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Writing Cross-Culturally

Semester and Year FA 2016
Course Number WRTNG-UG1230
Section 001
Instructor Nancy Agabian
Days R
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U



In this course, students will create writing that traverses identities, borders and cultures, as well as genres, as they explore and deepen their understanding of issues of form, craft and ethics. The class will read and discuss a variety of texts that center around various modes of culture crossing, such as travel and study abroad; immigration, exile, expatriation and repatriation; third culture and diaspora identities; and historical clashes and conflicts. Through an ongoing examination of structural and craft issues in the exemplary texts, students will make creative decisions to help write three main assignments dealing with themes of Memory, Identity and Conflict. We'll use our discussions of Memory to help focus on expository and reflective rhetorical strategies, Identity as a way to experiment with point of view and character development, and Conflict as a method for exploring structure and dramatic tension. In order to write cross-culturally about personal experiences, students will be encouraged to create texts along the spectrum between creative nonfiction and autobiographical fiction. Theoretical essays will help inform how we ethically position ourselves as writers observing cultures not (necessarily) our own in order to inform audiences and to challenge our own prejudices. Through it all, we'll consider how formal experiments across genres may help illuminate experiences and confront perceptions. Authors to be read include Gloria Anzaldua, Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, Randa Jarrar, Jamaica Kincaid, Sigrid Nunez, Mary Louise Pratt, Salman Rushdie, Edward Said, Marjane Satrapi, Amy Tan, and Le Thi Diem Thuy.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)