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Uncreative Writing

ENGL 111.301
Thursday 1:30–4:30

I Shop Therefore I Am: Writing Through Consumerism and Fashion 

How does consumerism define who we are? Can we hew an autobiography from the label of our clothes hanging in our closets or the slogans emblazoned across our t-shirts? Can we construct a work of writing in the same way we would construct a garment? Can literature, literally, be wearable? Can we model print-on-demand literature on print-on-demand fabrics? And how does this extend into the digital world? What do our online purchases and browser histories reveal to us about who we are? And how can they be churned into compelling works of identity-based literature? We’ll examine a panoply of approaches as models for our writings, including world fashion, plus-size, national dress, costume, and fast fashion. For inspiration we’ll be looking at everything from the art of Jeff Koons and Kehinde Wiley; to the fashion of Commes des Garçons and Hood by Air. We’ll bolster our practice with readings by Jean Baudrillard, Roland Barthes, Robin Givhan, Bethann Hardison, bell hooks, Naomi Klein, Wayne Koestenbaum, Susan Sontag, and Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, alongside contemporary periodicals such as DISThe Gentlewoman, and Vestoj. There will be a field trip to New York to visit the studios of fashion designers and avant-garde boutiques such as Dover Street Market.

Let me know if that works? Thanks very much.

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