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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Course Descriptions

CRW 325 • Writing Border Narratives

33880 • Casares, Oscar H.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 210
(also listed as MAS 374)
show description

CRW 325  l  Writing Border Narratives

Instructor:  Casares, O

Unique #:  33880

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  MAS 374

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Cultural Diversity; Writing

Only one of the following may be counted: CRW 325 (Topic: Writing Border Narratives); E 325 (Topic: Writing Border Narratives); MAS 374 (Topic: Writing Border Narratives).

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: The U.S.-Mexico border extends nearly 2,000 miles, from San Diego, California to Brownsville, Texas and from Tijuana, Baja California to Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Since the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe in 1848, the international boundary has meant different things to different people, as it continues to do so today. This course uses the personal essay as a way of examining our relationships with U.S.-Mexico border.

We will spend the first part of the course reading and learning about the personal essay in its various forms. For the remainder of the course students will write their own personal essays having to do with their experiences or reflections on the border. These narratives can be drawn directly from experiences of life on or near the border, or they can be drawn indirectly via the experiences of a family member or friend so long as the student/writer is also included in the essay.

Possible texts might include: Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa; The Late Great Mexican Border, Bobby Byrd, ed.; Puro Border, Bobby Byrd, ed.; With a Pistol in His Hand, Américo Paredes; Labyrinth of Solitude, Ocatvio Paz; Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father, Richard Rodriguez.

Various Handouts

Requirements & Grading: We will read many essays in an effort to learn about the form, as well as how to look more critically at your own work. Expect pop quizzes on the reading material. Students will write two personal essays (each 6-8 pages) and revise one of these at the end of the semester.

Attendance is required.

Classroom participation/Quizzes: 30%; Two Personal Essays/Final Revision: 70%

CRW 325F • Fiction Writing

33885 • MCFARLANE, FIONA E
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CAL 419
show description

CRW 325F  l  Fiction Writing

Instructor:  McFarlane, F

Unique #:  33885 & 33895

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: Telling Tales --

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.”

Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings

As writers, we tap into the fundamental human impulse to tell stories; as readers, we respond to the impulse to listen to them. This class is about both listening and telling. What makes a story compelling for a listener? How can we apply that to our work as tellers?

For the first half of the semester, we’ll study various narratives and think about how they’re told: folktales both written and oral, ghost stories, autobiographical accounts, and short stories from 19th century Russia to contemporary Australia. We’ll discuss voice, event, structure, suspense, beauty, language, humor, authority, complication, pattern and unpredictability. We’ll also consider what writers like Eudora Welty and Randall Jarrell have to say about story. Based on our reading, I’ll assign short writing assignments with a focus on play and curiosity, some of which will be read in class.

In the second half of the semester, each student will be required to write one story of no less than 2000 words. We’ll read each other’s stories, write short responses to them, and workshop the stories in class.

Readings will be provided.

CRW 325F • Fiction Writing

33890 • Hinojosa-Smith, Rolando
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 308
show description

CRW 325F  l  Fiction Writing

Instructor:  Hinojosa-Smith, R

Unique #:  33890

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: The quality of the student's writing is an important factor toward the course grade. The course is, above all, an English course. The insistence on English usage should not come as a surprise; you are enrolled in an English class in a university of the first class.

This is an upper division course for writers, and the instructor expects well-written papers. This includes 1) clarity, 2) grammar, 3) punctuation, 4) mechanics, and 5) usage. Students who are not up to the mark are advised to consider this most seriously before enrolling because the instructor insists on those basic requirements. They are basic since words are what writers work with; you are advised to keep this in mind.

No old creative writing material will be considered; hence, the student is to hand in a detailed outline of the first proposed story by the third class meeting. No late papers, no excuses. Late registrants enter this class at their peril.

Requirements & Grading: Four thousand words is the required minimum in Writing Flag courses. Toward this, three stories of 1500 words minimum are required for the course. These will be rewritten until all lapses are corrected; do not expect an increase in your grade because you corrected the material; consider this part of your learning experience.

