Social Resilience: Women Making Change

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Winter 2018 quarter

Taught by

academic and creative nonfiction writing, community studies, analog game design

Social resilience can be thought of as the capacity of individuals, groups, and communities to encourage and engage with cultural and community change. Participants in this 12-credit program will explore selected historical feminist writings crafted while women organized and took actions to better their public lives. We’ll also write and respond to each other’s writing, focusing specifically on what the past teaches us about making social change in 2018. One important line of inquiry will center on intersectional efforts to make public life in the U.S. inclusive and equitable in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender.

Women of a wide range of identities have long relied on writing and then making their writings public as ways of working toward collective resilience. Our readings will be drawn primarily from U.S. feminist writings from the 1840s, 1890s, 1970s, and the years since 1990. We also will explore cultural activism associated with music, including 1970s feminist music and the Riot Girrrl movement (partially based in Olympia) of the 1990s and beyond. Taken together, our texts will encompass five types of writing: history, poetry, song lyrics, the prose of public policies, and creative nonfiction. (Creative nonfiction as we will practice it is fact-based writing combining accounts of personal experience with abstract or theoretical thinking.)

A major program goal will be to expand our individual and collective knowledge of and skills in creative nonfiction writing. 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, beginning our work of reading and writing creative nonfiction texts.

Willingness to participate respectfully, inclusively, and thoughtfully in face-to-face and online written discussions which often will focus on controversial and/or difficult topics, and willingness to share and to receive peer response to all program-related writings, are prerequisites and on-going expectations 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 efforts to develop skills in crafting clear and thoughtful spoken and written responses, in writing idea-based creative nonfiction, and in cultivating a collaborative 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 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

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

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


2017-10-20Program description updated