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Fictional Friendships: Writing Ardor and Amity

ENGL 112.301
instructor(s):
TR 1:45-3:15pm

How many kinds of love exist among friends? What is the difference between friendship and romance? In what ways do the ideals of femme, masc, trans, and cis complicate friendship? What are sisterhoods and what are bromances? What is a frenemy? In what ways do we dissolve the boundaries between queer friendships? And what role does family play in making friends: that is, can one ever dilute blood? What do race and class have to do with ardor and amity? How do we define our friends outside and inside our communities? This fiction workshop will explore not only how we experience friendship, but also how we write it. We will examine novels famous for their takes on friendship (Toni Morrison’s Sula, Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, Tanwi Nandini Islam’s Bright Lines, Nicole Dennis Benn’s Patsy, Justin Torres’s We the Animals) and interrogate the sticky, blurry lines between friendship and love, between loyalty to a person and loyalty to a community. We’ll also be writing our own short stories, creating characters who have to make difficult decisions because of their friendships and particularly because of relationships that teeter on the edge of fidelity and fondness.