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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

CRWT 40.03 Raising the Dead

How can we practice "immersion journalism," as creative nonfiction is sometimes described, when writing about people and events of the past? In this creative nonfiction writing course, we'll immerse ourselves in the kind of research that will allow us to recreate moments and moods for which we couldn't be present. We'll become witnesses at a remove; and, through careful attention to our own roles in the construction of our stories, participant-observers, as well. We'll learn how to use archives; make creative use of documents and artifacts; engage with scholarly historical writing as a source for creative writing; and interrogate our assumptions about research and representation, all in the service of character-driven narratives as vivid, nuanced, and dramatic as writing based on contemporary fieldwork. This course is an attempt to raise the dead, to resurrect truths from dormant facts, to find stories of the present within the past. You'll write two short nonfiction stories, of a person and a place, based on secondary sources, and one long narrative based on original research. The texts we'll be reading, by Lauren Redniss, John D'Agata, Svetlana Alexievitch, Joe Sacco, Maggie Nelson, and Michael Lesy, among others, vary radically in form and medium, as may your own experimental nonfictions

Degree Requirement Attributes


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group III