603-HSE-VA, Writing as Activism: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
The course will examine how different types of writing have played a role in the definition, growth and spread of key social movements, including feminist, civil rights, environmental, LGBT rights, peace movement, and others. A common thread in all these movements is how they are centred on issues that transcend but are not separate from class. The type of writing we will examine include pamphlets, speeches, essays, articles, petition letters, short stories, poems, lyrics as well as video essays, blogs and various forms of “artivism.” Students will not only learn about the history of activist literature but also how to become active in their communities by writing about issues they care about. To that end, we will focus on various strategies for constructing clear analytical writing, writing effective arguments and correctly evaluating evidence. In addition, we will examine strategies for researching and documentation as well as develop personal writing.