Reading and Writing Nonfiction: Childhood and Its Aftermaths (LIT4521.01)

Jenny Boully

In this course, we will read and write nonfiction that, while not entirely focused on childhood, examines the self and present circumstance through a reexamination of the child self. Through reading works such as When You Learn the Alphabet and Fruit Punch by Kendra Allen, Heart Berries by Terese Maire Mailhot, What About the Rest of Your Life by Sung Yim, The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard, The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch, and If You Knew Then What I Know Now by Ryan Van Meter, we will examine the underpinnings of childhood, its joys and traumas all, and how these play out in essayistic and memoiristic texts. Paying particular attention to form and style, students will write their own nonfictions that are introspective and investigative, and provide, as these authors do, an existential or theoretical approach to dismantling or assembling their childhoods in light of one’s present considerations.


Learning Outcomes:
o To read and interpret nonfiction literary texts with attention to shifts in forms, language, metaphor, tone, and other devices;
o To assimilate feedback in one’s revision process as well as complete significant revisions of one's creative work;
o To articulate critical and constructive feedback, both verbally and written, on the work of peers as well as texts discussed in class;
o To examine one’s own creative process and its possibilities.


Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Interested students should submit a one-page creative nonfiction sample using these five words: bruise, horse, milk, reason, and bride, via this form by May 9, 2024. Students will be notified of their acceptance into the course by May 14, 2024.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
W 2:10PM - 5:50PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Literature
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