• Learn how to see and think through writing
  • Participate in critical conversations about visual culture



All writing is a process of translation - translating the chaos of images, feelings, and curiosity about objects, spaces, movements, and people into cogent, provocative meaning. While language and thought are indistinguishable, writing condenses and clarifies multiple contradictory ideas into a tangible, single-minded whole. As writers we take on this single-minded role, calling it "voice." In this course, we will explore many different ways of translating the world into words through a variety of situational, low-stakes writing exercises that will focus on our complex relationship with authorial voice. Students will practice all stages of the writing process, from brainstorming to revising and deep editing, all with the intention of harnessing the power of voice for the myriad of rhetorical situations in which the professional visual and cultural critic will find themselves. This course will provide students the opportunity to develop tools and techniques for critical writing.


Selected Readings:

  • Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.
  • Raymond Queneau. Exercises in Style. New York: New Directions, 1981.