Vinson Cunningham

BA, Hunter College. Staff writer at The New Yorker. Essays, reviews, and commentary have appeared in the print and online versions of The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, New York Magazine, The Fader, McSweeney’s, and other outlets. SLC, 2016

Graduate Courses

Writing 2017-2018

Nonfiction Craft: Writing From the Podium: The Sermonic American Essay

Craft—Fall

The essay, in its American incarnation, is a direct outgrowth of the sermon—developed out loud and for the purpose of persuading (and, just as importantly, entertaining) an audience. Beginning with Winthrop on the boat and Jonathan Edwards’s Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, our nonfiction tradition has been coaxing and argumentative, insistent and not infrequently irritating. The implications of this sermonic heritage can be found in the sentences, styles, voices, and attitudes of writers from Emerson and Douglass to Didion and Sontag. In this course, we will read and discuss sermons and speeches from the likes of Martin Luther King, Gloria Steinem, and Billy Graham, as well as a range of argumentative essays, and make work informed by the tendencies and strategies that we find.

Faculty

Previous Courses

Writing from the Podium – The Sermonic American Essay (Nonfiction Craft)

Craft—Fall

The essay, in its American incarnation, is a direct outgrowth of the sermon—developed out loud, and for the purpose of persuading (and, just as importantly, entertaining) an audience. Beginning with Winthrop on the boat and Jonathan Edwards’s Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, our nonfiction tradition has been coaxing and argumentative, insistent, and not infrequently irritating. The implications of this sermonic heritage can be found in the sentences, styles, voices, and attitudes of writers from Emerson and Douglass to Didion and Sontag. In this course, we will read and discuss sermons and speeches from the likes of Martin Luther King Jr., Gloria Steinem, and Billy Graham, as well as a range of argumentative essays, and make work informed by the tendencies and strategies that we find.

Faculty