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Creative Writing: Making Photo-texts

ENGL 010.910
instructor(s):

It's a fiction and creative nonfiction workshop, the twist being that you integrate photographs (ones you've found or taken yourself) into your stories and personal essays. This is your chance to turn photographs into the basis of fiction, instead of assuming that they authenticate reality. In photo-texts, photographs become slippery things: Can we trust them? Do they make the written story realer? Can even obviously faked photographs in combination with written fiction reveal recognizable human truths?

You don't have to be a skilled photographer to take this class--you just have to love writing. In fact, crummy photos can be integral to a great story. If you're into graphic novels, this class can show you a different way of visual storytelling. Photo-texts have been around for over a century, but until recently audiences just didn't "get" them. Now, with the advent of the digital image, Photoshop, and the internet, audiences are far more prepared to accept the idea of a "fictional photograph," and the genre has exploded. Jonathan Safran Foer's _Extremely Loud and
Incredibly Close_, a 2005 photo-textual novel, was recently made into a movie.