Week 5 Sept 25–Oct 1

Because I tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday I have revised the schedule for the week. The Zoom invitation with a link to our class meetings on Monday and Wednesday is

This weekend I am reading your essays from last week and will post an editorial commentary that will include my reflections as well as recommendations for your thinking and writing this week. On Wednesday we will talk about my editorial comments and consider how they will be useful for you in the weeks ahead.

The description and prompt for this week’s essay is on the Essays page. Remember that whatever you choose to write about will most likely become clear to you in the writing. The essay is due by the end of the day of Friday September 30.

We will be scheduling individual conferences soon. I will meet with each of you to talk about what you have accomplished in the course and we will consider your goals as we move forward in the course.

Monday September 26th

For Monday, before class, our Discussion Partners Riley and Grace and Jake will send me reading notes and annotate the selection of pieces on the “personal” essay:

We also have on our agenda an informative conversation from NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Writers’ Views: The Art of the Essay, led by Neal Conan with Hilary Masters, Robert Atwan, and Meaghan Daum.

Please annotate on Hypothes.is––though Kiana says she is having trouble loading the Anderson essay in her browser)

Wednesday September 28

Before class our Discussion Partners Ian H. and Zoey and Kali will send me reading notes and annotate the selection of pieces on the “personal” essay:

  • Mariano Picon-Salas, from “On the Essay” (1954), 75-77; Theodor Adorno, from “The Essay as Form” (1958), 82-87; Aldous Huxley, from The Preface to Collected Essays (1960), 88-90; Michael Hamburger, “An Essay on the Essay” (1965), 91-93; Gerald Early, from the Introduction to Tuxedo Junction (1989), 137-41; Nancy Mairs, Essaying the Feminine” (1994), 142-46; Rachel Blau Duplessis, from f-Words: An Essay on the Essay” (1996), 147-50; Cynthia Ozick, “She: Portrait of the Essay as a Warm Body” (2000), 151-58; Sara Levine, from “The Self on the Shelf” (2000), 159-66; we also have a case study essay to annotate on Hypothes.is, a short personal history by the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks
The Machine Stops


Following thirty minutes of discussing the readings, the rest of our Zoom meeting will be an editorial workshop. I have two goals for the workshop: the first goal is to talk about the commentary I wrote in response to your essays and the second goal is to consider your ideas for the essay due on Friday. Bring to class your ideas and what you have discovered so far in thinking about and/or drafting this piece.

Friday September 30

Due: Essay #3 posted on your blog no later than midnight