In-class assignments will also be included as part of the grade.

The papers will be critiqued, e.g., misspellings will be labeled SP, lapses in tenses will be marked T, lack of agreement (pronoun and antecedent; subject with verb) will be marked LA. Other lapses will be marked accordingly. If you have more than three misspelled words, the highest grade to expect is a C, provided there are no other errors. The same applies with errors in tenses, and so on.

For your information: towards, backwards, amongst, and similar terms (which the instructor will point out) are examples of British-English usage; use American English.

CRW 325F • Fiction Writing

33895 • MCFARLANE, FIONA E
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 200
show description

CRW 325F  l  Fiction Writing

Instructor:  McFarlane, F

Unique #:  33885 & 33895

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: Telling Tales --

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.”

Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings

As writers, we tap into the fundamental human impulse to tell stories; as readers, we respond to the impulse to listen to them. This class is about both listening and telling. What makes a story compelling for a listener? How can we apply that to our work as tellers?

For the first half of the semester, we’ll study various narratives and think about how they’re told: folktales both written and oral, ghost stories, autobiographical accounts, and short stories from 19th century Russia to contemporary Australia. We’ll discuss voice, event, structure, suspense, beauty, language, humor, authority, complication, pattern and unpredictability. We’ll also consider what writers like Eudora Welty and Randall Jarrell have to say about story. Based on our reading, I’ll assign short writing assignments with a focus on play and curiosity, some of which will be read in class.

In the second half of the semester, each student will be required to write one story of no less than 2000 words. We’ll read each other’s stories, write short responses to them, and workshop the stories in class.

Readings will be provided.

CRW 325P • Poetry Writing

33900 • Whitbread, Thomas B
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 101
show description

CRW 325P  l  Poetry Writing

Instructor:  Whitbread, T

Unique #:  33900

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: Our aim is to encourage students who want to write poetry and to help them improve their skills through: (1) Class discussions of one another's poems; (2) Analysis of selected poems by noted poets that show 
diverse kinds of achievements and suggest possibilities for the students' own experimentation and development; (3) Conferences with the teacher.

At each class meeting, starting W Jan. 21 and ending F May 8, class members read and give constructive criticism of each other's poems, and I join in. I also hand back written critiques and suggestions I have put on copies of their poems, and revisions thereof, that they continuously give me throughout the semester.

Texts:  No text required. Student poets duplicate and distribute to each of us copies of new poems to be discussed, at a rate of two poems per three weeks.

Requirements & Grading: 90% of the grade is based on the quality and improvement of each student's poems (a sheaf of 8-10 poems is required at semester's end). 10% is based on class participation. Plus/minus grades may be assigned in apt instances. No final exam.

CRW 325P • Poetry Writing

33902 • Bennett, Chad
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 221
show description

CRW 325P  l  Poetry Writing

Instructor:  Bennett, C

Unique #:  33902

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: C L 315, E 603B, 316L (or 316K), 316M (or 316K), 316N (or 316K), 316P (or 316K), or T C 603B.

Description: This course provides an introduction to the practice of poetry writing. Through regular creative exercises, class workshops of student poems, and readings in and analysis of contemporary and traditional poetry, we will explore fundamental aspects of poetic craft. Topics will include imagery and metaphor; diction, line, and stanza; sonic effects; and voice and tone. We will also learn about poetic forms ranging from the sonnet, sestina, and villanelle to open forms and the prose poem. Our goal will be to develop our own distinctive poetic practices. To this end, in written work and class discussions we will attempt to understand both how different poems achieve their effects and why poets might seek those effects.

Texts: Readings, to be distributed in class, will consist of student work and contemporary poems representing a wide range of poetic traditions and practices.

Requirements & Grading: Grades will be based on a final portfolio of original poems and revisions (40%); weekly creative and/or critical exercises (30%); and class participation (30%).  Attendance is mandatory; more than three absences may result in a reduction of the final grade.

CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

33905 • Berry, Betsy A
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm GAR 1.134
show description

CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers [Certificate]

Instructor:  Berry, B

Unique #:  33905 & 33910

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

Description: “Literature for Writers” is a fledgling course, though new courses are frequently the perfect opportunity in which to create unique and vibrant writing. CRW 330, originally created for graduate creative writers, is only in its second semester at the undergraduate level, so we are all getting in on the ground floor of what I plan to be a memorable course. The class will introduce to creative writers literary readings that inspire, motivate, and encourage the best from one’s own work. Sportswriter Red Smith famously quipped “Writing’s easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” But focused assignments and professional advice on what to write and how to do so can make the job easier, ideally resulting in solid, memorable results. Thoughtful direction, motivation, and imaginative prompts that seek imaginative responses are tools of the trade that I will use to encourage the best writing from my students, forging a strong foundation for the future of your craft, what I like to call the writing life.

We will look with a careful eye at several successful writers whose prose offers highly “teachable” literature. We will focus on such strategies as point of view, voice, place, atmosphere, author imitation, character names and development, and of course plot. We will neither study nor be writing sci-fi, fantasy (gothic or otherwise), or YA (as in Young Adult).

Texts: We will most likely be using a textbook by the aptly named Francine Prose, Reading for Writers: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. (I might also be using various writing examples and suggestions from Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, but this text will not be required.) We will also be reading Australian writer Kate Jennings’ novel Snake, a unique novel in its plot and telling, probably like nothing you have ever read. We will read from master stylist Ernest Hemingway’s first story collection, In Our Time, published when Hemingway was 27. We will also be reading a memoir, which is what I am working on in my own writing at present, so I won’t have a final choice in that important category until nearer the beginning of our course. I will post required course texts on Canvas when they are available.

Requirements & Grading: There will be weekly writing briefs, written responses to both the readings and my own writing assignment concoctions (which I try to make challenging, fun, and rewarding). One piece of writing will be initiated early and revised through the semester. Specifics will be outlined on the course syllabus, presently a work in progress.

CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

33910 • Berry, Betsy A
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 103
show description

CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers [Certificate]

Instructor:  Berry, B

Unique #:  33905 & 33910

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

Description: “Literature for Writers” is a fledgling course, though new courses are frequently the perfect opportunity in which to create unique and vibrant writing. CRW 330, originally created for graduate creative writers, is only in its second semester at the undergraduate level, so we are all getting in on the ground floor of what I plan to be a memorable course. The class will introduce to creative writers literary readings that inspire, motivate, and encourage the best from one’s own work. Sportswriter Red Smith famously quipped “Writing’s easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” But focused assignments and professional advice on what to write and how to do so can make the job easier, ideally resulting in solid, memorable results. Thoughtful direction, motivation, and imaginative prompts that seek imaginative responses are tools of the trade that I will use to encourage the best writing from my students, forging a strong foundation for the future of your craft, what I like to call the writing life.

We will look with a careful eye at several successful writers whose prose offers highly “teachable” literature. We will focus on such strategies as point of view, voice, place, atmosphere, author imitation, character names and development, and of course plot. We will neither study nor be writing sci-fi, fantasy (gothic or otherwise), or YA (as in Young Adult).

Texts: We will most likely be using a textbook by the aptly named Francine Prose, Reading for Writers: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them. (I might also be using various writing examples and suggestions from Janet Burroway’s Imaginative Writing: The Elements of Craft, but this text will not be required.) We will also be reading Australian writer Kate Jennings’ novel Snake, a unique novel in its plot and telling, probably like nothing you have ever read. We will read from master stylist Ernest Hemingway’s first story collection, In Our Time, published when Hemingway was 27. We will also be reading a memoir, which is what I am working on in my own writing at present, so I won’t have a final choice in that important category until nearer the beginning of our course. I will post required course texts on Canvas when they are available.

Requirements & Grading: There will be weekly writing briefs, written responses to both the readings and my own writing assignment concoctions (which I try to make challenging, fun, and rewarding). One piece of writing will be initiated early and revised through the semester. Specifics will be outlined on the course syllabus, presently a work in progress.

