Experimental Writing: Contemporary Black Feminism
The main object of this course will be collaborative (immanently experimental) critical-creative writing, which we will consider as an element of black feminist practice. We will read the work of leading contemporary black feminist thinkers, the philosopher Saidiya Hartman and the novelist Gayl Jones. We spend some time studying Hartman's 1997 masterwork, now foundational in black studies: Scenes of Subjection. We will proceed to discuss Hartman’s more recent, groundbreaking and experimental text Wayward Lives. Then we will read what Hilton Als has called the “not good” books of the great novelist Gayl Jones, The Healing and Palmares, as well as the The Birdcatcher, published in English for the first time in 2022. All along the way, we will weave a creative essay together, encountering these works as critical-creative thinkers pushing the bounds of our own writing.