The Genre-Bending Art of Essaying CRWRT5043

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will examine the structure and contexts of the experimental, literary and cross-discipline essay and will focus on how and why we write and read between and beyond genres, forms and disciplines. By integrating the close reading and discussions of published essays with the workshopping of students' work, this course will encourage new writing and collaborations underpinned by the idea that the experimental essay is a powerful form where essential ideas are hashed out and communicated.


10 x 2 hour sessions comprised of:

x 10 weekly seminar sessions of 1 hour

x 10 weekly workshop sessions of 1 hour

Requirements of Entry

Standard Entry to Masters at College Level

Excluded Courses





Final Submission:

90%: 4500 words or equivalent final submission that explores the essay form itself, in an applied way. As these essays may be highly experimental and cross-disciplined, all essay topics and approaches will be agreed in discussion with the course leader

10%: a grading of the quality of the written and oral feedback they give to their peers.

Course Aims

The course aims to provide students with the skills to:

■ Investigate the structures, contexts and histories of the essay, as experimental and cross disciplinary form, with a high degree of sophistication.

■ Analyse and produce a range of diverse, innovative and hybrid essays

■ Explore editorial approaches to cross-genre and cross-medium work

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Articulate, through discussion and essaying, their understanding of the diverse forms and shapes of the experimental, literary and cross-discipline essay;

■ Communicate, verbally and in writing/art, an understanding of the context and structures of diverse essays; 

■ Provide useful editorial feedback to their peers and apply these editorial skills to own essays;

■ Communicate at a high standard about critical writing, creative writing, and artistic or cross-discipline practice;

■ Contribute to discussions around hybrid, cross-genre experimental writing/essaying as a place for deep critical, linguistic, intellectual, imaginative and emotional engagement with almost any topic.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.