COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

ENGL 375 Introduction to Creative Writing A workshop on imaginative writing, with examples drawn from literature.

ENGL 376 Topics in Creative Writing Workshop discussion and analysis of student poetry, fiction, or drama (including screen-writing). Prerequisite: English 375 or consent of instructor.

ENGL 494 Writing Autbiography The intent of the course is to help students write clear prose with a strong voice by having them confront, evoke, and analyze material that they know more about than anyone else. You will be asked to write, by then end of the semester, a 20-25 page essay on the nature of your upbringing. To build up to that, you will write short papers on your parents, neighborhood, values, cultural influences, life direction, etc. The course will be run as a workshop, with students reading their work aloud (if they so choose). Published autobiographical essays will be read and discussed as we go.

ENGL 376 Screenwriting and Literature This class will focus on a variety of literary genres as models for effective storytelling. Films, short stories, novels, and plays will all be used in this course, albeit the emphasis will be on how the writers approach the craft of storytelling, not how these works contribute to the development of literary history or the history of ideas. Students will learn how to use structure, foreshadowing, plot, sub-plot, dialogue, character development, dramatic conflict, and many other techniques to create a compelling story that holds the viewers interest.

365W Playwriting This course will focus on reading plays, writing scenes, and creating a work in playwriting format through writing and acting exercises that elicit scenes. A final project is the writing of an original one-act play.

 

 

FACULTY BIOS:



Evelyn Díaz Cruz
Evelyn Díaz Cruz is an artist and educator, originally from the Bronx , New York with experience in writing, directing, and acting. Ms. Cruz earned her master of Fine Arts degree in Playwriting from the University of California at Los Angeles . Recent projects include directing Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath , an adaptation of García Lorca's Yerma , as well as the teaching of a performance-based course Theatre & Community Seminar, which serves as a Community Based Service Learning Experience. Her original full-length play "Glass Cord" placed third in a nation-wide contest offered by New York City 's Repertorio Español: Nuestras Voces for 2004. She has worked with such theatre notables as Luis Valdez ( Zoot Suit, La Bamba ) and Jose-Luis Valenzuela ( August 29, Luminarias ) and has organized, promoted, and participated in the creation of original work both in the community and at the University. Professor Cruz teaches courses on Theatre of Diversity, Xicana/o and Latina/o Theatre, Theatre and Society, Acting, Theatre & Community Seminar, and Playwriting. She is a member of ATHE, the Association of Los Angeles Playwrights, and the New Dramatist Guild.

 



Dennis M. Clausen
Professor Dennis M. Clausen received his B.A. in English at the University of Minnesota, Morris, M.A. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and his Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Riverside. Dr. Clausen teaches courses in all areas of American literature and composition, including U.S. Literature to 1900, U.S. Literature from 1900-1940, Voice and Place in American Literature, Introduction to College Writing, Screenwriting and Literature, and Literature and Composition.
Dr. Clausen's publications include works in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Many of his publications are set on the Minnesota prairie, where he was born and raised. One of these works, Prairie Son, was the recipient of the Mid-List Press "1997 First Series Award for Creative Nonfiction," and it was also nominated for various national literary awards. Dr. Clausen is presently writing a memoir of his family's journey through a small prairie town in the last half of the twentieth century.

 



Fred Miller Robinson
Professor Robinson served as Chair of English from 1991 to 2004. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington and taught for twenty years at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He teaches modern literature and has written three books in his field, the most recent being The Man in the Bowler Hat: His History and Iconography. He is at work on a study of the interculture of Ireland and America, initially funded by a project-based USD University Professorship. Since 1994 he has occasionally reviewed books on cultural studies for the New York Times Book Review. He has received Distinguished Teaching Awards from both UMass and USD. Professor Robinson is also departmental liaison to the USD/Old Globe Theatres MFA in Acting program, in which he teaches Modern Drama.

 



Peter Kanelos
Peter Kanelos earned his BA in Creative Writing from Northwestern University, his MA in Political Philosophy and Literature from Boston University, and his PhD in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He taught at Stanford and is now assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of San Diego, where he teaches courses in drama and creative writing. Professor Kanelos has published creative work and reviews in Poetry, The Gingko Tree Review, Verse and other places. His latest projects include a narrative score for Shostakovich and Hamlet and a novel-in-progress, The Remembrancer. He has been the recipient of an Academy of American Poets award on two occasions and was named a Professor of the Year at the University of San Diego, 2004-2005. Dr. Kanelos is the coordinator for the Lindsay J. Cropper Center for Creative Writing.

 



Gail Perez
Gail Perez received her PhD from Stanford University in 1992. While at
Stanford, she was a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellow and has
published poetry in the South Dakota Review, Pequod, and other
journals. At USD, she designed upper division creative writing courses and
has mentored students who wished to pursue an advanced degree in
writing. In addition, she was co-founder of the Ethnic Studies program at
USD and is interested in the creative expression and the cultural work of
people of color.

 



Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown holds a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston, an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and a BA from Dillard University. He is an assistant poetry editor at Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters and the recipient of a James A. Michener Fellowship, the Cave Canem Fellowship, two travel fellowships to the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, and two scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, jubilat, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals and anthologies. His first book, Please, will be published by Western Michigan University's New Issues Poetry & Prose in the fall of 2008.