Genres and Genre Theory

Tu 2:00PM - 4:50PM / 239 Cathedral of Learning / CRN 26618

This course examines the intrinsic interactivity between critical theory and creative writing, in relation both to broad historical movements and to individual creative enterprise. Institutions of higher learning have a longstanding tendency to distinguish creative and critical enterprise categorically. In practice this is of course never true. Many have argued that critical work is innately creative. More importantly for this course, we will explore the ways in which creative work is always innately critical. We will focus on multiple genres, including hybrid forms, at three specific historical moments: the Renaissance, when classical genres were shaped into some influential early modern forms; the 1970s and 80s, when postmodernist, feminist, and critical race theories emerged in concert with reconfigured genres on the creative side; and right now, as alternatives are taking new shapes in both arenas. Among the texts to be discussed will be your own writing and that of your mentor-models, both creative and critical. This course is designed for entering MFA students. More advanced students and students in other graduate degree programs are very welcome and will be admitted if there is room.

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Jennifer Waldron

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Category D: Designated Courses

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