This is a creative writing workshop for students who are looking for ways to use their writing to participate in the 2020 election. Student writers will explore a number of different forms—which may include fiction, creative nonfiction, essay, playscripts, and more—as well as the way these forms can take shape for different readers—such as blogs, social media posts, short videos, or podcasts—and will also consider a range of topics as we publish work, in real time, with the multimedia platform #VoteThatJawn. #VoteThatJawn launched in 2018 to support youth registration and voting in Philadelphias 2018 midterm elections, and registration of 18-year-olds that year doubled: from 3,300 to nearly 7,000. In 2020, university, high school, and media partners across the city aim to hit 10K. Imagine that. Imagine a creative writing class that answers our desire to live responsibly in the world and to have a say in the systems that govern and structure us. Plus, a course devoted to learning to write with greater clarity, precision, and whatever special-sauce Jawn your voice brings.
The course is designed as an editorial group sharing excellent, nonpartisan, fun, cool, sometimes deadly earnest content for and about fresh voters. In addition, you will gain experience in activities that writers in all disciplines need to know: producing an arts-based event and a social media campaign, working with multimedia content, and collaborating with other artists. English 124 will sometimes work directly with diverse populations of youth from other colleges and high schools throughout the city. Because you will engage with a common reading program about the groundbreaking Voting Rights Act of 1965, the class is cross-listed with Africana Studies 124. In addition, the work of #VoteThatJawn performs a civic service; therefore it is listed as an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course with the university.
Don’t sit out this momentous electoral season. Devote time to your writing and use that writing to bring voters your age to the polls. This course is cross-listed with AFRC 124.