Near the end of Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, she writes the following:
“My project is an effort to avert the critical gaze from the racial object to the racial subject; from the described and imagined to the describers and imaginers; from the serving to the served.”
How do Black writers create racial subjects with agency? How do we, as writers, do the work of describing and imagining our worlds? How do Black characters go from being plot devices that serve stories to being served by stories that reflect our full humanity?
This introduction to the Writers Studio method will consider how Black writers use narrative technique to center the experiences and voices of Black people. Students will do weekly, two-page exercises to create narrators and characters with agency, who reflect a range of human experiences. During weekly, remote discussions via Google Meet, students will read the work of Black writers and identify basic narrative techniques to use in their weekly exercises. In the online classroom, students will post their weekly exercises and write at least three critiques of their classmates’ work. The teacher will provide clear guidance on providing critiques and write weekly critiques of all students’ work.
Students taking the class will receive a link to their online classroom after they are registered. Tech support is available throughout the class.