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Han Kang, The Vegetarian
Chimamanda Adichie, Americanah
Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero
Yoko Tawada, The Emissary
Hanan al-Shaykh, The Occasional Virgin

Selected stories, essays, and poems (to be shared via Google Drive)



Attend class. Two unexcused absences will lead to a reduction in your final grade. Three or more unexcused absences will lead to failure. If you know that you’ll have to miss a class, let me know ahead of time and make arrangements for a classmate to pick up any material distributed in class and to inform you about any assignments.

Turn in assignments on time. Late work will be penalized one letter grade for every day (not every class) that it is late. All work will be submitted via Google Drive or on this class blog. If you do not know how to use Google Drive, you should consult with the academic computing office. Documents should be named in this manner: YourName.exercise1.doc (or docx).

Complete weekly blog posts prior to class discussions of the assigned reading. In order to most effectively discuss your own observations and ideas on the assigned reading, you should plan to complete your reading in time to compose, revise, and proofread your blog posts prior to class discussions of these works. You are welcome — even encouraged — to go back and revise or expand your posts after our class discussions.

IMG_0827Be prepared for class. You are expected to participate in the discussions in class in a thoughtful, responsible, and energetic manner. It is imperative that you come to class prepared. Read all assignments prior to class discussions. Our schedule will no doubt require adjustments as the semester moves forward, but assume we’ll get to whatever’s on the schedule unless I explicitly push back (or forward) an assignment.

Proofread your work. I expect all work to be free of mechanical errors. Assignments with persistent and egregious errors will be returned ungraded. If you are unsure about mechanics – when to properly use a semicolon, for example, or how to correctly punctuate dialogue – please consult one of the many guides or make an appointment at the Academic Resource Center.

Attend Writers Series events on campus. (Please plan ahead so that you can resolve conflicts that you might have with any required readings, lectures, or performances.)



Blog posts 20%
Preparation and Presentations 15%
Analytical writing 25%
Creative Writing 25%
Class participation 15%


A writing workshop has a number of purposes. It offers a critical but supportive environment for the apprentice writer, providing an audience that is willing to read, with a careful eye, works that stand to be improved through sustained and repeated revision. It offers an opportunity for discussion of the formal and thematic elements of particular genres through the use of both professional and apprentice models. Finally, since the writing workshop addresses how a work is made as well as what that work becomes, it offers an opportunity to explore how experience and imagination are used in creating a work of art.

An appreciation for literature begins with enthusiasm. By learning to identify what makes a particular text interesting, entertaining, informative, or compelling, you will begin to understand the relation between literary texts and life itself — i.e., how the formal qualities of a particular literary genre may be used by the writer to explore the various subtleties, difficulties, moral dilemmas, and triumphs that are a part of being human.

By organizing your thoughts and presenting them to your classmates in our discussions, you should come to see that literature is comprised of many components, each of which is part of a complex, integrated whole, each of which is available for discussion, analysis, and debate.


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