Finding Voice: Perspectives on Race, Class & Gender

Course Number
GSWS 1456 601
Course Code
Course Key
Primary Program
Course Description
Our voices as writers take shape in the complex ground of our inner landscapes, seeded by our lives as children, our family dynamics and myths, and the social and cultural world that impacts us. In this writing workshop, we will explore the influence of “identity”—primarily race, class, gender and sexuality—as well as laws and systems of power and privilege, on the ways we convey our personal truths to the world. Students will read a variety of authors— including Frederick Douglass, Audre Lorde, , Leslie Marmo Silko, Thandeka, Angela Davis, Dorothy Allison, James Baldwin, Jimmy Santiago Baco, and Amy Tan— to gain insight into how other writers build narratives to make sense out of the progression of their lives. Students will conduct interviews, do research, writing exercises and visualizations to generate ideas, and to develop and revise personal essays, articles and opinion pieces. In addition to in-class exercises, meditation and movement, students will be asked to a maintain a daily practice of free-writing; write responses (2-3 pages weekly) to assigned books, essays, stories, documentaries, and field trips; participate in workshop discussions and peer review, and write and revise two to three stories/essays (4-5 pages) during the semester.