English CGF. Genre Fiction Workshop: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Horror, The Ghost Story, The New Weird

Instructor: Neel Mukherjee
Wednesday, 3:00-5:45pm | Location: Barker 018
Enrollment: Limited to 12 students
Course site

The course will consist of two halves. In the first hour of each class, we will be doing close readings of an assigned text, with the aim of isolating some concept or aspect of the genre under discussion in order to take bearings for your own. The assigned reading is obligatory. We will look at the convergences and divergences in the various kinds and modes mentioned in the title of the course. We will be thinking of generic topoi, conceptual underpinnings, imagination, style, world-building, storytelling, resolution, among other things. Some of the best writing in these genres is by women on issues of gender and intersectionality, so there will also be a strong feminist component to the course. These genres have also been used, with extraordinary creativity and to great effect, by writers of colour to meditate on issues of race, inequality, oppression, freedom, so the syllabus also features an introduction to that domain. 

The course will consist of two halves. In the first hour of each class, we will be doing close readings of an assigned text, with the aim of isolating some concept or aspect of the genre under discussion in order to take bearings for your own. We will be reading writers such as Ursula Le Guin, Ted Chiang, Nalo Hopkinson, James Tiptree Jr, Stanislav Lem, China Miéville, among others. We will look at the convergences and divergences in the various kinds and modes mentioned in the title of the course. We will be thinking of generic topoi, conceptual underpinnings, imagination, style, world-building, storytelling, resolution, among other things. Some of the best writing in these genres is by women on issues of gender and intersectionality, so there will also be a strong feminist component to the course. These genres have also been used, with extraordinary creativity and to great effect, by writers of colour to meditate on issues of race, inequality, oppression, freedom, so the syllabus also features an introduction to that domain.

In the second half of the class, divided into two equal segments of 55 minutes each, we will be workshopping the writing of two students.

Supplemental Application Information: Please submit 3-5 pages of creative writing in prose (fiction is preferable, but non-fiction is also fine) along with a letter of introduction in which you write about why you’re interested in this course; what experience you’ve had writing; some of your favourite writers; what some of your favourite works of fiction are and why.

Apply via Submittable (deadline: 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, August 21)