|Semester and Year||FA 2012|
|Time||6:20 PM - 9:00 PM|
Writing professors often advise students, “Write what you know.” But how about writing from what you know into what you don’t know, specifically by tackling the perspective of someone who is different from you? In this course, we’ll explore a range of identities: gender, race, sexual orientation, class, age, disability, body type, and many more. How can we learn to recognize our own blind spots that prevent us from fully seeing the people and the world around us? And how can we confront and overcome our fears of causing offense in our attempts to get inside someone whose life experience we don’t share? During the course, we’ll examine how categories of “Same” and “Other” can shift wildly not only from person to person, but within each person. We’ll also look at how the process of choosing or rejecting various identity labels intersects with issues of characterization. Finally, we'll consider the possible dangers of writing about the Other, such as distortion, erasure, or stereotype. Students will produce several short pieces of creative fiction and two complete short stories (10-15 pages each) to be workshopped and then revised, each focusing on capturing a character who does not share at least one identity marker with the author. For inspiration, we’ll also read examples of work by writers like Ha Jin, Manuel Munoz, Edwidge Danticat, Victor LaValle, Lorrie Moore, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Bernard Malamud.
Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)