The Craft of Writing
R1A - 003 | CCN: 77809
Instructor: Amirah Silmi
This course will have revolutionary writing as its main theme. We will be reading texts by writers such as Claude Mckay, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche among others. In reading these texts, we will be asking what makes a text revolutionary, how does one write a revolution? Writing here will be treated as a battle, an act that seeks to subvert and transform structures of domination and oppression, opening paths for other ways of knowing and doing, escaping containment in established and rationalized discourses. Writing here will be a problematization of that which is taken to be given and natural. Such a problematization, as shown in these texts, is allowed by taking a position of marginality that reveals that which is made invisible and disavowed in the dominant knowledge structures.
This course is designed to help us develop critical reading and writing skills. We will work on reading texts critically. The texts here, containing poetical and theoretical modes of writing, challenge the divisions between different writing genres, they include “essays” written poetically and “literary texts” that are establishing some kind of evidence and making some kind of argument, what we will look at, then, is what assumptions, arguments, evidence are established/challenged in these texts and how. While the aim of the course is to help us learn the techniques of writing and arguing in a clear, coherent and concise manner, we will not restrict ourselves to fixed notions of what these concepts are, rather this course focuses on writing as a process of production, where new skills, concepts and ideas and even us ourselves are in an ongoing process of transformation.