Social Resilience: Women Making Change

Winter 2018 quarter

Taught by

Jolie Sandoz
community studies, writing, analog game design, women's studies
  • UG

Social resilience can be thought of as the capacity of groups and communities to learn from and respond to societal stress and disturbance. Our attention in Women Making Change will center specifically on women’s experiences of organizing and acting in answer to systemic inequities based in negative social constructions of race and gender. We will celebrate the public accomplishments of successful advocates, and consider how best to continue to work for change. An introduction to public policy and its role in shaping lives will provide context for our considerations.

Writings arising from advocacy work for women’s equity in the U.S. form one record of social resilience. Program texts will be drawn from U.S. women’s, feminist, and womanist writings from the 1840s, 1970s, and the 1990s and 2000s. These texts encompass four types of writing: history, poetry, the prose of public policies, and creative nonfiction. (Creative nonfiction is factual writing combining accounts of personal experience with abstract or theoretical thinking.) Women working for change have long relied on crafting and reading poetry and creative nonfiction, in particular, as ways to acknowledge where women stand in the world and where and how they might move forward. History and public policy are important centers of efforts for social justice and equity – history as a record of human struggle, and public policy as one guide for, and path of, action. 

Program participants will meet in person three times per week during weeks 1 and 2 (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings), and twice a week (Monday and Wednesday evenings) thereafter. During our Thursday meetings (January 11 and 18) we will practice using online seminar software, and begin our work of analyzing creative nonfiction texts. An additional  “real time” typed online seminar, and real time online meetings to respond to each other’s very short creative essays during weeks 3 – 9 will result in end-of-quarter, in-person presentations and readings of program work. Students will take turns facilitating each online small group discussion, and writers will direct discussions of each other’s creative work while following a structured format. Willingness to participate in on-line discussions and to share all written program work with others are requirements for program membership.

Participants in Women Making Change will have opportunities to develop the habits of mind of analytic, creative, and resilient thinkers who work with others to create life-affirming choices. Our work to develop skills in crafting clear and thoughtful spoken and written response, in writing idea-based creative nonfiction, and in cultivating a culture of resilience and relationship-building across the significant human differences apparent in any community will be essential components of the program.

Credit will be awarded in creative nonfiction writing, women's studies, and community studies.

Program Details

Fields of Study

gender and women's studies government sociology

Preparatory For

community development and organizing, social work, government and public service, education


Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Mon/Wed 5:45-9:45. We also will meet two Thursdays from 5:45 to 9:45 -- Week 1, January 11, and Week 2, January 18

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning 25 - 49% Delivered Online