This is an expository writing course meant to aid students in developing stronger college essay writing skills. This will be accomplished through engagement with the central theme of black direct action described in political, cultural, and artistic texts of the last two centuries. The course will train students to write strong thesis statements, develop close reading skills, sharpen keyword usage, and create empathetic writing relationships. This course also takes black direct action as its organizing principle by asking students to consider how we become agents in both our writing and our lives. Forms of cultural production to be examined in this course include slave narratives, memoir, speeches and open letters, zines, poetry, op-eds, short stories, novels, film and television, visual art, and criticism.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
daily writing (Monday-Friday), three original essays (4-5 pages) and two extensively revised essays (4-5 pages), final portfolio, consistent engagement during class sessions
permission of English department Administrative Assistant Pat Malanga
first-years and sophomores
while this class is organized around a theme (black direct action), it is strictly meant for students who are trying to improve their essay writing skills; those who do not need assistance with writing should not enroll in this course
Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Daily writing every Mon/Tu/Wed/Th for 15 min per day; Fri written reflections on the daily writing including a self-assessment of patterns, strengths, and weaknesses that week; 3 original essays (4-5 pages); 2 extensively revised essays (4-5 pages) including a letter describing revision choices; submission of a final portfolio of 2 of the 5 essays including a letter describing student's growth. Timely feedback on writing skills from instructor with suggestions for improvement.
This class explores the self-determined actions of black individuals, communities, and movements in the United States confronting and dismantling white supremacist power relations. Histories of racial violence, trauma, and subjugation are examined from the point of view of black intervention with special attention to the intersections of strategy, tactic, and literary genre in imagining, achieving, or re-committing to the work of freedom, from slavery to the present.