Writing and Resistance

Spring 2017
Credits per quarter

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How do writers respond to political crises? How might we cross pollinate personal and political writing, and to what effect? And what roles do imagination and hope play in galvanizing social action? During this ten week writing workshop, students will read broadly, engage in self-directed research, and explore the permeable boundaries between journalism, activism, and creative writing.

Program readings span (and sometimes combine) fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and performance writing to examine past and present creative strategies for writing and resistance. We will consider the role of literature in a variety cultural contexts, from historical resistance to fascism in Europe to present-day writing about the U.S. criminal justice system. Throughout these investigations, we will track shifting frames of gender, class, and racialization, considering how the literature in question mediates difference and affinity, empathy and anger, individual experience and collective aims. Through critical and creative investigation of these texts, we will examine literature’s potential for bringing unimaginable processes to a human scale. 

In class, dynamic writing exercises will broaden our range of tactics for engaging the blank page and the political arena. We will occasionally incorporate simple movement practices to get into the writing zone. Our readings will include the following books, supplemented by short readings: The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh (97802263230390), Angels with Dirty Faces by Walidah Imarisha (9781849351744), and The Revisionist by Miranda Mellis (9780977072378). As a culminating project, students will undertake a creative research and writing project around an issue of their choosing. To build community and deepen our writing practices, the program will take a three-night writing retreat to Ft. Worden in Port Townsend. This program is a good option for students who have had some previous course experience with creative writing, creative non-fiction, or literary criticism.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: creative writing, literature, and cultural studies.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

$285 for an overnight field trip and a reader from the Copy Center.


Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia

Advertised schedule:

First class meeting: Tuesday, April 4 at 10am (Com 323)

2017-03-30Fee increased (from $265 to $285).
2017-02-27Fee added ($265).