“I cannot separate my writing from any part of my life. It is all one.”--Gloria Anzaldúa
What counts as writing? How does language shift based on social and geographic location? How does it both produce and rise out of these various locations? This course hinges on these questions and more as we dive into readings and assignments designed to introduce students to write and think critically in academic contexts. Drawing upon the work of thinkers like Michael Warner, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Audre Lorde, we will use location as an occasion to think critically about writing as a situated process, and our own locations within that process. For the purpose of this course, we will be thinking about location as something that situates us both as writers and readers of a text in relation to the world around us. Put another way, this two-part theme of location refers to 1) social location--the way any particular embodied subject is positioned in historical and cultural discourse according to factors such as race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic class, language, ability, age etc. 2) geographic location--physical landscape and its social ramifications (ie. is the subject in question from a rural or urban environment? What languages did they grow up speaking?). By remaining critical of where our own bodies are situated in relation to those around us, the theme of location will guide us through the messy process of reading and writing as historically and socially situated individuals.
While this class can’t directly prepare you for all of the different kinds of writing you will encounter in the academy, it will give you the tools you need to practice metacognition, or the ability to think critically about the way that you write and think as a student, in whatever location(!) you may find yourself.