English 123 is a pop-up writing community. We will focus on creating: stories, yes, and connections, within our group, the university, and the city. This term will focus on writing about voting during one of the most exciting election years in our lifetimes. Your task will be to engage Big Questions about our moment in clear, fun prose, fiction and nonfiction, about this difficult subject for and about young people. Throughout spring term, you’ll practice real-world skills without which even excellent writers may founder: initiative, scheduling, public events preparation, and a meditative habit of observing—as if the same old world were born fresh every day. Which it is. This course is designed as a group internship in association with #VoteThatJawn, a multimedia blog and social movement devoted to promoting safe, nonpartisan havens for children and youth to understand and deepen their connection with the adult structures that govern our lives.
You will work on and off campus, conduct workshops, curate, write, research, edit and publish. You will promote stories and events. You will write compact and engaging prose for blogs. You will also write Facebook posts and Tweets to accompany your own and your colleagues’ work. You will give a workshop to high-school or middle-school students, and you will edit their work (writing, podcasts, or videos) for possible publication, too. If we do the job right, we will shine a light on those among us who make young people safe in an era of fear. If we make it fun to read, look at, and listen to, then, we’ll be on our way to creating community—and stealth culture change.
Writers come into class wondering whether we’re good enough. My question to you is: Are you hungry enough? This class is cross-listed with Africana Studies 123.401 and is an Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) course.