A workshop in the art and craft of the long form nonfiction story, primarily written, but the course will also consider, and offer opportunities to create, essays in other media: video documentary and web essays (in the latter case integrating images into the text). Discussion sessions will deal with the formal demands of the essay, its origins and enrichment from the Renaissance to the twentieth century, but also with issues of tone, language and "plot" in different genres like sports writing, music (including pop and rock), food writing and business. At some point or other the class will look at the work of Hazlitt, Ruskin, Orwell, Ring Lardner, M.F.K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, Hunter Thompson, Lester Bangs, Charles Dantzig, David Foster Wallace and the filmmaker Adam Curtis.
This course is by application only. Students will be selected from the Writing Program, and from the English, History, and Art History Departments. At least six students from the Writing Program will be admitted to the course.