In traditional workshops content and context come second to craft. Here we will explore writing political fiction, the politics of fiction and writing as political engagement. We’ll read widely, from the most realistic depictions of the American political process and the varieties of immigrant experience to the work of afrofuturists and feminists. The personal is the political and our frame will range from the global to the domestic. We will write stories that inhabit experiences other than our own. This course will allow students to make interdisciplinary connections between courses on history, politics and identity and creative writing.
Sample reading list:
Joan Didion, Democracy
Dinaw Mengestu, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Gary Shteyngart, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook
Students will read published works ranging from short stories, essays and novels from a wide range of writers from around the world. We’ll begin with short in-class and take home writing exercises and then work our way towards full-group workshops students will be required to submit 45 pages of new fiction – and be able to talk about the personal and cultural political evolution or context of their idea.
Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Student must have completed one 200-level CWR course.