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What Makes Us Stronger: Writing Into Disorder & Disability  

Sarah Broderick In this course, we will study writers whose personal experience with various challenges fueled their artistic production and output. Following a consideration of the part disability played in each artist’s life and art, we will generate a series of prompts inspiring new creative work. Students will: -generate new material for future development, -share their creative work and provide feedback to others, -build a repository of prompts for future writing, -read exemplary writers, -receive feedback from the instructor. And learn to: -trust in their natural abilities as writers and artists. -find material to write about that suits their interests. -think creatively as well as critically about written creative work. -reconsider notions of disorder and/or disability in terms of creativity. Week by Week Outline - More Detail to come... Each week students will read and discuss the work of a writer whose disorder and/or disability inspired their creative process. Students will write 1-2 page creative responses weekly based on prompts generated from class discussion. Week 1: Sensory Deprivation & Jean-Dominique Bauby and Jorge Luis Borges Week 2: Dyslexia & Octavia E. Butler and Richard Ford Week 3: Illness & Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Emil Ferris and/or Flannery O’Connor Recommended reading: Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor. Week 4: All in the Family In consideration of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft. Week 5: Birds of a Feather In consideration of the Confessional Poets (Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton) and the ‘friendship’ of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Week 6: How do they come up with this stuff?; or, Gifted with the Fantastic & Fairy Tale In consideration of Edgar Allan Poe, Isak Dinesen, and Hans Christian Andersen. Sarah Broderick holds an MA in Humanities & Social Thought from New York University as well as an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. Her more recent work may be found in Moon City Review, Quaint Magazine, and Atticus Review.

 

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at San Francisco State University
    835 Market Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103
    Phone: (415) 817-4243 Website: olli.sfsu.edu