Craft of Writing
R1B - 002 | CCN: 77815
Instructor: Adam Hutz and Michelle Potts
Date / Time: MWF 10-11A, 109 DWINELLE
Space: when combined with ink in the proper measure it makes writing possible; when among friends it becomes warmer, inviting us to occupy it. Space completes music in the form of rests, and settles itself in locales as unalike as deserts, online chat forums, and the fictive worlds imagined by prose and cinema. It is both produced by subjects and is responsible for producing subjectivity. It divides us from each other in the form of imprisonment, and invites us together under conditions of protest. Space, broadly speaking, defines the relationships we cultivate with friends, family, and numberless others in our day-to-day navigations of our shared and separate worlds. And while space does all of these things, it again and again evades our examination entirely. What would it mean to “theorize” space? How would we even speak about it, and how would speaking about it help us negotiate the many tensions described above?
This class will attempt to organize a typology of space around the work of authors and theorists like Michel Foucault, Frantz Fanon, Sarah Ahmed, Samuel Delaney, Virginia Woolf, Jose Munoz, Franz Kafka, and Jack Halberstam. We will ask how space transforms and mediates social interactions; how we meanwhile transform and mediate space; and how we might think about other formations–like the body, the state, and the page of a novel–as themselves kinds of spaces. How do we make sense of these experiences? How do such spaces really function? What possibilities do they engender? How is space experienced by different subjectivities–by non-normative subjectivities in particular? And how can we begin thinking about spaces such that they start to resist normativity, reveal their ideological presuppositions, and become foregrounded in our consciousnesses, rather than remaining as background processes that act upon us without our knowledge? This course will think critically about how we both transform and are transformed by the spaces we inhabit.