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Finding Voice: Perspecitives on Race, Class & Gender

ENGL 135.601
crosslisted as: AFRC 134, GSWS 135
instructor(s):
T 5:30-8:30 pm

As children, we first begin to learn stories and myths that explain how the world works, what life means, and how we’re the same and different. In this writing seminar, we will explore myths about race, class, gender, and sexuality that are embedded in the culture of “ordinary life,” as well as in systems of power and privilege. We’ll examine how inequalities impact not only our opportunities, but also how we perceive ourselves and others. During this semester, students will learn how other writers— including Frederick Douglass, Audre Lorde, Leslie Marmo Silko, Thandeka, Angela Davis, James Baldwin, Jimmy Santiago Baco, and Amy Tan—have used language to help them convey who they are and how their experiences have shaped them. Throughout the semester, we also will mine a deep understanding of the art of writing. In addition to in-class exercises, meditation and movement, students will be asked to a maintain a daily practice of free-writing; writing responses (2-3 pages weekly) to assigned books, essays, stories, and documentaries; participate in workshop discussions and peer review, and write and revise three stories/essays (4-5 pages).