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Literature MFA Course Descriptions Winter 2017

Pre-authorization is required for students not enrolled in the Literature Department's MFA Program in Creative Writing. Please contact Tania Mayer (MFA Program Coordinator) for more information.

Instructor: Brandon Som

Here’s a list of journal ideas from the writer and artist Bernadette Mayer: dreams, food, ideas for architects, city design ideas, elaborations on weather, reading/music/art, etc. encountered each day, the body and its parts, clocks/time-keeping, answering machine messages, round or rectangular things, skies, times of solitude. A writer of remarkable innovation, Mayer consistently works in modes that investigate across disciplines while documenting the everyday. This cross-genre workshop will foreground notions of practice, both in terms of what it means to have a writing practice and the ways in which writing practices often incorporate other disciplines. That is to say, writing practices engage other practices: translation, documentary, somatic ritual, visual arts, performance and activist practices. Some of the writers we will look at, who do this cross-disciplinary work within cross genre texts, include Fred Moten, Bhanu Kapil, CA Conrad, Francisco X. Alarcón, Susan Howe, and Renee Gladman. For this course, students will propose and commit to a specific writing practice of their design for the duration of the quarter. Moreover, students will be asked to choose a course text to present on and to lead seminar discussion. Finally, while the precise number will depend on course enrollment, students will have multiple opportunities to present work-in-progress for workshop throughout the quarter.