This course offers a concentrated study of non-fiction literary texts, with a particular emphasis on the genre of creative non-fiction. Creative non-fiction is a relatively new term for non-fiction literary texts that employ narrative techniques from fiction (and sometimes poetry) to tell true stories or recount real events. As such, creative non-fiction can encompass such writing as memoir, personal essays, travel narratives, and investigative or journalistic reporting (mostly told from a personal point of view). Due to the fact that creative non-fiction draws on stylistic and narrative techniques from genres like fiction and poetry, we’ll draw on many of the same critical approaches of other genres. In addition to creative non-fiction texts, we will also read scholarly essays devoted to the genre to help develop our critical awareness of the genre. Lastly, there will be an opportunity, for the last essay, to write your own creative non-fiction piece that draws on the material we have covered over the course of the semester.
Didion, Joan. The Year of Magical Thinking. NY: Vintage, 2007.
Flynn, Nick. The Ticking is the Bomb. NY: Norton, 2010.
Ondaatje, Michael. Running in the Family. NY: Vintage, 1993.
Shopsin, Tamara. Mumbai New York Scranton: A Memoir. NY: Scribner, 2013
Attendance Policy: Attending classes is mandatory. Please contact me in advance if you must miss a class meeting.
Student Conduct Policy: UTPB’s policy for student behavior is as follows: “Classroom behavior should not interfere with the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or the ability of other students to learn from the instructional program (Code of Student Life). Unacceptable or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Students engaging in unacceptable behavior may be instructed to leave the classroom. Inappropriate behavior may result in disciplinary action or referral to the University’s Behavioral Intervention Team. This prohibition applies to all instructional forums, including electronic, classroom, labs, discussion groups, field trips, etc.”
Plagiarism and Scholastic Dishonesty: Academic integrity is expected of every individual in the University. Plagiarism and cheating are not tolerated. Plagiarism is using words or ideas in a paper that are not your own and failing to designate them as coming from another source besides yourself. This includes essays that are not written by you and also quotations and passages excerpted from other texts that are used in your essay and are not properly cited or documented. Plagiarism will result in a failure for the assignment and may result in failure of the course and expulsion from the university. If you have any questions about plagiarism, please see me. Also, please refer to the following website for further information, a detailed definition of cheating and the university policy on scholastic dishonesty.
http://www.utpb.edu/utpb_adm/studentservices/officeofstudentlife/studentinfo/sl3_main_student_guide.htm#StudentConductandDiscipline Grading Policy:
The breakdown of the semester grade is as follows:
Essay 1: 45%
Essay 2: 45%
Class participation: 10%
All papers should be typed, double-spaced, with one-inch margins on all sides. Please use a relatively standard font, like Times New Roman, and a font size of 11 or 12. There is no penalty for going over the page requirement.
Policy for Late Papers:
Papers are due in class on the date indicated by the syllabus. Any papers turned in after the scheduled class period will be considered late and will be dropped one ½ grade and subsequently one letter grade for each calendar day after the due date.
Schedule of class assignments and readings:
Please note assignments and readings may be subject to change; any changes will be announced during class.
No Class meeting
M 1/23 Introduction
Week 3 Family History / Family Narratives
M 1/30 Ondaatje, Michael. Running in the Family [1-108]
Week 4 Family History / Family Narratives
M 2/6 Ondaatje, Michael. Running in the Family [108-208]
Download and read S. Leigh Matthews, ‘“The Bright Bone of Dream”: Drama, Performativity, Ritual, and Community in Michael Ondaatje’s Running in the Family.Biography 23.2 (2000): 352-371.