2019-2020 Course Catalog

Creative Writing (BFA)

Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing the program will learn the following:

  1. Genre and form
    1. Students understand distinctions between genres and forms (basic)
    2. Students can recognize and define a variety of forms and genres (proficient)
    3. Students can write in a variety of forms and genres (mastery)
    4. Students can maximize relationship between meaning and form/genre (advanced)

  2. Metaphor
    1. Students can define metaphor
    2. Students can recognize and discuss metaphor at work in the writings of others
    3. Students can create and employ metaphor in their own work
    4. Students can articulate orally and on paper how metaphor works in their own writing, and that of published writers, to ensure strong BFA tutorial introduction and senses of self as writers

  3. Revision
    1. Students understands the need to revise multiple times before a piece is ready or even moderately good
    2. Students can apply strategies and techniques learned in class for successful revision
    3. Students can help their peers in revision efforts, thereby contributing to the workshop experience
    4. Students can articulate their processes of revision orally and on paper to ensure strong BFA tutorial introduction and senses of self as writers

  4. Voice
    1. Students understand the concept of voice
    2. Students sometimes write in a voice that is recognizable, and consciously work toward controlling voice, both theirs and that of their characters
    3. Students have developed their own voices as writers, and recognize literary influence on their writing
    4. Students have developed own voices, and can extend it to other characters or personae, without losing plausibility

  5. Design (Arc—flow—plot)
    1. Students can recognize direction/design in a piece
    2. Students can plot simple stories or arc the direction of pieces of creative nonfiction
    3. Students can see specific craft decisions beneath an organic appearance
    4. Students can create plot lines which arrives through the characters’ personalities/dilemmas


Chatham University Creative Writing (B.F.A.)

Lindsay House • Woodland Road • Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Curriculum

+Major Requirements

12 courses, plus a major-related internship:

ENG242 Introduction to Creative Writing

This course introduces students to the distinguishing features and traditional elements of poems, plays, fiction, and nonfiction writing. Students read classic and contemporary works in each of these genres, while attending to how a given text adheres to or plays with generic norms. Readings in genre theory will accompany each unit of the course.

3
ENG243 Creative Writing I

Students present a selection of their work each week for class comment and criticism. In addition, special problem topics are assigned weekly to develop writing skills. Readings concentrate on contemporary prose and verse.

3
ENG244 Creative Writing II

Students present a selection of their work each week for class comment and criticism. In addition, special problem topics are assigned weekly to develop writing skills. Readings concentrate on contemporary prose and verse.

3
ENG245 Advanced Writing Workshop

This course focuses on creative writing for experienced writers, geared toward preparing a finished manuscript for potential publication. Fiction writers work intensively on a single story, revising and integrating its various parts. Poets write either long poems or poetic sequences and experiment with contemporary variations on traditional forms.

3
ENG350W Seminar in Literary Theory and Scholarly Writing

An advanced course in writing literary analysis and methods of literary research; required of all junior English majors and interdepartmental majors before enrollment in the tutorial. Second-term junior status is required.

3
ENG490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone, undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional. The study usually centers on the student’s major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience. Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theater production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.

3
INTENG303 Internship - English

Internship - English

3
3 Literature survey courses
1 English Content Course at 300-level or above
2 300-level or above Creative Writing Courses

+Literature Survey Courses

Student must choose three literature survey courses from the following:

ENG204 World Literature

A critical approach to major writers in several world traditions, from various periods, including such representative authors as Chuang Tze, Plato, and Wole Soyinka, and such representative works as the "Book of Genesis," The Bacchae, and The Odyssey.

3
ENG207 British Writers I

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Anglo-Saxon, medieval, and Renaissance periods, including such representative authors as the Beowulf poet, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, and Milton.

3
ENG208 British Writers II

A critical and historical approach to major writers in English during the Augustan, Romantic, and Victorian periods, including such representative authors as Swift, Pope, Johnson, Wordsworth, Keats, Arnold, Tennyson, and Browning.

3
ENG216W American Writers I

A study of cultural and literary developments in America, beginning with the Puritans and culminating with the writers of the American Renaissance: Emerson, Thoreau, Douglass, Hawthorne, and Melville.

3
ENG217W American Writers II

A continuation of English 216, with emphasis on such figures as Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, Henry James, Faulkner, and Sylvia Plath.

3
ENG321W Shakespeare Survey

A representative study of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies as literary, dramatic, and Elizabethan art.

3
ENG287 African-American Writers

This course provides an introduction to the African-American expressive tradition, including poetry, fiction, autobiography, song and folktales from the 18th century to the present. Examining writers such as Douglass, Chesnutt, Brooks, Baldwin, Ellison, and Walker, this course works to delineate the critical and historical contours of the African-American literary tradition.

