WRIT 313: Recurrent Themes

Calendar Description:

A lecture course surveying recurrent themes in film and/or English literature and in other literatures in translation.

Recent Summary

Summer 2009 - The Power of Story: Creating Personal, Social and Political Change - Narrative therapy is based on the premise that through stories we not only understand who we are, but define who we are. In stories, imagination and reality collide in a way that brings some kind of understanding, some kind of transformation. This class looks at the power of stories to bring about personal change, social change and political change.

Students will explore the psychology of personal story telling by creating an autobiographical "hero book," a narrative therapy tool developed and used extensively in South Africa with people affected by HIV and Aids, poverty and conflict. This class will consider the sometimes fuzzy line between therapy and art and how stories can be both. Students will also study a range of contemporary writing that analyzes and demonstrates the power of stories to trigger real life change. We will consider stories from the margins, stories omitted from history and stories fragmented by trauma.

This class will appeal to writers who have chosen a vocation based on the intrinsic value of stories and who care about making a difference but sometimes wonder if they should have become doctors or social workers instead. It will also appeal to people from all disciplines and walks of life who want to explore the role of stories in shaping and preserving language and culture, building community, promoting social justice, and enriching personal understanding.



Course#: WRIT 313
Units: 1.5

Prerequisites: Second-year standing.

Note: Credit will be granted for only one of 313, CW 313. May be repeated once with different content.


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