11.256J / 4.256J
Encounters and Ruptures: Writing About the Modern City

Prerequisites: 
Permission of Instructor + sbmit an application letter (no longer than 600 words) that explains your interest in the class, and discuss a work—novel, essay, film, painting, sculpture, song, play, building—that influences how you see a particular city.
Enrollment: 
Limited to 12.

Through extensive reading and writing, students explore the promise and perils of the variegated city, focusing on topics that demand urgent attention: migration, climate change, inequality, racial injustice, and public space. Class strives to create artful narratives by examining how various forms — essay, memoir, longform journalism, poetry, fiction, film, and photography — illuminate our understanding of cities. Special emphasis on the writer as the reader's advocate and on the indispensability of the writer-editor relationship, with the goal of writing with greater creativity and sophistication for specialized and general interest audiences.

Permission of Instructor + Submit an application letter (no longer than 600 words) that explains your interest in the class, and discuss a work—novel, essay, film, painting, sculpture, song, play, building—that influences how you see a particular city. If the work moves you, explain why. If you have relevant writing experience, discuss it.