Autobiographical Writing Workshop

This class focuses on the reading and writing of narrative,
autobiographical non-fiction in the forms of traditional prose as well as the
graphic novel (aka “comic books”). Each week students will read approximately
40 pages of published work plus three student pieces (roughly 25 pages). Attention
will focus on elements of fiction such as setting, character, plot, theme,
structure and style. Other assignments may be added at the instructor’s
discretion.

Each student will write three autobiographical pieces for
class discussion (6-8 pages minimum), built around the themes of place, people
and dilemma, and reflecting the student’s own background. The first two pieces
must be prose fiction; the third may be in graphic novel style. Students
desiring to write solely prose fiction will be free to do so. Collaboration is not
allowed for graphic novels, as these are understood to be non-fiction
representations of individual experience.

Students will take turns leading class discussions. These
discussions as well as regular participation in all class conversation are
major factors in calculating student grades.

Required books:

Dennis Kawaharada, Local
Geography

Alison Bechdel, Fun
Home

Dick Gregory, Nigger

Annie Dillard, An
American Childhood