CRW 330 • Literature For Writers

33915 • Heinzelman, Kurt
Meets MW 300pm-430pm PAR 302
show description

CRW 330  l  Literature for Writers [Certificate]

Instructor:  Heinzelman, K

Unique #:  33915

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Prerequisites: One of the following: CRW 325 (or E 325), 325F (or E 325F), 325M, 325P (or E 325P).

Description: This is a new course, never before offered at the undergraduate level. It’s official name is “Literature for Writers,” but I would prefer to call it “Reading Like a Writer,” which is also the title of a wonderful book by an author with the wholly appropriate name of Francine Prose. Her book is subtitled: “A Guide for People Who Love Books And For Those Who Want to Write Them.” I recommend this text highly to all prospective students.

Texts: The texts that we will be “reading as writers read” will be composed in both prose and verse, for the simple reason that prose writers can learn much about rhythm, figurative language, and structure from reading lyrics, just as poets can learn much about narrative, character, and timing from reading fiction.

Because the course is new I’m still in the process of deciding exactly what texts we will use. I do know that some of the literary works will focus on poetic or narrative forms; others will be thematic—e.g., writing about place or about art (the technical term for the latter is ekphrasis); and still others will introduce comparative analyses—e.g., of why one translation is “better” than another.

Requirements & Grading: There will be weekly writing briefs—short responses to the week’s literary reading; there will be creative responses (in prose and/or verse) to the readings, perhaps 3 or so over the course of the term; and there will be one final essay. There will be no exams—no final, no quizzes—but students will be periodically giving oral presentations on the weekly textual assignments, which will require some original research on their part.

CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

33920 • Casares, Oscar H.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 1.134
show description

CRW 340F  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  Casares, O

Unique #:  33920

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

Description: Practice in writing the short story, with study of contemporary models.

This course is designed for students who have already taken Fiction Writing (325F or 325M) and have a serious interest in writing fiction. Since the class is primarily a workshop, we will discuss student work for the majority of the semester.

Texts: Various texts posted on Canvas

Requirements & Grading: You are required to write two short stories (each 8-15 pages) that will be critiqued, and later revised for a workshop discussion. For all the other student work discussed in class, you will be responsible for writing detailed critiques (1-2 pages). Attendance is required. There will be no final exam.

Classroom participation, 20%
; Two Stories, 50%; Revisions, 30%

CRW 340F • Short Story Workshop

33925 • Hall, Louisa
Meets MW 300pm-430pm CAL 21
show description

CRW 340F  l  Short Story Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  Hall, L

Unique #:  33925

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

CRW 340F and E 341 may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325F (or E 325F), or 325M.

Description: Practice in writing the short story, with study of contemporary models.

This course is designed for students who have already taken Fiction Writing (325F or 325M) and have a serious interest in writing fiction. Since the class is primarily a workshop, we will discuss student work for the majority of the semester.

Texts: (Tentative) The Art of the Tale: An International Anthology of Short Stories

Requirements & Grading: You are required to write two short stories (each 8-12 pages) that will be discussed in a workshop setting and later revised. For all student work discussed in class, you will be responsible for writing detailed critiques (1-2 pages). Attendance is required. There will be no final exam.

Classroom participation, 20%
; Two Stories, 80%.

CRW 340P • Poetry Workshop

33930 • Olstein, Lisa
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CAL 419
show description

CRW 340P  l  Poetry Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  Olstein, L

Unique #:  33930

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

CRW 340P and E 341L may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325M or 325P (or E 325P).

Description: In this workshop you'll read, write, and think about poetry every week, exploring the possibilities of the poem and developing the practices of a working poet. You’ll be an individual writer generating and honing new poems, and you’ll be an essential member of a semester-long writing community dedicated to becoming increasingly fluent (and adventurous) readers and practitioners.

Texts: Our primary texts will be student work distributed weekly and published poems and essays handed out in class.

