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

Semester and Year SP 2019
Course Number WRTNG-UG1548
Section 001
Instructor Meera Nair
Days R
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 multigenre 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, the convictions of the personal essay or the quick musings of a blog, we will explore different ways to develop your voice. We will close-read published stories, essays, blogs 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, personal essays by Hemon, Dillard, Jo Ann Beard, Shteyngart and other writers. We will also study blogs like ze frank, Learningtoloveyoumore by Miranda July. In addition to writing fiction and essay and studying aspects of craft, students will also design and create website content and make presentations.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)