ENG 203 - Creative Writing Genre Study: Hybrid Selves - Using Hybrid Forms to Explore Race, Gender, and Sexuality
In this class we will examine and produce works of literary art that challenge our definition of genre. Whatever you want to call them-and we will, of course, wade into the mires of nomenclature-slipstream or hybrid literary art forms such as flash fiction, prose poems, lyric essays, hyperfictions, etc. have become increasingly visible in contemporary literature. Writers such as Claudia Rankine, Maggie Nelson, Layli Long Soldier and others are using these forms to explore questions of race, gender, sexuality and all the other ways we exist, and are defined, as people in the world. Our goal will be to approach these texts as scholars and artists for the purposes of understanding how challenging traditional formal expectations allows us new ways to discover, celebrate, express, explode, chart (and many other verbs!!) personal, communal, and national identities in our work.
So, simply, what are hybrid forms? To start, and we can reconsider this as we explore, a hybrid work is a literary object that merges elements of different traditional forms-as in the prose-poem or the lyric essay or the academic memoir. And, of course, even weirder mashups are possible: collage texts, graphic novels, hyperfictions, and bafflers such as Anne Carson’s “fictional essays in poetry.” As Clarkies know, labels can pretty flimsy definitions and obviously designating such pieces ‘hybrid’ implies reductive/conventional definitions of genre. In this class we will investigate what conspicuous awareness or transgression of these formal boundaries exposes and allows.
For undergraduate Creative Writing minors, this course fulfills the advanced requirement.
Course Designation/Attribute: DI
Anticipated Terms Offered: Periodically