4.256J / 11.256J
Encounters and Ruptures: Writing About the Modern City

Enrollment: 
Limited to 12

The modern city — with its attractive industry, infectious vitality, strange solitudes, and wide human contrasts — gathers peoples and forces with such dynamism that it is as incomprehensible as it is interesting. How, then, do we thoughtfully grasp and represent its animating tensions? Through extensive reading and writing, students will explore the promise and perils of the variegated city, focusing on topics that demand urgent attention: migration, climate change, inequality, racial injustice, and public space. We will strive to create artful narratives by examining how various forms — essay, memoir, longform journalism, poetry, — illuminate our understanding of cities. Special emphasis will be on the writer as the reader's advocate and on the indispensability of the writer-editor relationship. The goal — the hope — is to write with greater creativity and sophistication for specialized- and general-interest audiences.