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Kelley Writers House Seminar: Joan Didion, Robert Coover, Mary Gordon

ENGL 274.301
instructor(s):
fulfills requirements:
Sector 1: Theory and Poetics of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

Note: Admission to this course is by permission of the instructor only.

This is the 11th annual Kelly Writers House Fellows Seminar, which features visits by very eminent writers as "Fellows" of the Kelly Writers House, the student-conceived writing arts collaborative at 3805 Locust Walk. The seminar is taught by Professor Al Filreis, Kelly Professor of English and Faculty Director of the Writers House, and will include extended visits to the class by Mary Gordon, Robert Coover and Joan Didion. Gordon is an award-winning novelist who has recently written memoirs about her father and her mother. Coover is also a novelist and a leading figure in the cyberfiction/hypertext movement. Didion is world-famous for her perfectly written novels, her political and cultural essays and her recent memoir of the death of her husband.
Throughout the semester we will study the work of these three writers—and some of the materials "around" them that make the particular contemporary context in which each operates so compelling. Enrollment in the course is strictly limited. Students will be enrolled only by permit of the instructor and are asked to send a one- or two-paragraph statement by email to afilreis@writing.upenn.edu describing why they want to participate in this project and what academic (or perhaps non-academic) experience makes them especially eligible. Participants will write frequent short position papers; will engage in team projects following up each of the Fellows' visits; will be involved in interviewing the three Fellows; and will take a comprehensive final examination. The Writers House Fellows program is made possible by a generous grant from Paul Kelly.