Topics in Current Literature

W664 — Fall 2021

Catherine Bowman
Days and Times
1:10p - 4:10p R (4 CR)
Course Description


Topic: Walking, Writing, Making

Hélène Cixous in Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing says One has to go away, leave the self. How far must one not arrive in order to write, how far must one wander and wear out and have pleasure? One must walk as far as the night. One's own night. Walking through the self toward dark.” Like walking, writing is a way of being in the world, of “walking through the self.” In this class we will look at the ways that writers past and present walk, meander, march, meditate, escape, stroll, make pilgrimages, protest, trespass, ascend and descend. We will look at borders, privilege, exile, questing. We will practice psychogeography and the derive. We will approach writing with our feet and with our bodies as we take to our own open roads, labyrinths, and wild cartographies. Coleridge estimated that Wordsworth may have walked over 180,000 miles in his life. We will attempt to wear out some boots or dancing shoes in this seminar as we set out with our walking sticks and our writing sticks. In addition to the readings, we will listen to some music, watch some films, and go on several hikes and walks. There will be weekly readings and class responses, short assignments, and a final creative project.  

*MFA students enrolled in the graduate creative writing program are automatically admitted but should email directly for authorization to register for MFA courses. All other students should email (and copy to express interest in the course.

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