A Spectrum of Essays: The Right Kind of Trouble
Instructor: Bruce Bromley
Section: 001 (#8936)
Prerequisite: Writing the Essay
Students concerned about not meeting the course prerequisite, please contact Professor Bruce Bromley.
In 2016, during a public conversation with writers Sonia Sanchez and Ta-Nehisi Coates, Toni Morrison declared: “I want to remind us all that art is dangerous. I want to remind you of the history of artists who have been murdered, slaughtered, imprisoned, chopped up, refused entrance. The history of art, whether it is music or written or what have you, has always been bloody because dictators and people who want to control and deceive know exactly the people who will disturb their plans. . . . And it’s something that society has to protect. When you enter that field, no matter where you enter, it’s a dangerous pursuit. You have to know it before you start and do it under those circumstances, because it is one of the most important things that human beings do.” Our course will look at strong examples in multiple artforms of work that “disturbs [the] plans” set out by conventional thinking and the rigid lives such thinking means to organize. We’ll work, over the semester, at writing two longer-form essays that think about risk-taking and its potential benefits. We’ll experience, in class, films such as Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019); Francis Lee’s Ammonite (2020); and Chloë Zhao’s Nomadland (2020). We’ll read the poetry of Lucille Clifton and Terrance Hayes and watch a recent documentary on the painter Paula Rego. To support students’ efforts to write a final essay about a thinker of their choice, in any discipline, we’ll linger over examples of what it can mean both to think within a field and to contribute to its ample future. Those examples deserve our attention, in a current world whose complexities require our commitment to speak back to them.
Advanced Essay Writing for Science
This advanced writing course offers offers science and pre-health students the opportunity to design and conduct intensive individual research, write honors-level essays for the public and for the academy, and deliver a professional presentation. The course will rely upon the work of professional scientists and writers, and students will be encouraged to attend several public events about science and writing. Students will be encouraged to present their own research at the Undergraduate Research Conference and to submit completed essays for publication in Mercer Street.
Writing in Community
Instructor: Laura Weinert-Kendt, Language Lecturer, EWP
Prerequisite: B+ or better grade for "Writing The Essay"
Writing in Community is a course for students who are passionate about writing and community service and would like to explore the dynamic relationship between these two pursuits. Each week, we will have online sessions in which we mentor under-served high school students in essay writing. To prepare for these, we will have weekly online meetings of our own to enhance our writing and mentoring skills and allow us to reflect as writers and thinkers on pressing social concerns. Students develop ideas from the course into essays.
Students who are concerned about not meeting the course prerequisite or desiring special permission should contact Laura Weinert-Kendt at email@example.com.
Research, Writing, and Speaking in the Disciplines
Prerequisite: Writing the Essay (EXPOS-UA 1) or International Workshop I (EXPOS-UA 4) and International Workshop II (EXPOS-UA 9) or their equivalent.
A multidisciplinary course for students who want to better understand how the research they conduct in their majors relates to the communication of that research. Course materials are determined in part by the interests and academic concentrations of enrolled students as well as independent research and foundational works on research history. Students will be invited to analyze scholarship in their discipline(s), develop and refine a research question, research and write an annotated bibliography that will help them to generate a capstone final project or literature review. The course will culminate with presenting their projects and addressing questions of communicating research to various audiences.
Students awarded—or planning to seek—a Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund (DURF) grant or who will be presenting in the CAS Undergraduate Research Conference are especially encouraged to enroll. Past students in this course have gone on to win several DURF grants, the Gallatin Global Fellowship in Human Rights, and the prestigious Marion Cohen Griffel Research Scholar award.
ASPP-UT 1009 / ASPP-GT 1009
Writing the Artist Statement: Representing Your Work for Funding and Beyond
In this course, you will develop the skills you need to write about your own work. We will study a variety of personal statements, project descriptions, manifestos, and other artist writings, examining them for their relative strengths and weaknesses with an eye towards the most effective expressive strategies. A series of guided reading and writing exercises will help you think about what your work is, what it means, and why it matters--how it’s situated with regard to tradition, culture, and aesthetic practice--so that you will be able to craft language and produce a variety of types of artist statements that accurately and effectively represent you as an artist and thinker while asserting the value of the work you make.
After we explore a variety of public and private sources of funding, fellowships, and residencies in the US, you will use search resources to research and identify several opportunities that would be appropriate for your work. You will prepare applications for two opportunities of your choosing (three for graduate students), curating work samples that collaborate with your statements to create a compelling application. You will also prepare elevator pitches that translate the essentials of your artist statements into language you could speak casually to interest someone in your work.
You will exit the course with writing that you might revise and reuse for many different purposes in your professional creative life.
For more information, please contact Elizabeth Mikesell at firstname.lastname@example.org.