Creative Writing: Writing Resistance

English 273: Writing Resistance
“each morning I stitch a scowl / to my smile. let my eyes sass / every person standing between me / & the bus stop. my eyelashes / icy. call it survival. call it eyeliner / so crisp it could kill a bitch.” – Fatimah Asghar, “Stank Face”


This course will examine themes of resistance and concepts such as sumud, sometimes translated with the phrase “existence as resistance,” in literature of the 20th and 21st century.

We will read works of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and hybrid genres; writing by women, men, and queer-identified writers; and writing within occupied territories and in worldwide diasporas. Topics of focus may include, among others, intersectional expressions of identity; frameworks, definitions, and aesthetics of resistance; and multilingual dimensions of resistance literature.


You will have the opportunity to examine and experiment with a variety of writing genres, and to workshop your writing in formats including group workshop, peer workshop, and discussion board workshop. We will discuss craft elements of each genre and ways that these elements can be applied across genres. We will also explore writing strategies, and you will have a chance to discuss your writing process, writing goals, and preferences in terms of genre and craft.


Major Assignments will include weekly blog posts, writing workshops, two short papers, and a final exam, which will involve a collaborative exploration of publishing options.


Blog Posts – 15 points – Based on Prompts for Critical and Creative Writing
Paper 1 – 20 points – Genre and Craft
Paper 2 – 20 points – Your Work, Your Voice
Workshop – 25 points – Creative Writing Portfolio and Process Paper
Final Exam – 5 points
Attendance – 10 points
Participation – 5 points

Attendance is mandatory.