ENGL 332
Writing in the Margins: Race, Performance, Playgiarism Fall 2018
Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed COMP 358 / THEA 332 / ENGL 332
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There is no such thing as an original play. So says playwright Chuck Mee. Someone else, certainly, said it before him. What does it mean to own a story? This seminar/studio course proceeds from a historical understanding that writing and performance are, and have always been, practices of plagiarism. We begin by looking at how bodies, thoughts, and words come to be understood as ownable property in the modern era, and how that process of commodification is inextricably tied to colonialism and the production of race. How do performance and bodily practices trouble our ideas about individual ownership? We look to writers and other artists of color who have plundered “classic” texts and radically reclaimed the colonial canon. We will read intertextual works by Suzan-Lori Parks, Young Jean Lee, Salman Rushdie, Cherrie Moraga, and others. Taking these artists as inspiration, students will choose a text as source material and write in the margins of that text to create new, re-visioned work.
The Class: Type: seminar/studio, three hours per week
Limit: 14
Expected: 14
Class#: 1861
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: a 5-page paper, a performance analysis, a short creative work, and a longer final creative work
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: If the class is overenrolled, students will submit a letter of interest in the class
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: DPE: This course approaches questions of ownership, race, and power both critically and creatively. WI: There will be more than 20 pages of writing, both critical and creative in this course.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 358 Division I THEA 332 Division I ENGL 332 Division I

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