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First-Year Writing Seminar: Writers on Writing

Semester and Year FA 2017
Course Number FIRST-UG343
Section 001
Instructor June Foley
Days MW
Time 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Units 4
Level U


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


"Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the while we long to move the stars to pity," said Gustave Flaubert in his relentless quest for "le mot juste." In this course, students will learn to write the academic essay while reading and analyzing essays, interviews, videos, poetry, short stories, and a novel or two about writers and writing. Why do writers write? Where do they get their inspiration? Their preparation? Where do they find their models and mentors? What are their various methods? Why do writers not write? What are the responsibilities of the writer? Can writing be dangerous? Can success have its perils? Some possible answers (and further questions) come from George Orwell, Joan Didion, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Rainer Maria Rilke, Seamus Heaney, Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Liyun Li, Julian Barnes, Grace Paley, Etgar Keret, and Alice Munro. We may attend a reading, and a writer or editor will be our guest.


All Syllabi

Course Type

First-Year Program: Writing Seminars (FIRST-UG)