Course Descriptions

Term:  

Winter Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
LIT JRN (W18)20  INTR LIT JOURNALISMSIEGEL, B.; FITZJARRALD, L.
Reading of selected texts to explore the ways in which literary journalism and related nonfiction modes formulate experience. Students write several short papers and one final project. The required prerequisite for either section of LJ 20 is satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
LIT JRN (W18)20  INTR LIT JOURNALISMSIEGEL, B.; LALINDE, J.
Reading of selected texts to explore the ways in which literary journalism and related nonfiction modes formulate experience. Students write several short papers and one final project. The required prerequisite for either section of LJ 20 is satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
LIT JRN (W18)21  REPORTING LIT JOURNDEPAUL, A.
To write convincingly and tell powerful stories that resonate, writers need to be meticulous, thorough reporters. LJ21 teaches students how to report their literary journalism articles accurately and thoroughly, focusing on the three basic means of gathering information for a story: interviewing, observing and reading. Early in the quarter, students will select a topic, or beat, as it is known in news parlance, from which they will develop contacts and story leads. Students will cover an event, conduct an interview and generate articles related to their beats, also learning ways to use Internet resources and databases to find facts and information and examining investigative and legal documents. The required prerequisite for either section of LJ 21 is satisfactory completion of the lower-division writing requirement.
LIT JRN (W18)100  ADVANCED REPORTINGDEPAUL, A.
Advanced Reporting asks students to complete a series of writing and multimedia assignments that require proficiency in varied reporting strategies such as interview, observation and research. Assignments will include profile, photo story, social problem/community reporting, and a final group digital project on a subject of our choosing. Guest speakers will offer insight into professional paths.
LIT JRN (W18)101A  HIST&THRY LIT JRNHAYASAKI, E.
The "New Journalism" that began to appear in the 1960s was far from "new." Writers have long strived to craft nonfiction that adopts the aims, techniques and standards of the finest fiction. In this course students will study some of those writers, among them Stephen Crane, Jack London and George Orwell. Students will then look at how the early pioneers inspired and influenced later literary journalists such as John Hersey, Lillian Ross, A.J. Liebling, Joseph Mitchell, Truman Capote, Gay Talese, Tom Wolfe and Michael Herr. At each stage, our central focus will be the evolution of ethics in literary journalism. Covenants with readers versus covenants with subjects; fundamental truth versus factual accuracy; the blurred lines between fiction and journalism; entering the minds of your characters; reconstructing past events; imposing meaning by seeing /stories/ in situations---literary journalists wrestle with these issues constantly. So will we in this course.
LIT JRN (W18)101BW  NARRATIVES OF SCIENCE AND THE MINDHAYASAKI, E.
In narrative journalism, we often emphasize getting to the emotional core of the people we write about. But what about writing narratives that try to unravel the mysteries of emotions themselves? In this class, we will read about the science of behavior and the mind. We will consider stories about neurological disorders like schizophrenia, autism, Alzheimer’s, and perhaps some that you have never heard of like mass psychogenic illness (which led to a ticking outbreak among cheerleaders), or Morgellons Disease (which can be blamed for extreme itching), or body integrity disorder (in which a person might become obsessed with cutting off his arm). We will explore questions like what drives human behavior? Can emotions like shame or empathy be pinpointed to a particular part of the brain? What if memories can be planted? Or what if a sociopath is just born like that? How do these questions complicate the law? Such scientific discoveries could change the way journalists write crime narratives like In Cold Blood, particularly when we get into questions like: Does the brain dictate behavior? Is it our genes? Or can morality still be boiled down to the choices we make? Although we will be asking big universal questions that will help drive our narratives, we will still seek stories that address these topics through literary journalism, with characters, scenes and tension. Who are the people behind these disorders and discoveries—the scientists, patients, families, or defendants? Each student will be responsible for writing and reporting a science-inspired narrative as a final paper.
LIT JRN (W18)101BW  IMMERSION JOURNLISMCORWIN, M.
Immersion journalism is a demanding, intensive form of reporting that takes writers deep into the worlds of their subjects. This kind of work demands much of the writer, but the rewards are great. Those who embark on immersion projects can transcend the bounds of traditional journalism and imbue their stories with the kind of detail, drama, texture and dialogue featured in the best of fiction. Because writers are with their subjects for extended periods of time, they can avoid the artifice and superficiality of many traditional feature stories, and provide truly in-depth accounts. This kind of reporting can yield remarkable dialogue and drama and provides startling insights into characters' worlds and personalities, as well as expose injustice and inequality. The foundation of this class is weekly one-on-one meetings with your editor (professor), where you will discuss how to come up with story ideas, how your stories were edited and how to improve them. A number of renowned writers will visit the class and talk about how they research and write. Immersion journalism is storytelling at its most direct. We will start with the most elemental aspect of immersion journalism: How to get access. We will then explore who are the best subjects are for immersion projects and how to construct stories. By the end of the quarter students will have written two stories: a short immersion project and a magazine-length article.
LIT JRN (W18)101BW  IMMIGRANT NARRATIVESTOBAR, H.
The immigrant/migrant story is one of the defining experiences of modern California. In the 20th and 21st centuries, immigrants from Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, and African American migrants from the U.S. South, and people from many other places, shaped the metropolis we know today. In this class, we will seek to create narrative art from these stories. Our goal will be to create works of literary nonfiction that convey the emotional, poetic, sociological and historical weight of the immigrant/migrant story in the Southern California metropolis. How do we tell these very dramatic tales while avoiding melodrama and cliché? What interviewing and reporting techniques should we use when our subjects have painful truths to share with us? How do we create vivid and textured descriptions of places that are far away in place and time? How far can we go in employing multiple languages and “code switching” in our writing? We will read from works of nonfiction and fiction that have told stories of people who have taken to the road, and crossed borders, seeking to reinvent and rescue themselves. Students will venture into a community, find and interview subjects, and write a series of shorter stories or one longer piece.
LIT JRN (W18)103  TRAVEL LITJWILENTZ, A.
In this class we will begin by looking at the origins of travel literature, and the idea of penetrating the geography of the “other.” We’ll start with the travels, some 750 years ago, of the Venetian merchant Marco Polo in China. We’ll continue by talking about the Dutch East India Company and the opening of both Asia and the Americas to European exploration, trade, and travel. We’ll talk about the British upper class’ “grand tours” of the Middle East and Europe, and what the wide world offered to a people living on the small emerald isle. Looking to this country, we’ll talk about Mark Twain’s adventures in the Wild West, as it was then called. We will discuss aspects of the travel-writing tradition, including its imperial roots, its exotification of indigenous populations, and its relation to ethnography, anthropology, tourism and economic exploitation. We’ll ask the big question that Granta magazine, the British literary journal, asked in its Winter 2017 issue: given the new and harsh assessments of the reach and destructive power of white and Western privilege, “Is Travel Writing Dead?” As literary journalism students, we will be particularly interested in narrative strategies that allow a long piece of narrative prose to be generated and sustained. We’ll talk about insiders and outsiders, naïfs and sophisticates, and innocence and experience, as those categories relate to travel writing. Books we will read to raise our confidence that travel writing is still beautiful and possible will include Every Day is for the Thief, by Teju Cole, Catfish & Mandala, by Andrew Pham, Orange County, by Gustavo Arellano, The Places In Between, by Rory Stewart, The Lady and the Monk, by Pico Iyer, and A Field Guide to Getting Lost, by Rebecca Solnit, as well as shorter handouts and excerpts. This will be an intensive and pleasurable reading course, with a lot of conversation and give and take. There will be a midterm and a final exam, as well as several quizzes. A short paper may be required.
LIT JRN (W18)103  LITERATURE OF LAWWEINSTEIN, H.
THE LITERATURE OF LAW: A Study of Dramatic Civil Cases

