ENGLISH 425 - Advanced Essay Writing
Fall 2022, Section 003 - "Are you happy in this modern world?"
Instruction Mode: Section 003 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: English Language and Literature (ENGLISH)
Department: LSA English Language & Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Open to students who have completed first year college writing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


In this class we'll read, talk, and--most importantly--write about our relationship with happiness.

We'll address a variety of questions on the subject, including perhaps: What do we even mean when we use the word "happiness"? Is it an unhelpful abstraction? A selfish or socially irresponsible priority? Mere clickbait for TED talks? The absolute and best aspiration for our lives? How does our interaction with pop culture, modern technology, or the natural world affect (or effect) our contact with happiness? How do our conceptions of happiness overlap or diverge? Can we create it for ourselves?

Readings will include selections from ethical philosophy, positive psychology, newer and older literature in English (essays, fiction, and poetry) and spiritual texts. Authors may include: Marcus Aurelius, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Black Elk, Sissela Bok, Wendell Berry, Dalai Lama, Martin Seligman, Sherry Turkle, bell hooks, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gretchen Rubin, David Foster Wallace, Brené Brown, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jenny Odell, and Jia Tolentino.

Please note that this is foremost a writing class. We'll use our reading and discussion as a springboard for our own writing on happiness. We'll use collaborative workshops to plan, draft, and revise:

- A profile essay (8-10 pages)
- An exploratory, meditative personal essay/memoir (10-12 pages)
- A portfolio of short (1-2 pages each), linked, and revised mini-essays, derived from writing prompts delivered in and out of class.


Intended Audience:

This course is open to all majors, and/but previous course experience in creative nonfiction writing and collaborative workshopping (e.g. English 325 or 345) is gently recommended.


ENGLISH 425 - Advanced Essay Writing
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
003 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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