Writing: Advanced Practices

Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 quarters

Taught by

How does the body make—and make its way into—literature? This interdisciplinary program approaches writing as an embodied process involving both discipline and play, ritual and improvisation. Through movement practices, reading, and creative writing, students will refine narrative moves, generate site specific texts, and finally develop a body of work in fiction, nonfiction, and, optionally, the related narrative arts of performance or comics.

Over the course of the two quarter program, we will cultivate physical practices that support the peculiarly active stillness of writing, from secular meditation to walking and other movement disciplines. Our readings pose the question: what is the body, anyway? The texts under consideration span fiction, performance texts, and nonfiction (including science writing, philosophy, religious studies, and cultural criticism), taking up the body as a strange site, both real and imaginary. We’ll look at how different writers contest and/or celebrate embodied experiences of racialization, gender, ability, class, and intersections thereof—improvising with literary genres along the way. And we’ll consider the body as a porous interface between individual experience, (eco)systems, and stories.

New participants are warmly invited to join this program winter quarter. In winter, students will focus on a sustained writing and research project, situating their own work in relation to a self-selected lineage of books and bodily practices. Students will compile a bibliography and generate new work in a genre of their choosing. To share processes and final outcomes, students have the option of working in a secondary genre of performance or comics.

We will metabolize and ground our inquiries in writing, practicing moves common to fiction, nonfiction, and other forms of storytelling (comics and performance) by way of prompts and games. Essaying about assigned texts is an occasional requirement, but we’ll situate so-called critical writing on this spectrum of expressive and rigorously playful prose. We will write from stillness and movement, in the classroom and elsewhere. No previous movement training is necessary, and adaptions can be arranged for physical access as needed.

Program Details

Fields of Study

literature writing

Preparatory For

literature and writing.


Fall Open Winter Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First winter class meeting: Tuesday, January 10th at 10am (Com 320)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning


$30 in fall for performance tickets and $250 for an overnight field trip.


2017-01-03Winter fee added ($250).
2016-11-16This program will accept new winter enrollment without signature. Winter quarter activities updated.
2016-10-03$30 fall fee added.
2016-04-22New fall-winter opportunity added.