|Semester and Year||FA 2012|
|Time||9:30 AM - 12:15 PM|
In this workshop, we’ll explore how oral tradition – through performance, interviewing, and oral history – can inform the craft of written stories. From ancient epic poetry to the authors of This American Life, students will consider how storytelling has given way to printed narrative, and vice versa, as they first develop their own autobiographical monologues and then write the narratives of others. Through the reading of monologues, interviews, and oral histories in various formats (poetry, performance text, literary journalism, memoir, archive, theatre, video and film), students will consider the motives for placing spoken or spontaneous language down on the page to read as a permanent text. Journalistic interviews with a family or community member will inform an assignment to write a profile, as students determine how to best represent their own voice alongside the speech of their subject. We'll also use oral history methodology to collect the accounts of a group of people, examining conflicts and discrepancies among individual stories as an opportunity to explore form. Students will then use transcriptions of their interviews to inform a historical piece in a genre (or mixed genre) of their choice: poetry, nonfiction, or performance text. Authors to be read include Anna Deavere Smith, Studs Terkel, Spalding Gray, Sherman Alexie and Ntozake Shange. We'll also visit an oral history archive as well as mine the crafted "archives" of Def Poetry Jam, the Moth live storytelling series, and Meem (a Beirut-based queer women's group) for inspiration.
Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)