Course Schedule (subject to revision):

Week 1: Introductions
(please complete these assigned readings before our first class session)
Maciak and Loofbourow, “The Semipublic Intellectual”
Cantor and Levine, “Taking Public Scholarship Seriously”
Goldstein, “The New Intellectuals”
Looser, “The Making of a Public Intellectual”

Week 2: History of Writing for the Public I
1 paragraph of imitation prose due (250 words)
Ideas with preliminary research document 1 due
Johnson, “On Modern Romances” (from The Rambler)
Boswell, “On Past and Present” (from The London Magazine)
Hunt, “My Books” (from The Literary Examiner)
Hazlitt, “On Reading Old Books” (from The Plain Speaker)
Lamb, “Detached Thoughts on Books and Reading” (from The London Magazine)
Berube, “Profession, Revise Thyself – Again” (from PMLA)
Marcus, “How to Talk about Books You Have Read” (from PMLA)

Week 3: History of Writing for the Public II
1 paragraph of imitation prose due (250 words)
Ideas with preliminary research document 1 due
Addison, “On Taste” (from The Spectator)
Johnson, “On the Bugbear Style” (from The Idler)
Fielding, “On the Meaning of Common Words” (from The Covent Garden Journal)
Hunt, “On Common-Place People” (from The Examiner)
Hazlitt, “On Common-Place Critics” (from The Examiner)
Maccaulay, “Horace Walpole” (from The Edinburgh Review)
Hsu, “In the Context of Infinite Context” (from PMLA)
Cecire, “Everybody’s Authority” (from PMLA)

Week 4: History of Writing for the Public III
1 paragraph of imitation prose due (250 words)
Ideas with preliminary research document 1 due
Addison, “On Westminster Abbey” (from The Spectator)
Cowper, “On Being a Bachelor” (from The Connoisseur)
Johnson, “On Last Things” (from The Idler)
Boswell, “On Hypochondria” (from The London Magazine)
Hunt, “Of Sticks” (from The Examiner)
Mackenzie, “On Indolence” (from The Mirror)
Goldsmith, “The Sagacity of Some Insects” (from The Bee)
Kindley, “Growing Up in Public” (from PMLA)
Agate, “Make Revolution Irresistible” (from PMLA)

Week 5: Practical Advice: Writing for The Public
Selections from Telling True Stories:
From Part I: Halberstam, “The Narrative Idea”
From Part II: Kramer and Call, “Introduction;” DeGregory, “Finding Good Topics: A Writer’s Topics;” Winburn, “Finding Good Topics: An Editor’s Questions;”
From Part III: Kramer and Call, “Introduction;” Clark, “The Ladder of Abstraction;” Lopate, “The Personal Essay;” Brown, “First Person Singular;” Lepore, “Writing About History;” Greene, “Adventures in History”
Part IV: please read all of this section
Part V: please read all of this section

Week 6: Writing for the Public in the 20thand 21st Centuries I
Draft of Essay 1 due (minimum: 1,000 words)
Woolf, “How It Strikes a Contemporary” (from The Common Reader, 1923)
Sontag, “Against Interpretation” (from Against Interpretation, 1966)
Explore the websites: publicbooks.org & themillions.com

Week 7: Writing for the Public in the 20thand 21st Centuries II
Draft of Essay 2 due (minimum: 1,000 words)
Calvino, “Why We Read the Classics” (from The New York Review of Books, 1986)
Franzen, “Why Bother/Perchance to Dream” (from Harper’s, 1996)
Explore the websites: bookriot.com & electricliterature.com

Week 8: Writing for the Public in the 20thand 21st Centuries III
Draft of Essay 3 due (minimum: 1,000 words)
Didion, “The White Album” (from New West, 1979)
Walker, “Looking for Zora” (from Ms., 1975)
Explore the websites: granta.com & theparisreview.org

Week 9: Writing for the Public in the 20thand 21st Centuries IV
Draft of Essay 4 due (minimum: 1,000 words)
Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder” (from The Atlantic, 1950)
Nelson, “Theatres of Cruelty” (from the LARB, 2011)
Explore the website: lareviewofbooks.org & avidly.lareviewofbooks.org

Week 10: Writing for the Public in the 20thand 21st Centuries V
Draft of Essay 5 due (minimum: 1,000 words)
Gay, “The Whole World, Opened Up” (from The Rumpus, 2012)
Solnit, “Checking out the Parking Lot” (from The London Review of Books, 2004)
Explore the websites: lithub.com & therumpus.net

Week 11: Writing for the Public in the 20thand 21st Centuries VI
Draft of Essay 6 due (minimum: 1,000 words)
Lockwood, “Is it Work?” (from The Poetry Foundation, 2014)
Ortberg, “Goblin Market as I Understand It” (from The Toast, 2017)
Ortberg, “I’m Fairly Certain Keats Never Actually Read…” (from The Toast, 2016)
Wallace, “Tense Present” (from Harper’s, 2001)
Explore the websites: publicdomainreview.org & laphamsquarterly.org

Week 12: Mini Practicum @the-rambling.com I
Pitching & Revising
Note: Draft of Topic Proposal, Outline, & Bibliography due to Lake in Week 13
 

Week 13: Mini Practicum @the-rambling.com II
Editing & Publishing
Draft of Topic Proposal, Outline, & Bibliography due to Lake
Note: Begin revising your public-facing essays; first one due for workshop next week.

Week 14: Workshop for Essay 1
Please bring three hard copies of one of your public-facing essays to class for workshopping.
Note: Continue revising your public-facing essays; second one due for workshop next week.

Week 15: Workshop for Essay 2
Please bring three hard copies of a second public-facing essay to class for workshopping.

Finals Week:
Portfolio of Three Essays due with Pitches
Topic Proposal with Outline and Bibliography due
Both documents are due by 5pm as Word attachments submitted via email to lake.crystal@gmail.com

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