Special Topics: Writing Lives|
Spring 2022 not offered
In this course, students will read profiles, biographies, and theories of biography, texts that focus on the stakes of writing the lives of women, people of color, people with disabilities, and queer subjects. As we analyze these attempts to capture a life, to define the problems of this form, and to expand its possibilities, students will work on their own biographical writing. Throughout the semester, we will ask: Whose lives get written, and by whom? What constitutes evidence of a life, according to whom--and what gets left out? What kinds of research are necessary? How does a writer's relationship to her subject inform such a portrait, and what are the ethics of that relationship?
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: |
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CWRC)(ENGL)(ENGL-Creative W)(ENGL-Literature)
Authors studied may include: Hilton Als, Julia Blackburn, Saidiya Hartman, Adina Hoffman, Michael Holroyd, Samuel Johnson, Wayne Koestenbaum, Nell Irwin Painter, Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, and others.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Assignments include intensive participation in discussion, short exercises, a long profile and revision, and a final portfolio of all work submitted.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Meetings with and readings by visiting writers may be an additional element of the course. Students of all backgrounds are welcome in this course, but ideally you should have taken at least one course in Creative Writing (Techniques, Workshops, or Special Topics, in any genre), OR have a background in the study of the history of the novel, in narrative theory, or in history.
The application deadline is Monday, November 11th at 4:00 PM.
Application Process: (1) Go to the Creative Writing page of the English Department website at: http://www.wesleyan.edu/english/writing and complete the online application. (2) Submission materials: 1) your name, email address, year in school, major (if any), some of your favorite writers and any other influences; 2) a short statement (a paragraph or two) describing your interest in biography/profile writing and reading and other relevant background. 3) Upload your materials electronically in a single attachment to the Google Form with the file name: "Last Name_First Initial_Course Number" (e.g. Smith-J-ENGL325.docx). You will be notified electronically of the status of your application by the end of the Planning Period.
It is recommended that students only take a maximum of two creative writing courses per semester. This course contributes to the English major Theory and Literary Forms and Creative Writing concentrations.
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