Courses

Below you will find a list of courses taught by Lannan Center affiliated faculty, including the Lannan Center Director and Visiting Lecturers. Most of these courses count towards the Creative Writing Minor. For more information, please visit the Creative Writing Minor website or contact Professor Phil Sandick, Director of Creative Writing. In order to view the complete list of English course offerings, please visit the University Registrar’s page.


Spring 2023

Medicine and the Muse | MHUM 275
Aminatta Forna (Director of the Lannan Center)
Students will examine a variety of contemporary texts including fiction, essay, memoir and other narratives which deal with themes of change: illness and health, aging, climate change, displacement, employment and other changed circumstances, ideas or beliefs. Change is often resisted, but may also be embraced. From the health of our bodies to the borders of our nation states, change defines the arc of human existence. Coming in the wake of a global pandemic, the worst since the ongoing AIDS crisis, this course contemplates the ways in which  change has impacted all our lives.

We will consider, too, the role narrative plays in the creation of identity and a person’s personal history, and how that self-creation may be suddenly and dramatically reconfigured through change.

Most importantly we will write!  Creative writing will form a major part of this course. You will be encouraged to mine your own experiences and observations of people and the world around you to find and explore your voice and different styles of writing. Students will be given practical exercises focussing on elements of the craft of creative writing: perspective, point of view, voice, dialogue, narrative structure. All are welcome, from those who have never written before, to those with some experience and everyone in between. Be prepared to bring your work to the class and to give and receive feedback in classroom workshops. Through this approach you will hone your close reading abilities and writing skills while analyzing central themes of change in its many forms.

This course has been designed in conjunction with the Lannan Medical Humanities Symposium, THE BODY, February 6/7-8, 2023. Student attendance at the symposium is a course requirement.

Medicine & the Muse: Writing through Change counts towards credits required for the Creative Writing Minor as well as the Medical Humanities Minor.

Literature of AIDS & Epidemics | MHUM 310
Rabih Alameddine (Lannan Medical Humanities Scholar-In-Residence)
What can the literature/art of previous pandemics tell us about how we will write about future pandemics? Will the writing about the AIDS epidemic be able to shed any light on how we will be writing about Covid-19? What are the differences and similarities? In this course, we will look at various works that deal with AIDS. We will read across genres: fiction and nonfiction, memoir and poetry, film and theater. We’ll study Tony Kushner’s play, Angels in America, Thom Gunn’s incredible poems in The Man with Night Sweats, Marlon Riggs’s film “Tongues Untied,” Susan Sontag’s story “The Way We Live Now,” among others. Please be prepared to read, to read more, and then read some more. And then watch some movies!

Lannan Seminar | ENGL 450
Carolyn Forché (University Professor and Director of Lannan Center Readings & Talks)
Lannan Poetry Seminar encourages dynamic critical thinking and creativity with a view to examining literary forms and practices; the work of individual authors; the relationship between writing and other arts; and the place of writing in contemporary culture. Fellows study and discuss the work of the year’s scheduled guests in the Lannan “Readings and Talks” series, participate in conversations with the guests, and attend their readings and performances. Fellows then produce an independent final project (creative or critical) under the guidance of the instructor. There are also opportunities for students to develop and share their own writing in several genres. Enrollment in this seminar is limited to the Lannan Fellows. Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor

Adv. Fiction Writing | ENGL 453
Tope Folarin (Lannan Visiting Lecturer)
The aim of this workshop is to intensively study the craft of fiction by evaluating texts, completing writing exercises, and producing fiction. In this course, students will become familiar with many styles and forms of fiction; students will further define their voices as writers and learn to critically regard their own work as well as the work of their colleagues. Stories will be discussed, critiqued, and revised through weekly workshops; by the end of the semester students will possess a broad awareness of the strategies and styles employed by successful contemporary writers of fiction.