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Writing Class

ENGL 3655.401
also offered as: GSWS 3655.401, LALS 3655.401, THAR 3655.401
Wednesday 3:30-6:30pm

Gayatri Spivak has stated, “Of race, class and gender, class is the least abstract.” While materially true, in literary, theatrical, perofmative and cinematic representational schemes, class is often occluded, made permeable in opposition to longstanding economic realities or simply wished away in order to focus on plot and pleasantry. Within this course, students will instead focus their writing on class, whether that be on the middle classes, the bourgeoisie, ruling class, or the world’s majority: the working class. Work on class can take the form of satire or solidarity; expose conflict and antagonism between and within a given class; historicize individual relationships within the history of property relations; focus on finances, wealth, or poverty; portray class ascent or descent. Writing may be in any genre: poetry, fiction, memoir, political essay, film script, play or performance. We will read and view work by artists such as Tillie Olsen, Kae Tempest, Leslie Feinberg, Zadie Smith, Cherrie Moraga, Alma Luz Villanueva, Helena Maria Viramontes, Gary Indiana, Gloria Naylor, Paul Beatty, Robert Altman, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the Dardenne Brothers, Ken Loach, Lucrecia Martel, Bertolt Brecht, Clifford Odets, Adrienne Kennedy, Studs Terkel, Jean Toomer, Valerie Solanas, and the Chicano, Black and Nuyorican Theater Movements. We will develop work in/on class via writing exercises, attend readings, plays and performances both on and off campus. Students will do a midterm presentation of their work in progress. Final projects can be a short story, essay, a suite of poems, a play or film script, a short video, a collection of vignettes or a mélange of these genres. Let the writing of class begin!

English Major Requirements
English Concentration Attributes
College Attributes