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Storytelling: Magazine & Feature Writing (321-0-20)


Listening to the Dead


Steven William Thrasher

Meeting Info

Annenberg Hall G29: Mon, Wed 1:00PM - 2:20PM

Overview of class

In this course, feature writing will be studied and practiced as students learn how to write about people who are dead. The course will explore such questions as, How can a dead person be a source? How can we listen to the dead? How do we report on the end of life? How do we portray the dead ethically? How can we find the dead in archives? and How do we interview the living about the dead? The instructor, Prof. Thrasher will, teach how to write about the dead from his experiences covering police killings, the Black Lives Matter movement, cancer, the Pulse massacre, and the HIV/AIDS and Covid-19 pandemics. While students can write features about any subject, their stories must include at least one source who is no longer living. Every student will also learn how to write an obituary. Media projects the course will explore will include the New York Times' "Overlooked" project, the ACT UP Oral History Project, the StoryCorps archive, audio obituaries, the podcast In the Dark, and the films The Bridge, Paris is Burning, Obit and Trade Center.

Registration Requirements

Prereqs: JOUR 301-0, JOUR 301-1, or JOUR 384

Class Materials (Required)

The Viral Underclass (Thrasher, $20), The American Way of Death (Mitford, $12), Let the Record Show (Schulman, $18) ,Sing, Unburied, Sing (Ward, $12). (Total: $62)

Class Attributes

Attendance at 1st class mandatory
Prerequisites apply, see description
SDG Peace & Justice

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: In order to register for this course you must have taken JOUR 301, JOUR 301-1, JOUR 319, JOUR 352, JOUR 384, JOUR 390 (JOURneys: New York City & the), or JOUR 390 (JOURneys: Exploring Asian Amer).