Requirements & Grading: Each week, assignments will combine the following: writing poems to be shared in workshop, reading and responding to peer poems, and discussing published work (poems and essays). Attendance is required. A final portfolio of poems (8-10pp.) written and revised over the course of the semester, accompanied by a short reflection on process and craft, will be turned in at our final meeting.

Final grades will be based on demonstrated effort and meaningful engagement with all requirements, as above. (Weekly written work: 40%; Class participation: 40%; Final portfolio: 20%).

CRW 340P • Poetry Workshop

33935 • Whitbread, Thomas B
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm CAL 323
show description

CRW 340P  l  Poetry Workshop

Instructor:  Whitbread, T

Unique #:  33935

Semester:  Spring 2015

Computer Instruction:  No

CRW 340P and E 341L may not both be counted.

Prerequisites: CRW 325M or 325P (or E 325P).

Description: This course offers further experience in writing and revising poems. Each student will distribute eight to ten poems during the semester, to be collected, with revisions, in an end-of-semester sheaf. Workshop meetings will feature critiques and helpful suggestions made by all of us; in addition, I will give written commentary on each poem submitted. At times I'll augment discussions with handouts of poems as stimuli and as examples of techniques to try doing.

Texts: No text required.

Requirements and Grading: 90% of the grade is based on the quality of each student's poems, 10% on class participation. No final exam.

Documented Disability Statement: The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 232-2937 (video phone) or http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd.

CRW 355F • Advanced Fiction Workshop

33945 • McCracken, Elizabeth
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 305
show description

CRW 355F  l  Advanced Fiction Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  McCracken, E

Unique #:  33945

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Only one of the following may be counted: CRW 355F, 660, E 355K.

Prerequisites: CRW 340F (or E 341).

Description: This is an advanced fiction workshop. Students will be required to write either three stories, or two stories and one substantial revision. Stories should be at least 8 pages and no longer 25 pages long. These are arbitrary limits, of course—there are fine short stories both longer and shorter. No novel excerpts, please.

All work must be original—both your own work, and written for this class. Please do not recycle work written for other courses. Please do not write stories with characters invented by other authors. And, of course, do not submit work written by other people, even substantially rewritten.

Students will read each other’s work and, for each class, write a page of critique for the workshopped story.

Requirements & Grading: FIRST STORY, 20%; SECOND STORY, 20%; THIRD STORY/REVISION, 20%; WRITTEN COMMENTS ON OTHER STUDENTS’ WORK, 20%; CLASS PARTICIPATION, 20%.

CRW 355F • Advanced Fiction Workshop

33950 • LaSalle, Peter N
Meets MW 300pm-430pm MEZ 1.206
show description

CRW 355F l  Advanced Fiction Workshop [Certificate]

Instructor:  La Salle, P

Unique #:  33950

Semester:  Spring 2015

Cross-lists:  n/a

Restrictions:  CRW Certificate students

Computer Instruction:  No

Flags:  Writing

Only one of the following may be counted: CRW 355F, 660, E 355K.

Prerequisites: CRW 340F (or E 341).

Description: This is a course for advanced students in fiction writing; the student will write a total of 30-40 pages of original fiction during the semester.

There will be three dates on which work is due, and on each the student will turn in either a complete short story or an installment from a longer work; if the student is working on a longer project (a novella, for instance), approval must be given by the instructor ahead of time. The due dates are Wednesday, February 4; Wednesday, March 4; and Wednesday, April 15.

Student work will be examined in class with workshop discussion, and the student will meet with the instructor in individual conferences to discuss projects and progress.

There will also be reading from two texts.

Texts: • The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Seventh Edition, Cassill and Bausch, editors • Dreamtigers, Jorge Luis Borges (fiction and poetry, for discussion of how the two genres influence each other).

Requirements & Grading: 90 percent on writing; 10 per cent on in-class participation and quizzes.

The grade will be a matter, essentially, of the quality of the written work. Two absences are allowed, and more than that will affect the grade.

Schedule:  See above.

Policies:

Documented Disability Statement: The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 232-2937 (video phone), or visit http://www.utexas.edu/diversity/ddce/ssd.

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