/ Graduate Catalogue / Writing / 2013-2014

Nonfiction Craft Class

This is a course from a previous year. View the current courses

What do you think, and why does it matter? This class will explore and analyze several different forms of commentary beginning with book reviewing, moving into arts criticism and reportage, and ending with an exploration of the way that the Internet and other networked technologies are changing the face of opinion, criticism, and recommendation. The class will consider the following sorts of questions: How important is expertise when one is passing judgment on something? What is the role of “voice” in criticism? How can reportage function as a subtle form of criticism—or not? How does the medium affect the message? Does everyone’s opinion matter? How have criticism and opinion journalism changed in the last decade, and are those changes temporary or permanent? Can we predict the future? No familiarity with any of the above is necessary for this class. Its purpose is to make you a more effective writer and an intellectually engaged and discerning reader.