As contemporary writers work towards inventing characters that better represent our diverse world in their fiction, they often must wrestle with constructing identity through and against stereotypes, privilege, overt and indirect racism, objectification, and bias. Even the most valiant attempts for racial, gendered, LGBTQ*, and able-bodied inclusion in fiction come with concerns and unintended pitfalls, particularly when writers represent bodies that are radically different than their own. Students will read multiple texts, participate in discussions and research, and write responses, essays, and creative experiments in order to begin a discussion on body and identity representation in contemporary fiction. This literature course focuses on craft writing with a heavy writing component; however, there is no creative writing prerequisite. With an emphasis upon close reading, we will begin with a study of character construction and review trends of body representation in literature starting with the early novel before delving into current and ongoing articles and arguments. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2018-19).
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