Wednesday, December 6

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Books will be sold today

8:00am: Breakfast

9:00am – 10:30am

Guest Faculty Lecture: Liska Jacobs (F)

Woman on the Edge. Joan Didion’s Maria Wyeth, Sylvia Plath’s Esther Greenwood, Jean Rhys’s Sasha Jensen, Deborah Levy’s Kitty Finch—Elena Ferrante’s Olga, Anais Nin’s Sabina. What do these classic female characters have in common? They’re all women on the edge: pissed off and spiraling, and from page one we know nothing good will happen.With the rise of the unlikeable female character, to the current political hot topic #metoo, it’s apparent the clichéd femme fatale or blushing virgin won’t do. Yet we’ve seen richly drawn heroines for the last century (Rhys was writing almost a hundred years ago!), and not much has changed. A woman is still trapped by the confines of her world. We’ll survey how these authors responded to the societal expectations of their time, and talk about what the modern woman on the page might look like today.

Room: Salon 4

9:00am – 10:30am

Faculty Lecture: Jill Alexander Essbaum (P)

Speaking Softly IS Carrying a Big Stick: Using Quiet Conventions to Wallop the Hell out of Your Reader. You like being yelled at?  Spoken to in ALL CAPS?  Hit over the head— again and again and again!— with a point that someone is dying to make?  You like having that same point rammed down your throat in the manner of goose gavage? (See: this intro.)  Of course you don’t.  No one does. But we’ve all done it. And trust me, it never works as well as we want it to. Poems are put down, books thrown across the room for lesser evils.  There are better ways, Friend.  These quiet conventions of which I speak?  I’m talking soft sounds.  I’m talking particularized details.  I’m talking slowed-down speech and simplification. We’re going to look at different ways to talk about BIG THINGS… small-ly.

10:30am – 12:00pm

Faculty Lecture: Mickey Birnbaum (PL)

How to talk, what to say, and when to shut up  We’ll look at the uses of dialogue in theater and film–how the two forms intersect, how they diverge, and what dialogic strategies plays and movies can steal from each other. We’ll look at examples of great dialogue from theater and film, discuss ways to generate dialogue through exercises and improvisation, and explore the brutal art of editing your dialogue and killing your word-darlings.

Room: Salon 4

10:30am – 12:00pm

Faculty Lecture: Emily Rapp Black (NF)

Reflection vs. Explanation. The art of the essay is not to walk you through an experience, it’s to find something larger in the moment. In this lecture, Emily will guide you through the art of reflection.

Room: Salon 6

12:00pm – 1:00pm: Lunch

1:15pm – 4:15pm: Main Genre Workshops

Classes will be held in the Las Flores Conference Center

Salons 1, 2 and 8 are located in the main conference and meeting area



Graduate Lecture: Tom Gianakopoulos (S)

The Rashomon Effect, a.k.a., Who Can You Trust?

A movie’s success often depends upon an audience’s ability to empathize with its characters. When those characters’ perceptions of reality are called into question, it is this empathetic bond, combined with a curiosity to get to the “truth” of the matter, that will draw viewers deeper into the story at hand.  Things are not as they seem  is a realization that can come gradually in a movie’s narrative (the suspense model) or suddenly, when a dramatic twist pulls the rug of perception out from beneath the character(s), the audience, or both (the surprise model). This presentation will look at the uses of each model within the films RASHOMON, FIGHT CLUB and JACOB’S LADDER.

Room: Salon 4


*Dark Night