Writing for Social Change: A Creative Nonfiction Workshop
This workshop is part of Social Justice Week.
How can writing create change? How can we use our voices — and the myriad tools at our disposal as writers — to address problems of urgent social and political import? How does truth-telling impact the dynamics of power and public discourse? In search of answers to these questions, we will reorient our own writing practice toward an expression of what Cornell West calls “radical love,” which requires an awareness of context and history, a genuine interest in the experience and well-being of our fellow humans, and a capacity for confrontation that is at once both brutally honest and fiercely compassionate. We will write the changes we want to see in the world, and be willing to embody these changes in ourselves. This generative course is intended for students who want to do serious work to develop a set of strategies and ethics for writing on social issues relevant to your own interests and concerns.
Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and is author of the critically acclaimed memoir The Other Side (Tin House, 2014). She is also author of Trespasses: A Memoir (University of Iowa Press, 2012). Her third book, The Reckonings, is forthcoming from Scribner in 2018. She teaches creative nonfiction in the Low-Residency MFA program at Sierra Nevada College and at Rice University.