Intro to Lit: Creative Writing

ENG 273 (003): Creative Writing “Imagining Alternative Pasts and Futures”

CRN 88023.   MWF 9:30-10:20am KUY 313 with Māhea (Cameron Māhealani Ahia)

Counter-narratives empower marginalized voices to resist racial, cultural, political, religious, Indigenous, gendered and queered oppressions. If history is recorded by the victors, what happens to other characters’s stories? What if events had happened differently, as in the popular The Man in the High Castle? What happens to a fairy tale like Sleeping Beauty when told from the point of view of Maleficent? What warnings do Indigenous visionary and AfroFuturisms provide to our current global trajectory?

Through critical readings and viewings of spoken word poetry, drama, and fiction, we will analyze how various forms and genres promote their messages. While engaging thematic units on contemporary social justice issues, AfroFuturism, Speculative Pasts, and Indigenous Visionary Fiction, we will critically examine texts while composing our own contributions.

With the power of counter-narratives in mind, we will craft our issues into spoken word and documentary poetry; create our own dramatic solo characters and superheroes; write short stories; practice worlding other time/space possibilities; and reflect on our present potential. Reading responses, a textual analysis essay, midterm, as well as creative writing prompts and workshops, will build upon each other to produce a final portfolio and presentation. 

In our explorations, we will engage a variety of voices including (but not limited to): Alexis Pauline Gumbs (M Archive); short stories by Walidah Imarisha, Kamaoli Kuwada, Daniel Heath Justice, Grace Dillon; graphics by Marjorie Liu (Monstress) and Solomon Enos (Polyfantastica); Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner; “Deep Space Nine”; Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.”

Student Learning Outcomes

  • ❖  Students will augment their knowledge of how literature is organized by historical periods, genres, cultures, and cultural formations.
  • ❖  Students will improve their ability to ask questions of and to read, analyze, and interpret complex literary texts, using relevant literary terminology critically and creatively.
  • ❖  Students will improve their ability to express ideas by organizing, developing and supporting a description, analysis, or argument in written formats, within the conventions of academic writing.
  • ❖  Students will produce a significant amount of writing such that the course fulfills the requirements of its mandatory W Focus designation (i.e., 4,000 words).