Course Descriptions

Term:  

Fall Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
LIT JRN (F20)20  INTR LIT JOURNALISMDEPAUL, A.
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 (F20)20  INTR LIT JOURNALISMCOLE; PIERSON, P.; SIEGEL, B.
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 (F20)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 (F20)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 (F20)101BW  ART OF RECONSTRUCTNSIEGEL, B.
In some quarters, the practice of "reconstructing" a story is seen as suspect if not impossible. How can you write about events if you weren't present when they happened? How can you know what other people think or feel? Doesn't reconstruction border on fiction? In this workshop, students will explore such questions­ and learn just how literary journalists manage to practice the art of reconstruction in entirely ethical, accurate ways. Students will read exemplary models of reconstructed narrative by writers such as Jon Krakauer, Laura Hillenbrand and Michael Paterniti. They will see why reconstruction plays such a crucial, honorable role in the field of literary journalism. They will also do a good deal of their own reconstruction (learning, along the way, what Tom Wolfe meant when he said that "entering people's minds" was just "one more doorbell a reporter had to push.") This course is an advanced writing workshop: students will regularly share their work with classmates in a constructive process of peer-review, then revise based on that feedback. By the end of the quarter, students will have produced a major example of reconstructed narrative writing.
LIT JRN (F20)101BW  ART OF THE PROFILECORWIN, M.
In this class we will study the art of the profile and focus on every element of profile writing. We will begin by focusing on story selection and delve into how to pick a subject who readers will care about. Then we will address interviewing and hone in on how to prepare, how to select questions, how to obtain great quotes, and how to transform an interview into a conversation. Story structure will be a key element of this class and we will break down each element of a well-crafted profile. Finally, we’ll discuss how to elevate a profile in order to portray not just the person, but important political and social issues. Several accomplished literary journalists will visit the class and discuss their approach to profile writing. The foundation of this class is weekly one-on-one editing sessions so students can have the experience of shaping story ideas and honing their pieces with an editor. Students will have the opportunity to write several profiles of varying lengths.
LIT JRN (F20)101BW  NARR OFF THE NEWSHAYASAKI, E.
A man jumps from a Manhattan skyscraper and nosedives to his death, a fire ravages a college dorm in the middle of the night, a little girl is murdered by an internet predator, a band of terrorists take an elementary school full of children hostage. For each event, headlines around the world captured the breaking news. But the stories were not over. Weeks after the stories broke, the most compelling details had yet to be reported. Some of the best literary journalists find gripping stories by going back to the scene and interviewing sources weeks, months or even years after the news broke. In this class we will learn to search newspapers and blogs for story ideas that the daily media may have missed and we will learn to go back after a story has become ?old news,? after the daily reporters have left. We will study how literary journalists reconstruct events after they have occurred, and we will read writers like Tom Junod, Robin Gaby Fisher and other reporters who found unique angles on widely reported events.We will also learn to pay attention to news nuggets that are often ignored or quickly dismissed. Students will learn to find story ideas in news briefs, blurbs or items that received only a passing mention on the evening news, keeping in mind that these can often lead to the most riveting profiles and narratives. In this class, students will be expected to work on their narrative writing skills and interviewing techniques, and they will be required to find, pitch, report, and write their own stories off the news.
LIT JRN (F20)103  LIT OF TRUE CRIMECORWIN, M.
True crime, at its best, it not just about cops and killers, but can tell us much about the world in which we live. While the crimes may animate the narratives – which make for gripping reading – the best books transcend the genre by giving readers a strong sense of place,an insight into the criminal mind, a window into the cops’ world, a feel for the agony of the victims, and the impact on the community. Every crime contains three major players that provide the cornerstone for compelling character studies: a perpetrator, a victim, and an investigator. In this class we will discuss the ethnical challenges true crime writers encounter, the difficulties they face during the reporting, and the decisions they make during the writing. We will explore the psychology of criminals; the effect their behavior has on society, the legal world and the criminal justice system; and the social implications of their crimes. Homicide detectives, former prison inmates, and true crime writers will visit the class, give presentations and answer questions. Some writers whose works we will read include David Grann, Norman Mailer, and John Berendt.
LIT JRN (F20)103  CULTURAL NARRATIVESHAYASAKI, E.
LJ 103: Cultural Narratives -- Narratives of Race and Racism

This class will discuss journalism and essays on race and racism throughout the history of the U.S. and today. We will delve into how narratives have contributed to, and also combatted, racial oppression. The focus of this class will be on literary journalism in books, magazines and digital media. We will examine the evolution of writings on race and racism in the American media, and we will also focus heavily on the evolution of craft. Students will study subject matter, as well as a writer’s voice, reporting and interviewing techniques, and literary style. Students will be expected to do some interviewing and journalistic writing as well. Students will come away from this course with a deeper understanding of different genres of literary journalism—from profile writing, to investigative reporting, reported essays, in-depth narrative features and podcasts—and will discover how their voices and experiences fit into a shifting media landscape that is not yet reflective of the nation’s multitude of stories and experiences.
LIT JRN (F20)103  SPORTS LITERARY JOURNALISMANASI, R.
More than a Game: American Sports Journalism

Anyone dismissing sports as ‘just a game’ should consider just how seriously we take them. In the U.S. last year, professional sports generated over $73 billion in revenue, a reality that draws genius and talent while creating heroes and villains (often the same person). Meanwhile, tens of thousands dedicate themselves to sports that pay nothing at all. Sports reflect society and enrich our language and in a troubled world that has us shackled to screens, sports offer community and, deceptive, simplicity. For all these reasons, sports journalism has long exercised talented authors who have used the medium to address race, politics, competition, decline and death, to conduct revolutionary experiments in style, and to discover the all-too human beings behind dazzling icons. In this class, we’ll explore some of the most remarkable sports journalism of the past century, with an emphasis on how literary structures influence readers.