Composition I

Writing Identities (English 100: Composition)


“There was once a carver who spent a lifetime with wood, seeking out exposing the figures that were hidden there. These eccentric or brave, dour, whimsical, crafty, beguiling, tormenting, tormented or loving figures developed first in the forests, in the tree wombs, but depended on the master with his karakia and his tools, his mind and his heart, his breath and his strangeness to bring them to other birth” Patricia Grace Potiki


Course Description: Our identity as individuals is drawn from an array of cultural, religious, and social resources. Whether it be through the clothes we wear, the music we listen to, or the expression and performance of traditional cultural practices, every student has an identity. In this course, we will look at the ways the composition of identity differs from place to place, and while doing so, will learn not only how to write, but how to write ourselves.

As the semester moves forward we will, through our work and discussions, improve our understanding of what identities say and do, culminating in a research paper that situates a good part of our identities in it. Given the struggles we all face in the midst of the cultural, racial religious and political climate of the world we live in, this course intends to help you navigate step 1, which is to understand the value of identity: in it’s many forms, expressions, and complexities. But again, more than just talk of identity in these ways, since this is, after all, a composition course, we will learn how to transfer our visual and verbal conceptions of identity into writing.