ENGL 120: Creative Writing: How to Captivate and Persuade
Creative writing is everywhere. It connects authors and audiences whether you are reading a novel or driving past a billboard. This paper will train students in the craft of writing expressively and persuasively across a wide range of creative modes and media. From writing literary fiction for the printed page or for social media platforms, to producing compelling and poetic sales copy, this paper provides students with the basic knowledge and skills that allows them to connect with a target audience and become better storytellers. It will pose questions concerning the very nature of “literary” language and examine the ways in which such language can command our attention, stir our emotions, and thus encourage us toward action.
Workshops will guide students in hands-on writing tasks in each creative mode covered in the paper. Students will also receive guidance in the practice of constructive peer critique.
More specifically, this paper will enable to students to recognise and replicate creative writing across a range of forms, genres and media; that is, it will emphasise “transmedial” qualities of literary language. At the same time, it will enable students to recognise qualities of creative writing that are “media specific” according to the affordances and limitations of a particular form.
Topics will vary and will include:
- Crime fiction
- Creative copywriting
- Character dialogues
- Digital narratives
- Satirical fiction
ENGL 233: Approaches to Literary Studies
Taking as our primary object of study Joseph Conrad’s classic novel Heart of Darkness, this paper will introduce students to a range of analytical approaches and theories of literary study. Over the semester, we will investigate how critics have interpreted the novel using New Criticism; narrative theory; structuralism and formalism; Marxist criticism; gender and feminist theory; adaptation studies; New Historicism; postcolonial theory; psychoanalytic criticism, and cognitive/evolutionary approaches to literary study.
ENGL 342: Digital Literature: Technologies of Storytelling
In an increasingly digitised, networked, and visual culture, it has become clear that narrative is only one among many forms that is used to organise information and represent our world. The movement from print to digital media, however, has by no means left this cultural form behind. This course will introduce and analyse a range of narrative fiction that has emerged with the ascendancy of digital media, including hypertexts and Web-based fiction; textual adventure games/Interactive Fictions (IFs); and text-based multi-user discourses (MUDs). It will also address the role of narrative in structuring and shaping artefacts of contemporary popular culture that are exclusive to screen media, such blogs and video games.
ENGL 467: Storyworlds and Cognition
ENGL 467 applies advanced narrative theory to a range of fictional storyworlds across media, including texts in print (novels and short fiction) and in digital environments (digital fiction and videogames). More specifically, it combines cognitive-based narrative theory and literary theory in order to identify the affordances and limitations of different modes and media, with particular focus on the representation of fictional minds. In recognizing the ways in which narratives across media represent consciousness and cognition, we aim to determine what such texts can tell us about the minds of actual readers, viewers, and players in turn.