The Scriptorium: Borders and Boundaries (WRI2152.01)

Camille Guthrie

This scriptorium, a “place for writing,” will function as a class for multilingual writers interested in improving their essay-writing skills. We will read to write and write to read, following the originator of the form, Montaigne. 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, usage, and style—paying attention to the strengths and challenges that arise out of writing in two or more languages. In our study of the form of the academic essay, our aim is to learn to write with complexity, imagination, and clarity. We will read model examples of form and content on the theme of borders and boundaries; texts will include essays, novels, art, and poems from Barthes, Bishop, Butler, Chang, Cole, Dijkstra, Douglas, Fanon, Foucault, Haraway, Hurston, Long Soldier, Lorde, Ovid, Rushdie, Satrapi, Shakespeare, Sinclair, Turner, Wittig, Woolf. As we interrogate real and imaginary perimeters, we will ask many questions: What occurs in those liminal spaces? How do power structures keep borders intact? Who and what gets put into the margins? What if those boundaries are transgressed? What happens to the body and to identity when one is “in between”? How do you conceive of yourself if you are neither “here nor there,” “nowhere and everywhere”? As we examine actual walls, rites of passage, cyborgs, and Ovarian Psycos, we will also look at liminality at the sentence level.

Prerequisites: None
Credits: 4
T 2:10pm - 4:00pm; F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as All courses, CAPA, Four Credit, 2000, Camille Guthrie, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons, Writing, and tagged .