Experiments in Text

Winter 2021
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
4 Credits per quarter
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In what sense is creative writing an experiment? For one thing, writing is a process of discovery—in other words, the process of writing and process of scientific experimentation are not as different as we may think. In that spirit, this course will explore the variety of ways we acquire new kinds of knowledge by writing. Our work in this language laboratory will involve continually testing out our instrumentation (our senses), while remaining open to the possibility of getting results that surprise us. The focus will be on building fundamental writing skills that can be applied across academic disciplines, but we will do so by posing difficult questions about written forms in relation to the social worlds from which they emerge. We will study various modes of creative writing, including poetry, prose, and performance, and screenplays. Throughout the quarter, students will practice writing by composing a weekly short “experimental mini-essay” engaging with these works, as well as the work of their peers; other written assignments will invite students to experiment with the various creative forms they have been studying, such as writing poems or short fiction. In other words, this course will provide structured opportunities for connecting our work to the work of other writers, and to the social and political spheres that influence how and why we write—we’ll practice tuning in, as poet CAConrad urges, to “the creative viability of everything around us.”


Synchronous class sessions (approximately 4 hours per week) will take place on Zoom. However, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology issues, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, faculty will work with them to make sure they have options for earning related credit.”   


Winter 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(4): 20165

Academic details

Preparatory For

Arts, activism, graduate study

Maximum Enrollment
Online Learning
Complete Online Learning - This offering delivers all of its instruction online.
Class Standing


In Person or Remote
Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting