A writing course on the essay as a form of art. We'll read and write essays on a number of topics: birth, childhood, family history, education, travel, work, movies, television, music, journalism, sports, race, gender, art, advertising, popular culture, college life, avocations, dreams, politics, sex, crime, addiction, punishment, illness, war, religion, death, and any other human phenomena worthy of our attention. The essays you write will be in various forms: narrative and autobiography, interview, reportage, parody and satire, letter, editorial, review and criticism. We'll read a variety of writers, mostly modern and contemporary (Baldwin, Mailer, Wolfe, McPhee, Didion, Oates, Fussell, Walker, Kingston), but also a few classic essay writers like Swift and Montaigne. At least half the classes will consist of workshops in which your own essays are read and discussed. Individual conferences, drafting and revision, portfolio submitted at the end of the semester.