The students in this course will read, discuss, analyze and write about four books, "Make No Law," by Anthony Lewis, "History on Trial," by Deborah Lipstadt, "The Buffalo Creek Disaster," by Gerald Stern and "A Civil Action," by Jonathan Harr.

Each of the books presents a strong narrative, laced with history and social context.

Lewis’ book is considered by many to a brilliant account of the most important First Amendment decision of the 20th Century—New York Times v. Sullivan. That 1963 ruling set the standards for libel litigation in the United States. Lewis, the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes as a New York Times reporter and the author of 'Gideon’s Trumpet,' not only dissects all the key facets of the case; he presents a brilliant history of First Amendment law in the U.S.

Lipstadt’s book presents a stark contrast to Lewis' in at least one major respect. In 1993, the Emory University History professor published an acclaimed book, 'Denying the Holocaust,' in which she called historian David Irving, who once said that more people died in Ted Kennedy’s car at Chappaquiddick than in the gas chambers at Auschwitz, 'one of the most dangerous spokesperson for Holocaust denial.' Irving sued Lipstadt for libel in London and the American historian was forced to defend herself in England, where the defendant, not the plaintiff, has the burden of proof in a libel case. These two books will present a striking glimpse of the difference between the U.S. and British legal systems.

The third book is 'The Buffalo Creek Disaster', a tale of how the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal mining history brought a suit against a major coal company and won. The author is attorney Gerald M. Stern, who represented the victims. Besides being a fascinating yarn about people caught in a disaster and how a lawyer represents low-income people against a powerful adversary, the book affords us the opportunity to discuss how Stern, a lawyer, writes about his own work compared to how Lipstadt, the professor, writes about herself as a litigant.

The fourth book, "A Civil Action," is also about an epic courtroom showdown. In this instance, a group of bereaved parents sued two giant corporations who they believe are responsible for the deaths of their children. This book, brilliantly written by Jonathan Harr, is a classic tale of a legal system gone awry. It takes you inside the operation of two law firms, dissects legal strategy and presents a close-up view of how lawyers inter-act with their clients. "A Civil Action" won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, a tribute to its literary merit. (In addition, the book was considered important for lawyers that a leading legal book company published a documentary companion to the book, used in law schools.) "A Civil Action," was also made into a movie starring John Travolta, John Lithgow, Robert Duvall and Lindsay Crouse, among others.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.
LIT JRN (W18)199  INDEPENDENT STUDYSTAFF
No detailed description available.