Lit dept. explores changes to writing

    Over 20 students gathered in the Chancellor’s Complex on Oct. 24 for a meeting to discuss the future of the UCSD literature department and more specifically, the writing major at UCSD.

    Leading the open discussion was Eileen Myles, the new head of the department’s writing section this year. The purpose of the meeting was to use student input to begin a dialogue about the current state of the writing section and ways it could be improved.

    Myles began by stating that one thing she hopes to do this year is find a place for writing at UCSD. She explained that she wants to extend the writing culture to a more visible place on campus and in the school community at large so writing majors to share their work.

    Students offered suggestions like publishing a journal for the writing program, having public readings, more open-mic nights and putting more publicity into the readings that already take place.

    Students at the meeting also raised their own suggestions for new courses that they would like to see added. Ideas included classes in journalism or media writing, philosophical style and instruction on how to critique works.

    Myles said she wants to “”battle the notion that artists and writers labor in obscurity, especially within the UC system.””

    Another major improvement for the literature department that was discussed at the meeting was the addition of an M.A. in writing. The creation of this new degree is scheduled to be available in the fall of 2002.

    Currently, writing is the largest major offered by the department of literature. Beginning next quarter, there will be a new professor and course offered. Amber Brooks is a local fiction writer and journalist who will be joining the teaching staff to instruct a course on adapting literature into screenplays. The class will be offered during the winter quarter, but has not yet been added to the course catalogue.

    More meetings to expand on the ideas discussed are planned, but no dates have been set thus far.

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