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Guinea Pig Journalism

ENGL 157.301
R 1:30-4:30

“Guinea-pig journalism” is a term sometimes used to describe nonfiction in which the author seeks out new experiences and writes about them in the first person. The genre can include everything from travel writing, to undercover investigative reporting, to comic narratives of unusual self-experiments. In its focus on the subjective experience of the author, the genre is heavily influenced by the New Journalism of the ’60s and ’70s, and readings will include early pioneers of the form such as Gay Talese, Joan Didion, and James Baldwin. We’ll also read more recent work by Barbara Ehrenreich and David Foster Wallace, among others. Students in the class will be expected to seek out their own new adventures to write about, and we’ll critique student work in class each week as a group. Questions? Contact me at

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