Writing the Queer Body with Antonia Crane

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List Price: $199.00

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October 3 - October 31, 2016

4-Week Writing Course

In Writing the Queer Body, a 4-week hybrid creative nonfiction/fiction class, we will bring our queerness to the page by stepping inside/outside the slippery, messy, beautiful strange shadow of our labeled gender identity and explore gender POV from multiple angles. You will write about a first time as another gender. And you will write a short story and scene containing queer themes. During the 4-week course, you will embody “otherness” on the page.

How do we name and embrace our marginalized identities, our unique sexualities and our labels? We draw upon our lived experiences to build a collective analysis of systemic injustice, organize together for change and rebel against systems in place. “Queer” implies boundedness and fluidity. It implies other, it implies together.

To borrow from writer, teacher, performer, activist Steve Yelvington-Jones:

“Queer” emerges as an anti-identity identity. An identity or identities that embraces (embrace) its (their) own instability. An identity that (at its best) acknowledges the upside downers of “identity politics”—to name our experiences, to name oppression, to use those experiences as the basis for articulating a vision for bold queer social change—while also challenging essentialism, challenging rigid identities, and perhaps even more profoundly, challenging the very system through which our identities have been named as “other.’

Queer redirects scrutiny onto those systems of classification. Queer picks at “normal’ like a scab, then eats it. Queer negates labels or else queer embraces many labels. Queer asks what the fuck is a label anyway?”

Bring your so-called labels to class and we shall get busy unpeeling them. Although we will be reading excerpts by serious queer pioneers like: David Wojnarowitz Monique Wittig and Kathy Acker, we will remember Queer has a playfulness to it in word and concept that welcomes mixed messages and blurry Sapphic salaciousness.

CLASS OBJECTIVES

  • Course Goals: Participants will consider elements of craft related to gender (theme, dialogue, characters, setting, pacing, exposition), community in producing artful, original works of their own from 1000-1500 words. Students will have completed one edited piece ready-for-possible publication, with rough draft versions for many more. By the end of the course, students will be comfortable sharing their writing and offering constructive criticism to others.
     
  • Group discussions will focus on exploring gender POV from multiple angles, particularly that which is other than the author’s given gender.
     
  • Writing exercises will be used to explore the terrain of gender POV, to write about “what we don’t know” and stepping outside of our familiar routine selves in order to imagine unique sexualities and inject characters with gobs of heart.
     
  • Reading material will be aimed at exploring gender identity and elements of craft in scenes and compelling personal essays. Specifically, we will question the terrain of gender and what we assume in our culture about sex and gender. Through our readings, we will use gender and queerness as a literary tool for liberation and social justice in our essays/stories. Participants will be expected to read supplied material and engage in a critical way that will inform and progress their own work.
     
  • Posting our work to the discussions will allow participants to receive feedback from their peers about gender and POV as well as give thoughtful, descriptive and helpful input to their peers on how they utilized queerness to enhance their work.
     
  • Instructor will take the participants through the revision process from a first draft to a well-crafted personal essay or short story.

WHAT THIS CLASS WILL OFFER

Week 1: Becoming “I”

Lecture: My personal experience with writing about being queer and having a unique sexuality and how those experiences inform my work. Students will complete a writing prompt. Student introductory discussion.

Week 2: Becoming “We” Queer Voices & Queer Bodies

Lecture: Exploring the Queer Body in scene: Excerpts by David Wojnarowitz, Monique Wittig and Kathy Acker. We will remember Queer contains playfulness— as both word and concept that welcomes mixed messages and flips power dynamics and binaries. Students will complete a writing prompt. Student discussion on lecture topic.

Week 3: A Sense of Scene: Sex, Identity and Crisis

Lecture: Why Do Little Drag Queens Play With Dolls?” by Tim Yelvington-Jones: We will focus on the crisis of coming out and what it looks like on the page to reveal oneself fully. Participants will complete the third writing assignment. Student discussion on lecture topic of bravery on the page.

Week 4: Queer Community & Revision

Lecture: Suggested resources: Queer publications to submit your work. Writing assignment: Revision. Student discussion on lecture topic, and the process of revision. Each week there will be a lecture, a discussion forum, a writing assignment, and optional extra reading material. Instructor will give detailed feedback on the first assignment and works with participant to revise and edit that assignment for a final draft.

ABOUT ANTONIA CRANE

antonia crane

Antonia Crane is a writer, Moth Slam winner, and writing instructor in Los Angeles. She is the author of the memoir, Spent. She has written for The New York Times, Quartz: Atlantic Media, The Toast, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, Salon, The Believer, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, DAME and lots of other places. Her screenplay, “The Lusty” co-written with Silas Howard about the Exotic Dancers Union is a recipient of the San Francisco Film Society/ Kenneth Rainin Foundation Screenwriter’s Grant, 2015. She is at work on an essay collection and a memoir. She is a co-founder and Senior CNF editor of the Antioch Alum journal The Citron Review and the CNF editor of Word Riot. She can be found running up Griffith Park mountain and here: http://antoniacrane.com. She tweets @antoniacrane.