The Irresponsible Essay
This seminar will examine the provocative, erotic, and stylistically innovative possibilities of the creative essay. Rather than being limited to the objectivity and absolutes of "responsible" scholarship, the irresponsible essay functions as a fluid cross-genre form, capable of containing analysis, memoir, poetry, fantasy, parody, visuals, and more. Like Montaigne, the great grandfather of the essay, we will examine the larger worlds of politics and culture through the volatile lens of self-examination. Students will read and discuss a variety of cross-genre "irresponsible" essays and will write some themselves.