Writing for Social Change: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

Schools of Public Engagement: Milano General Curriculum

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students

Writing for Social Change

Fall 2020

Taught By: David Greenberg

Section: A

CRN: 7613

Credits: 3

Persuasion is key to policy analysis. Illuminating reality is the work of the writer. Yet despite interest in socially-impactful writing and in well-written policy arguments, writers and policy professionals do not often learn from each other. How can policy analysis be “creative” and yet true to the nature of a policy problem? How can poetry, fiction, and nonfiction be enriched by a serious consideration of policy issues? In this class, students will read works of fiction and poetry with thematically-paired policy and social science texts. Selections from Toni Morrison’s Beloved are read with Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow to explore how traumatic histories may be powerfully evoked; the poet Ed Roberson’s City Eclogue is read with Urban Institute evaluations of public housing transformation to explore issues of perspective; and John Keene’s short fiction is read with Matthew Desmond’s Evicted to explore narrative tension. (The course is structured around four topics: character, description, plot, and voice.) After discussion of texts, we’ll turn to a “workshop” format, where all will give constructive feedback to rotating groups of students who have shared a policy paper, poem, fiction or non-fiction piece related to these themes. As a final project, students will revise two of these pieces on the basis of workshop feedback. Stemming from the theory that social change requires both policy and cultural work, the course’s goal is to develop more humane policy analyses, and more grounded creative engagements with social topics. Undergraduates may request permission from the instructor.

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College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Milano General Curriculum (NMIL)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: September 14, 2020 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 22, 2020 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 9:25am 1/23/2021 EST

Meeting Info:

Days: Thursday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 9/3/2020 - 12/17/2020