Rebekah teaches fiction and nonfiction at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Here is a sampling of some of the courses she’s taught recently:
Intro to Short Story Writing:
Fiction and Empathy (Undergrad)
In this course, students are encouraged to research a topic they want to learn more about and use that information to write a short story. Students are given the option of conducting this research through participating in a service-learning program or writing a research paper. Topics researched include: grandparenthood, stand-up comedy, action movies, and personality disorders.
Forms of Fiction:
The Novella (Grad)
In this course, students study the novella from the eighteenth century onwards and write novellas of their own. Novellas studied include Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla, Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, Ted Chiang’s The Story of Your Life, Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti, George Saunders’s Bounty, Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain, and Samantha Chang’s Hunger.
Advanced Fiction Writing:
Characters Behaving Badly (Undergrad)
In this course, students study characters at their strangest and most despicable. We try to understand what makes people behave badly and why trainwrecks are so fascinating to read about. Writers studied include NoViolet Bulawayo, Adam Haslett, Yiyun Li, Clarice Lispector, and James Baldwin.
This class is a traditional fiction workshop with a built-in element of professionalization. Students entertain guest speakers including agents, editors, and established writers. At the beginning of every class, students ask “Process Questions,” (questions related in some way to the writing and publication process), and the class endeavors to answer them together. Past guest speakers include agent Ross Harris of the Stuart Krichevsky Agency, editor Kerry Cullen of Henry Holt Publishing Co., and writers Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties) and Andrea Lawlor (Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl).