CW 11 — Bearing Witness: A Writing Workshop for Challenging Times
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Oct 15
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 8
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Instructor(s): Monica Wesolowska
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
10:00 am—4:00 pm (PT)
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
To bear witness is a powerful act, one that can both preserve and change our vision of the world. How have different writers borne witness during challenging times, and what can we learn from them? We will start by discussing the private value of diary writing during difficult times. From there, we will examine more public forms of writing, starting with memoir excerpts by Jean-Dominique Bauby and Sonali Deraniyagala and moving on to op-eds and essays, including powerful responses to public calamities by Justin Torres and Bryan Doyle. Finally, we will delve into fiction, experimenting with the magic of metaphor in novels such as Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West. With each style we examine, students will complete a writing exercise that explores rhetorical strategies for approaching difficult material, as we learn how to transcend our own private experiences so as to speak for us all. Whether you plan on using your writing for personal benefit or public appreciation, by the end of the course, you will have new tools for bearing witness during challenging times and a plan for where to take your writing next.
This course is appropriate for writers of all experience levels.
Monica Wesolowska has written books for both adults and children, including the memoir Holding Silvan: A Brief Life, which was named a Best Book of 2013 by The Boston Globe and Library Journal, and the picture book Leo + Lea. Her essays and short stories have been published in a wide variety of venues, including The New York Times. For almost two decades, she has taught creative writing and worked with clients as an independent editor.
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.