A single life story can change the world. By writing about ourselves and our communities, we act as mirrors for others. In this course, we’ll explore our subjective stances and ask how we’ve been shaped by the world. Why do we obsess over certain memories and events? What stories do we believe about ourselves and our society? When and how do we use myth to imbue our lives with meaning? Is it possible to engage our readers despite rather than because of the topics we choose? The reading assignments in this class are meant to inspire. A writer hones their understanding of human nature by reading. Reading teaches us how to write, and gives us confidence to embark on our own journey of self-discovery. Whether we draw from memory to better understand the past, or address conflict in our lives today, writing celebrates our impulse to record, save, examine, clarify, testify, discover, and engage in moral inquiry. Students will write three short essays and one long essay, and engage in assigned readings, discussion threads, audiovisual material, and miscellaneous creative exercises. Selected authors include: Ryan Van Meter, Melissa Febos, Kiese Laymon, Wendy Ortiz, Colson Whitehead, Ali Eckerman, Jamaica Kincaid, Bruce Shapiro, Meghan Daum, and Elissa Washuta.
In Summer 2021 this class will be delivered remotely. This interactive workshop includes a mix of live synchronous Zoom sessions and a range of asynchronous reading and writing activities. Courses are embedded within a robust series of public programs (including readings, workshops, and panel discussions) that SWI students will also engage in.
Tentative schedule for synchronous meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30–7:30 p.m.; and either Saturday or Sunday, 1:30–3:30 p.m.