Michael Petracca

Lecturer Emeritus
Writing Program

University of California at Santa Barbara
South Hall 3400 Suites
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
E-mail: petracca@writing.ucsb.edu


Writing 121, Advanced Creative Nonfiction:  an upper-division writing workshop in which students expand on skills and methodologies learned in the Writing 105CN course and write in a variety of nonfictional subgenres, including narrative "fact piece," profile essay, and more experimental forms.

Writing 105CN, Introduction to Creative Nonfiction:  an upper-division writing workshop in which students read and write in a variety of nonfictional subgenres, including autobiographical narrative essay, segmented essay, and shorter forms. 

Writing 109SS, Writing for the Social Sciences: research, discussion, and analysis of current issues in the social sciences, with a content focus on cultural impacts of digital technology, and the effects of hypertext on traditional methods of information presentation.

Writing 109F, Writing about Film: analysis and practice of various forms of writing about film, Including source-based argumentation, film reviews, movie-centered personal narrative, and dialectical journal responses to prose pieces of interest to majors In Film Studies, English, the humanities generally, and related social sciences.

Writing 109ED, Writing for the Teaching Professions: research, discussion, and analysis of current issues in educational theory, practice, and policy. Appropriate for prospective teaching credential students.

Writing 50, Writing and the Research Process: a writing course addressing the analytical skills underlying the research process of academic and professional communities.


Common Culture: Reading and Writing About American Popular Culture, with Madeleine Sorapure. Seventh Edition. New York, Prentice Hall. Copyright 2012. Paper format. ISBN-10: 0205171788

Reading Popular Culture, with Madeleine Sorapure. New York, Penguin. Copyright 2011. Paper format. ISBN-10: 0205717349

The Graceful Lie: a Method for Making Fiction. New York, Prentice Hall. Copyright 1999.  Paper format. ISBN-10 0132874180

Academic Communities/Disciplinary Conventions, with Bonnie Beedles.  New York, Prentice Hall. Copyright 2001, 610 pp. Paper format, ISBN 0-13-040169-2.

Doctor Syntax, a novel. Vintage / Black Lizard Books, 1989; Capra Press, Joshua Odell ed., 1990. ISBN 1-877741-03-5. 

Captain Zzyzx, a novel. Capra Press, Joshua Odell ed., 1992. ISBN 1-877741-03-5.


"Plover Mind." Creative nonfiction. Alligator Juniper, v8, n1. © Prescott College, 220 Grove Ave., Prescott AZ 86301

"Cornyphones and Cardboard Flamingos: a Green Consumer Reads His Breakfast." Journal of American Culture, v19, n2.
   MELVYL Abstract: Cereal boxes are being used in an apparent attempt to increase environmental awareness but with generalizations that subvert this intent. On the Kix cereal box, for example, geographical regions are depicted as possessions and industrialization is shown as the only viable basis of economy. Cereal box manufacturers have a responsibility to portray environments as a complex arrangement of interrelated parts in a constant state of change.

"The Unluckiest Consumer in the World." Short story, Turnstile Magazine, Nelson Taylor ed.  © Turnstile Press, Suite 2348, 175 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10010.

"Cockroach Miracles, Solvent Dreams." Short Story, Manoa: a Journal of International Writing, v3, n2, © University of Hawai'i, 1733 Donaghho Road, Honolulu, HI 96822 

"Interviewing Styles of the Late Night Talk Show Stars."Far West Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Annual Conference, Las Vegas.
     Conference abstract: According to the entertainment news service OnRamp, talk show host Jay Leno has been "celebrating after landing a multi-million dollar new deal" with NBC. The network has enticed the comedian to stick with The Tonight Show for another five years following an "incredible rise in ratings." Sources report that "NBC chiefs are reportedly so delighted with Leno's superb interviewing technique ... that they waved the checkbook at him for the undisclosed lucrative deal." This conference presentation aims to examine just how "superb" the interviewing skills of Leno are, by contrasting specific interviewing behaviors and techniques - e.g. self-deprecating humor, mocking the interviewee, temporarily assuming an alternative persona, open vs. closed questions, percentage of interviewee response time allowed - to the styles of the other two late-night talk show mega-stars, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien ... with the ultimate goal of arriving at a conclusion as to which host is the most effective interviewer.  

"Comparing Computer-based and Text-based Research Writing: a Course Model."  WebNet World Conference on  the World Wide Web and Internet, Honolulu.


  Rev 11/5/10