Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is excited to welcome Visiting Professor Roxane Gay for Spring 2019. Professor Gay will be teaching an undergraduate writing workshop, WGSS 399, Writing Trauma, with Associate in Teaching Cera Smith (WGSS/AFAM/ENGL).
Apply here by 5:00pm December 17. Applicants will be notified of decisions by 5:00 PM, Monday, January 7.
Please contact WGSS DUS Andrew Dowe with any questions about the application or course. Preference will be given to undergraduate WGSS and AFAM majors.
Trauma is widely explored in contemporary writing but all too often, writers are careless in how they depict trauma. In such depictions, trauma serves as pornography—a way of titillating the reader, a lazy way of creating narrative tension. We see trauma as it unfolds but are rarely given a broader understanding of that trauma or its aftermath.
In this course, we will explore what it means to write trauma ethically in fiction and creative nonfiction. We will read texts that explore trauma in some form or fashion and also produce writing that explores trauma. Over the course of the semester, we will try to answer several questions by engaging in the practice of writing trauma. How do we convey the realities of trauma and its aftermath without being exploitative? How do we write trauma without traumatizing the reader? How do we write trauma without re-traumatizing ourselves when we write from personal experience? How do we write trauma without cannibalizing ourselves or the experiences of others? How do we tell stories of trauma without allowing the trauma to become the whole of our narratives? Finally, what does it mean to write trauma?
about the instructor
Visiting Associate Professor, Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies