Faculty Name

Richard Pelster-Wiebe

Document Type






Course Subject


Course Number


Course Section


Course Title

Topics: Exercises in Style

Academic Term and Year

Spring 2017



Area of Study


Course Description

Exercises in Style Pre-req: WRIT 3000 (past or concurrently) In 1947 Raymond Queneau published the eccentric collection Exercises in Style, in which he tells the same story 99 times, each time in a different style. In this course, inspired by Queneau, we will explore the telling and retelling of stories with attention to how style radically changes content. We will look at films, screenplays, and their source material; myths, historical events and their retelling in painting, music, daily life or architecture; and works of literature that find expression in diverse forms (journalism, poetry, novel, memoir, essay, etc). Goals: Students will be challenged to enlarge their creative practice by attempting to tell stories that are mindful of a variety of forms (i.e. poets may be inspired by playwriting, fiction writers may be inspired by poetry, or essayists may be inspired by cinema, and so on). Combining readings, screenings, discussions, and exercises in close listening and looking, students will produce literature in their chosen form that engages with a set of problems or constraints intended to improve their craft. Content: The course will simultaneously offer an introductory history of storytelling practices in diverse cultural and historical contexts as well as a theoretical approach to aesthetics that will encourage creative and critical thinking. A series of short creative writing assignments will be workshopped, leading up to a longer final piece. Instructor: Richard Pelster-Wiebe This course has 6 seats reserved for students with instructor's permission. If you attempt to register for this course and receive a Registration Add Error message with the status “Reserved Closed”, the remaining seats are reserved.