Writing the Other

Writing about people who do not share our race, culture, gender, or sexual orientation is high-risk, particularly if we write from a place of privilege. Often, the fear of appropriation and stereotyping means that we avoid writing about characters of other backgrounds completely. Instead of excluding writing about or from the perspective of characters of Otherness at all, this course will provide the background and space to think critically and openly about the representations our work creates, even as we attempt to create our own work in this context.

Reading/Writing assignments:
Students will read published works against academic criticism. In the second half of the semester, the course will focus on student work — students will participate in full-group workshops, wherein students will be required to submit new work which is written from the point-of-view of a character whose racial or sexual identity is different from their own. Workshops will focus on the question of how stories fail or succeed in the context of identity and representation.

Other information:
Program IV English majors may use 2 creative courses at 300 or 400-level as departmentals. Individual conferences are scheduled at intervals during the semester. There are no exams. This course cannot be audited. Not open to Freshmen.

Application required. Students must have completed one 200-level CWR course.


Prerequisites and Restrictions

Admission by application only and must have completed two 200-level CWR courses.



Fridays, 1:30 - 4:20 pm
New South Building, Room 602


Hanna Pylväinen