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UNO Ireland: Writing Workshops
& Creative Arts


July 2 — August 3, 2019

 

All courses listed at 4000/5000 level may be taken by both undergraduate and graduate level students.

The basic cost of the program includes tuition for six credit hours (two classes). Students may enroll in up to nine credit hours, or one class in each session, for an additional fee. When completing your online application, please select your first and second choice in each relevant section, keeping in mind that you cannot enroll in two classes that meet at the same time.

2019 Proposed Course Offerings

Course Number Course Title Faculty Syllabus Open
Section I Morning Session: 9:30-11:45
ENGL 6171 Intensive Fiction Writing Fredrick Barton
ENGL 6173 Intensive Poetry Writing John Gery
ENGL 4163 Advanced Poetry Writing John Gery
ENGL 2161 Intro to Fiction Writing Jarred Marlatt
Section II Afternoon Session: 1:00-3:15
ENGL 6174 Intensive Nonfiction Writing Scott Blackwood
ENGL 4154 Advanced Nonfiction Writing Miles Harvey
ENGL 4380/5380 Irish Literature & Culture Mary Breen
PHIL 3260 Philosophy& Film Mark Phillips
Section III Evening Session: 3:30-6:15
ENGL 4391/5391 (The Writers of) Existentialism Mark Phillips
ENGL 4391/5391 Contemporary Irish Writers: A Selection of the Best John Ruff
Section IV Independent Study
ENGL 7000 Thesis Research Varied
All for-credit students will receive a transcript for their participation. This official transcript can be sent to the appropriate home institution at the participant's request, after a final assessment and payment of room damages and other remaining charges. If you have any questions about the transcript process, please feel free to contact the Writing Workshops Abroad office.
 

If you've already completed your degree, you might be interested in our non-credit Cork Writers' Retreat. The Retreat provides the opportunity for writers of all levels to create, revise, and join in as members of our vibrant artistic community. For information on our non-credit Cork Writers' Retreat, available to post-graduates and other non-degree seeking students please click here.

 

Course descriptions

ENGL 6171

Intensive Fiction Writing

A workshop in graduate fiction writing, taught in an intensive (short-term) format, in residence. Intensive Fiction Writing is intended to assist aspiring writers to become better and more instinctive at their craft. Close attention is given to the structure and language that propel plots and make characters come alive. Students should have extensive prior experience in creative writing, or receive the written consent of the instructor. The course consists of four primary activities:

1. Writing stories (three per student)

2. Reading and discussing stories

3. Critiquing and annotating your classmates' work

4. Attending and participating in student readings.

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ENGL 4163
Advanced Poetry Writing

The Course

This is an advanced workshop in the writing, reading, analysis, criticism, and revision of poetry. Although some time will be spent on principles and the process of composing and interpreting of poetry, as well as writing exercises, based on reading assignments, primarily the class will focus on students’ poetry – its composition, vision and revision, craft, and artistry. Students will submit their own poems to class for analysis, criticism and discussion, as well as prepare written critiques of others’ works. Requirements include a short analytical paper on one poem, a short review of a book of contemporary poetry (students’ choice), and at the end of the course, a final manuscript of 7-9 pages of poetry.

Texts :

Crotty, Patrick, ed. The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry. London: Penguin Books, 2012. 978-0141191645
Deutsch, Babette. Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms. Harper, 1982. ISBN 978-0064635486. $14.00
Schakel, Peter J., and Jack Ridl, eds. 250 Poems: A Portable Anthology. 3rd Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. ISBN 978-0-312-46616-9. $37.20.

2 book of contemporary poetry (optional)

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English 6173
Intensive Poetry Writing

The Course

This is an advanced seminar in the writing of poetry. The class will focus primarily on students’ poetry – its composition, its vision and revision, its craft, and its artistry. Students are asked to bring to Ireland 12-15 copies each of at least 3-5 poems for distribution to the class for analysis, criticism and discussion. During the course, students will prepare written critiques of others’ works. In addition, each student will be assigned twice to present another’s poem and to lead class discussion for those poems. Requirements include a short analytical paper on one poem, a short review of a book of contemporary poetry (students’ choice), and at the end of the course, a final manuscript of 8-10 pages of poetry, with a brief preface as a statement of poetics.

