Program Overview: Undergraduate Major and Minor, Lecture Series and Conferences, and Publications

The Literary Journalism Program is home to the Literary Journalism major and, as of 2013, the Literary Journalism minor

In conjunction with the Department of History, Literary Journalism also coordinates the Conversations on Writing & Public Life lecture series and, with the UCI School of Law, the Forum for the Academy and the Public.

Literary Journalism is home to the Digital Storytelling Conference and publishes a digital magazine, Kiosk.

The Literary Journalism Major

The newest major offered by the Department of English, Literary Journalism, was created to meet the needs of a growing number of students who wish to read, study and write nonfiction prose that has transcended the limits of daily journalism.  This is prose that has evolved into a distinct branch of literature, prose that adopts the aims and techniques of the finest fiction. The program provides majors with a solid foundation in nonfiction writing and an equally solid background in areas such as literary history, which together will help make them more informed writers.Literary journalism is an emerging field of study that is known by varying names, including creative nonfiction, the literature of fact and literary nonfiction. There are anthologies devoted to it, and many colleges offer courses in it or feature it as an option within their majors. UCI's program builds on existing departmental strengths: its nationally ranked programs in creative writing, literature and literary theory. Literary Journalism majors take three intensive writing seminars, and are expected to develop a portfolio of work by graduation which they can present as evidence of their skill for purposes of employment or future education. At the same time, majors are asked to take a comprehensive look at the theory, history and context of literary journalism. Among other forms, they study and write narratives, memoirs, profiles, histories and personal essays, in subject areas as varied as science, politics, justice, travel, sports, food and popular culture. They use as models a multitude of writers, ranging from Daniel Defoe, James Boswell and Stephen Crane to George Orwell, John Hersey, Lillian Ross, Joseph Mitchell, Gay Talese, John McPhee, Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe, Tracy Kidder, Calvin Trillin, Hunter Thompson, Truman Capote and Norman Mailer.While it differs from an applied journalism major that focuses primarily on newspaper writing, the major in Literary Journalism is excellent preparation for students planning to enter graduate programs in journalism, as well as for those interested in the many careers requiring sophisticated writing skills.


For more details on the specific courses offered, see the 'Courses' section of the site.