This class will focus on challenging the notion of there being an ideal and normative writing craft method. It centers an anti-colonial worldbuilding approach to telling our stories, and why that approach is so important to the publishing industry today.
How can we, as writers and readers, explore the nuances of culture and the mores of tradition in non harmful ways. Students will be encouraged to think critically about the role of Westernized literary hegemony and power dynamics in literary spaces by examining different narrative conventions, plot constructs, and themes that exist around the world. The goal is to broaden our modern perception of writing craft, primarily in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, by deconstructing the colonial lens in literature and analyzing how modern writers use non-western inspirations as expressions of anticolonialism.
This class will help guide writers from the diaspora who are seeking to use fiction writing as a way of reclaiming culture and celebrating heritage. We will examine the issues of orientalism, neocolonialism, creative writing as imperialism as it pertains to fiction writing, and the reinvention tropes and genre (e.g Silkpunk and Afrofuturism) as a catharsis.
The works of authors like Frantz Fanon, Rebecca Roanhorse, Ken Liu, and Matthew Salesses will be analyzed and students will leave class with a piece of writing that engages a non-western narrative structure. This class will be primarily lecture and discussion based, with time to generate in-class writing exercises and recommended reading material. The teaching artist will provide links and PDF's to students of supplemental reading material.
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