Texts :

Crotty, Patrick, ed. The Penguin Book of Irish Poetry. London: Penguin Books, 2012. 978-0141191645

Deutsch, Babette. Poetry Handbook: A Dictionary of Terms. Harper, 1982. ISBN 978-0064635486. $14.00

Schakel, Peter J., and Jack Ridl, eds. 250 Poems: A Portable Anthology. 3rd Edition. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. ISBN 978-0-312-46616-9. $37.20.

2 books of contemporary poetry (bring your own choices)

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ENGL 2161
Introduction to Creative Writing: Fiction

ENGL 2161 is an introductory level workshop focusing on forms and techniques of fiction writing, taught in intensive (short term) format, in residence. Students will write two short stories and provide constructive feedback for the works of their classmates. Based on this feedback, students will revise one of their creative works. Readings of published works will introduce the formats and elements of fiction as well as provide common terminology and guidance for workshop critiques. Each student will choose a published short story to analyze as a representation of at least one element of fictional craft and present this analysis to the class. Students should try to read the supplemental stories and craft essays prior to arrival in Cork.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, each student will be able to identify and analyze elements of craft in fiction. These elements will include developing character and voice, creating a complete narrative, understanding conflict and plot, and choosing and maintaining point of view. They will demonstrate this knowledge through annotation of their peers’ work, writing and revising their own creative work, and leading a discussion on craft elements in the work of a published author.

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ENGL 6174
Intensive Nonfiction Writing

A workshop in advanced nonfiction writing, taught in an intensive (short-term) format, in residence. Creative nonfiction writing describes real events, places, and lives using the techniques of fiction (character, dialogue, POV, and scene) and the elements of poetry (attention to language, associative leaps, experimental form). Creative nonfiction writers combine two contexts--the world of fact, and the techniques of literature--to tell a true story packed with information, grace, power, and clarity. Though we write from reality, literary nonfiction writers must learn to shape, finesse, and deepen. The focus is learning to write our experiences in such a way that others will want to read them.

Each student submits three pieces for the workshop, as well as critically reads the work of others and sample essays, providing written feedback and promoting discussion in an environment that is respectful and dynamic. Students are also expected to attend and participate in the student readings.

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ENGL 4154
Advanced Nonfiction Writing

A workshop in advanced nonfiction writing, taught in an intensive (short-term) format, in residence. One of the chief goals of the workshop is to hone the skills of critiquing, especially detailing what is strong and successful about a piece of writing. The better you are able to articulate why something works, the more likely you can own that technique yourself. Students should have prior creative writing experience, or receive the written consent of the instructor. Coursework consists of:

- Writing at least three works of literary nonfiction and significantly revising one of these.

- Participating in workshop discussion and writing critiques of peers’ work.

- Selecting, leading, and participating in writerly discussions of published literary nonfiction.

- Attending and participating in student readings.

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ENGL 4380/5380
Irish Literature & Culture

This intensive reading course emphasizes primary texts and their representation of Irish culture and landscape over the last one hundred years. We will read many of the major Irish works of fiction and nonfiction of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. We will also pay attention to the complex and innovative narrative techniques that the authors employed in the construction of their novels and autobiographies. The class will give a general introduction to all of the novels, their structures and central themes, and also the historical and cultural settings from which they emerge. Students will be graded on two papers (one short, one long) a class presentation, and a journal recording the student’s reflections on the excursions.

Required texts may include stories, novels, memoirs, and excerpts by James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Edna O’Brien, Molly Keane, Samuel Beckett, Colm Toibin, Seamus Deane, and John McGahern.

