Classes 2015-2016

UCLA Extension Writers' Program, Winter Quarter 2019

The Art of the Short Story
Each week in this advanced workshop, offered through the UCLA Extension Writers' Program, we'll critique in detail three student stories, to be read prior to class (so please allot several hours of prep time and plan to be in attendance at least nine of the ten weeks). We'll also talk about publishing strategies and other practical matters. Participants have gone on to enroll in graduate programs at Alabama, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Iowa, Maryland, Bennington, and George Mason, and to publish in The Atlantic, Calyx, Cimarron Review, Epoch, Harvard Review, Mississippi, Nimrod, The New Yorker, North American Review, Phoebe, Ploughshares, Puerto del Sol, Seattle Review, Stand, Tin House, West Branch, and elsewhere. (Read as much of 12 Short Stories and the Rust Hills book before the first class as you can.) 10 weeks, Thurs. 7-10 pm, Jan 17-Mar. 21.

Topics in American Lit: L.A. Stories
This course, offered through Emerson College, explores the city's uniquely mythic status, one that writers and filmmakers have long felt inspired to perpetuate and deconstruct. As portrayed in a rich and varied literature, Los Angeles calls to those seeking fame as well as those who desperately prefer anonymity. It features natural splendor alongside apocalypse, real-estate booms followed by riots. Or, as the social historian Mike Davis puts it, sunshine competing against noir. In this landscape of paradoxical extremes, characters, along with their hopes and dreams, are put to the test—as is the American dream itself.

By reading, viewing, and then analyzing a range of narrative representations—including the works of Nathanael West, Joan Didion, Gore Vidal, and many others—students will develop a deeper understanding of the ways creative works impart a sense of place, as well as other aesthetic, emotional, and moral effects. Students will also enhance their critical thinking, research, and writing skills and contribute to the continued scholarship of the class. And they will better appreciate a city that, for the semester at least, they have decided to call home.

Los Angeles Internship Course
The internship course serves as an academic complement to the student’s practical internship training, to give each student a larger sense of what the internship experience signifies—personally as well as culturally.