3

+English Content Courses

Student must choose one English Content Course at 300-level or above (these offerings vary, below is a selection):

ENG321W Shakespeare Survey

A representative study of Shakespeare's comedies, histories, and tragedies as literary, dramatic, and Elizabethan art.

3
ENG385 Toni Morrison Seminar

This seminar is a study of Toni Morrison’s literature within the context of African-American critical theory. Through Morrison’s work, students will engage in current issues regarding the politics of language, narrative authority, historical revision, the production of meaning, and African-American subjectivity.

3
ENG425 Bleak Houses: Shifting Landscapes of the English Novel

This course will cover the modern European novel through the thematic rubric of "love and lies." The latter theme affords the opportunity to consider fiction not only as a medium of the literary genre of the novel but also as a discourse of self-expression, self-creation, and in the cases of some our lying protagonists, self-destruction. Students will focus on characters' constructions of "truth" and "lies" as these concepts are informed by characters' emotional positions. At its most ambitious, this focus on the dynamic of intersubjectivity not only provides important insights into the literature we will read but also enhances students' understanding of the interpersonal connections that drive individuals' worldviews and narratives.

3
ENG449 Exiles

This course will examine the 20th-century condition of exile in relation to its different configurations, from European émigrés to postcolonial subjects to experiences of exile in the United States, to the relation of exile to Diaspora (African, Indian, and Jewish). Students will see how different patterns of movement define subjects variously as exiles, migrants, nomads, and tourists. They also will approach the concept of exile from psychological, geographical, and cultural angles to understand the different uses of the term, its scope, and its limitations.

3
ENG452 Ecofeminist Literature

This course brings together theoretical, nonfictional, and fictional approaches to the study of women and the environment. Students will examine how diverse ecofeminist writers problematize, resituate, and reclaim the woman/nature paradigm--a construct historically based in patriarchal culture. This course focuses particularly on how representations of women and environment (ranging from the traditional to the radical) can help students rethink and reimagine their relationship to the ecological world.

3

+Creative Writing Courses

Two 300-level or above Creative Writing Courses from the following (one of these must be a special topics course in the area of student Integrative Capstone OR a graduate writing course in the student’s primary genre, with permission of instructor and the MFA Program Director.) :

ENG310 Summer Community of Writers

The ten-day intensive residency in Pittsburgh is for upper-level BFA Creative Writing students. The residency is composed of genre-specific craft sessions, workshops, lectures, readings and one-on-one conferences with mentors.

3
ENG313 Special Topics

Special Topics

3
ENG327 Writing About Environment Science

This course is designed for students with some basic scientific skills, who might become scientists professionally, but all of whom will be communicating about science, often to non-scientists. In this course, we will read, discuss, and practice a variety of methods of communicating about environmental science, from popular culture to news to government reports. Students will competently translate scientific results into written journalistic English and will be able to evaluate scientific results from the news in terms of its scientific accuracy and clarity. Three hours of lecture per week. Cross-listed as ENV 327. Pre-requisite: any 200-level ENV course or permission of either department chairperson.

3
ENG355 Advanced Writing and Stylistics

This is an advanced writing class which concentrates on style, meaning, and effect. It is designed for upper-level students, and emphasizes the skills of writing more effective sentences, paragraphs and essays. The course focuses on writing academic papers, applications, proposals, and personal statements across the disciplines in appropriate formats.

3
Graduate writing courses (student needs permission of instructor and MFA Program Director):
ENG523 The Craft of Creative Writing: Multiple Genres

This course may substitute for any other craft course for students specializing in any genre. Students will be introduced to the craft of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and will also be introduced to the workshop method and given instruction on sending out work for publication.

3
ENG581 The Craft of Fiction

This is a required course for MFA students specializing in fiction. Students will experiment with creating scene, sense of place, summary, dialogue, framing, flashbacks, and transitions. Students will be introduced to the workshop method and given instruction on sending work out for publication.

3
ENG582 The Art and Craft of Narrative

Readings and writing in this multi-genre course will focus on constructing narratives in fiction, nonfiction, poetry or writing for children. Students will be introduced to the workshop method and given instruction on sending work out for publication.

3
ENG583 The Art and Craft of the Lyric

Readings and writing in this multi-genre course will focus on writing lyrically in poetry and prose. Students will be introduced to the workshop method and given instruction on sending work out for publication.

3

Contact

Karen Kingsbury

Department Chair

kkingsbury@chatham.edu

(412) 365 - 1783

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