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PHIL 3260
Philosophy & Film

People today are often exposed to philosophical ideas through the medium of film more often (and more entertainingly) than they are through the reading of classical texts. In many ways, film is a better means of conveying these ideas, since its depictions are more “life-like” and can affect more of our senses (through graphic images and emotive soundtracks). And while movies are sometimes thought of as a simplistic form of escapism, many – even some blockbusters – have insightful content and are able to render genuinely profound ideas palpable. From action films like “Blade Runner” and “The Matrix” to more light-hearted fare, such as “Love & Death” or “Life is Beautiful,” contemporary movies display a unique capacity to convey much about the human condition. And those who (aspire to) write for the screen often study such films in order to learn not just how to insinuate philosophical thoughts into their own work, but to learn more about those very thoughts themselves. For though some might complain that “you have to read the book first” (in order to get what the author really intended), the medium of film allows not only for the depiction things that are physically impossible, but can convey concepts that are very difficult to express in words alone, making the screenwriter a type of director in his or her own right.

This course is a survey of films that are especially good examples of just how philosophical the hybrid medium of motion pictures can be. With a textual guide to many of the most important philosophical concepts, each film is used to show how one can illustrate ideas that are often too abstract to convey as well in any other medium.

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ENGL 4391/5391
(The Writers of) Existentialism

The writers we commonly refer to as “existentialists” are considered by the general public to be philosophically profound – and yet they are seldom considered to be philosophers by today’s analytically-oriented Philosophy departments. The primary reason is that their writings are literary – that is, they show, rather than tell. They very often use language in a way that is expressive or suggestive, rather than strictly denotative. And how is one to assess the “truth” of something never explicitly stated?

How much truth can there be in a work of fiction, anyway? Such questions are, of course, open to debate (and have been since the time of the first western existentialist: Socrates). From then on, in addition to questions about the existence of God and nature of the human mind or soul, the existentialists have generated new insights into “the meaning of life,” the specter of death, and whether a genuine individual existence is even possible. In the process, they developed some novel terminology of their own, including Nihilism, The Absurd, Authenticity, and The Will to Power, as well as new uses of older terms, such as Anxiety, Dread, Nothingness, The Individual, and even Existence.

And as grim as the topics of existentialists often appear, most of the writers in this movement were not simply dwelling on the depressing aspects of life, but hoping to confront those things which are often overlooked, denied, or repressed in order to find the necessary strength (either individually or collectively) to deal with them. As a result, existentialist writings have diverse connections – in fields ranging from psychology and theology to economics and politics, from how to become a genuine individual to how to create the most free and open of societies. As we’ll see in this course, these modern writers not only question how we are bound to the past, but also what kinds of things might be possible in a future in which one neither tries to deny the contingency of existence nor to shirk the challenges facing those of us who happen to be alive today. The writers we will examine include Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Heideggar, Sartre, Camus, Kafka, and de Beauvoir.

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ENG 4391/5391

Contemporary Irish Writers: A Selection of the Best

No five-week course can adequately survey the crowded landscape of contemporary Irish literature--there are too many great writers winning all the most important international prizes (which has been the case since the days of Yeats, Joyce and Becket). But we can sample five or six to explore for ourselves what makes them important and distinctively Irish, thematically and formally. Since we will be in Cork, acclaimed poet Eilean Ní Chuilleanáin, born there, will be on the reading list. Anna Burns, who just won the Booker Prize for her novel Milkman, set in Belfast during the time of the Irish Troubles, is a good bet, as is a book of short stories by Claire Keegan (who was herself an undergraduate in New Orleans). We will read a book of poems by Paul Muldoon or Eamon Grennan, a play by Brien Friel, and a novel by Colum McCann, Roddy Doyle, or Kevin Barry. With luck, there will be time for critically-acclaimed films by Irish filmmakers, Jim Sheridan for sure, there may be others.

In this discussion-based course, students will keep a reading journal on each of the writers we explore, take a turn providing for the group biographical, historical, and cultural context for a writer of their choice, and write one longer 10-12 paper of critical analysis on that text they find most compelling.

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ENGL 7000
Thesis Research

Admission by permission of Academic Director. Qualifying UNO MFA students may take 3 hours of Thesis Research. Counts toward nine-credit summer course limit.

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