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Me and You and the World: Writing the Personal and the Political

Semester and Year FA 2019
Course Number WRTNG-UG1548
Section 001
Instructor Meera Nair
Days M
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U



Voice is the first thing we encounter in compelling writing. Voice is the palpable presence of the writer, the hand that reaches out to pull us in. It is writer’s persona, the sound of his or her presence. Voice is what persists, whispering in our head, long after the essayist's convictions are aired, long after we have closed the book, or closed the browser. This multi-genre writing workshop will help hone an essential and potent element of your writing: an ability to adapt your voice to the medium. Whether it is the rigor of short fiction or the convictions of the personal essay owe will explore different ways to develop your voice. We will close-read published stories and essays as a starting point for your own writing. We will explore aspects of craft: point of view, character, theme, rhythm, structure and so on. We will burnish each other’s work with frank and constructive comment and grapple with the rigors of editing. The course will require close-readings of fiction by Kafka, Cortazar, Ha Jin, Lahiri, Oates, and personal essays by Hemon, Dillard, Jo Ann Beard, Laymon, Coates, and other writers. In addition to writing fiction and essay and studying aspects of craft, students will also be invited to make presentations.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)