Wednesday, August 30, 2006

After- no wait- before the fall.

Fall is upon us.
How do I know?
Other than the fact that it's gray out and I'm wearing a sweater?
I know because I start school again next week.

I'm excited.
Lots more new and interesting things to keep me busy, and I love being busy.
So I thought I'd share my curriculum for the term; it's fun to know what will be filling this empty head for the next three months.
Here are my courses as part of the new Riggio Writing and Democracy program.
I may switch some of these around on a drop/add in the first couple weeks but don't be surprised if you see connections between the topics below and future posts.

Writing Democracy: Nonfiction Workshop
Zia Jaffery
BA, Barnard College; author of The Invisibles: A Tale of the Eunuchs of India; now writing a book about AIDS in South Africa; as a journalist, her credits include features, essays, and book reviews for the New York Times, Nation, Village Voice, Harper's Bazaar, and Mother Jones; member of the core faculty of The New School's graduate writing program.

In this workshop, students sharpen their skills as storytellers, drawing from their own experience, but linking their narratives to larger, timely themes--mixing the personal and political. Students keep a journal, each week concentrating on a different aspect of craft, such as dialogue, voice, setting, and landscape. Two student works are carefully critiqued in every class. Supplementary readings explore race, sexuality, class, post-colonialism, and war, among other subjects, and will include short essays, memoir, fiction, reportage, and travel writing by James Baldwin, Sarah Mosley, Antoine Volodine, Svetlana Alexiyevich, Studs Terkel, George Packer, Liao Yuwi, Jonathan Franzen, Chinua Achebe, Edmund White, Edwidge Danticat, Suketu Mehta, Nawal El Sadaawi, V.S. Naipaul, Kenzaburo Oe, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and others.

Listening In: History of Radio
Joan Schuman
MFA, San Jose State U.; independent NPR documentary/features producer since 1986; sound/radio artist since 1993 commissioned for festivals and radio networks in Canada, Australia, England, Germany, France and the U.S.

Radio not only shapes culture, it is also shaped by it. This course examines the past 100 years of radio technology and the culture it has made possible, from nascent amateur broadcasts to studio music and drama, from war correspondents to right-wing talk radio, from public and community broadcasting to corporate monopolies, from satellite radio to low-power narrow-casting and DIY Internet radio and pod-casting. We investigate the relationships of producers and listeners to the evolving medium, how radio voices have challenged dominant cultural modes of speaking, and radio art and broadcasting experiments. Students gain understanding of mainstream and alternative radio by listening to different production techniques, researching and comparing programming styles, and exploring selected aspects of radio history in depth.

Shakespeare, History, and Poetry: New World Directions
Patricia Carlin
PhD, Princeton U.; author of Original Green (poems) and Shakespeare's Mortal Men; poetry published in Verse, Boulevard, and elsewhere; editor of Barrow Street; co-founder of Barrow Street Press; recipient, New School Distinguished Teaching Award; has taught at Princeton and Vassar.
Through close reading of two Shakespeare plays and a selection of poems, students explore ways of using history to create social, personal, and aesthetic change. In Henry the Fourth, Part One, Shakespeare uses historical accounts of an early fifteenth-century king to comment on his own late-sixteenth-century world. His world anticipates ours: a nation beset by internal and external conflict, undergoing massive cultural change. The Tempest is a key work for novelists, filmmakers, poets, and other artists. This fantasy of love, poetry, and power politics was sparked by historical reports of expeditions to the New World. The class also includes close reading of poems by Whitman, Dickinson, Anne Carson, Harryette Mullen, David Lehman, Elaine Equi, Frank O'Hara, Wislawa Szymborska, Charles Simic, Blake, Wordsworth, Milton, Yeats, Auden, and others. Shaped by turbulent historical moments, these poems point the way to new directions in personal, public, and literary life. By considering the intersection of history, imagination, and the writer's art, student readers and writers will learn how to use predecessors' work to create twenty-first-century literature.

Audio Engineering
Scott A. Noll
Freelance recording engineer/producer; has recorded and mixed projects for most major record labels; has worked with Rickie Lee Jones, Kool and the Gang, Cyndi Lauper, and others.
This hands-on course is for aspiring engineers and producers or anyone who wants a working knowledge of the recording studio. Classes, held at a state-of-the-art studio, cover acoustics, equalization, dynamics processing, effects, and console and microphone design/use. Students set up microphones and conduct recording sessions with professional musicians to gain firsthand knowledge of the recording process. ProTools is incorporated into the class so students gain a basic understanding of this incredibly powerful software that has become the standard. Digital and analog formats are fully discussed and demonstrated. Whatever the career--musician, producer, arranger, songwriter, A&R, etc.--the recording studio is central to every aspect of contemporary music. This course provides the means to function effectively and communicate clearly in the recording studio environment.

Writer's Life Colloquium
Luis Jaramillo
MFA, The New School; author of short stories and nonfiction; has been published in Open City and Gamers.
Graduate writing students at The New School participate in an ongoing colloquium of visiting writers, editors, writing teachers, publishers, and literary agents. This Writer's Life Colloquium reflects the wide range of cultural activity at The New School and the belief that students benefit from exposure to many voices and genres. Examples of events embraced by the Writer's Life Colloquium are the public readings co-sponsored with PEN, the Academy of American Poets, and the Poetry Society of America, and the public craft seminars like Fiction Forum. The Writer's Life Colloquium also involves special readings, craft seminars, teaching lectures, publication discussions, and visiting writer residencies arranged exclusively for the MFA candidates.

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