This scriptorium, a “place for writing,” functions as a class for writers interested in improving their essay-writing skills. We will read to write and write to read. Much of our time will be occupied with writing and revising—essai means “trial” or “attempt”—as we work to create new habits and strategies for our analytical writing. As we practice various essay structures with the aim of developing a persuasive, well-supported thesis, we will also revise collaboratively, improve our research skills, and study grammar and style. Our aim is to learn to write with complexity, imagination, and clarity, as we read model examples of form and content on the theme of the body. This class will explore anthropologist Mary Douglas’s idea: “Just as it is true that everything symbolizes the body, so it is equally true (and all the more so for that reason) that the body symbolizes everything else.” Readings may include texts by Barthes, Berger, Butler, Chang, Dijkstra, Foucault, Gilman, Hall, hooks, Hurston, Lorde, Mulvey, O’Grady, Rankine, Shakespeare, Wittig, Woolf, Yeats. Writers at any level are encouraged to take this class, and artists and dancers may find the readings to be relevant to their work.