Use the resources, including databases, in Crossett Library
• Work collaboratively with your colleagues to revise and edit your writing
• Try new and productive habits of reading and writing

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 3:40PM - 5:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Updates , Writing