AAAS Graduate Student Maya Doig-Acuna received funding from the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences for her designed and proposed January@GSAS mini-course: "The self as narrative resistance: Black and Afro-descendant writing in practice." The course, co-taught with Massiel Torres Ulloa, meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 11:30am-1:00pm (Eastern) beginning on Monday, January 11, 2021 and is open to all Harvard and non-Harvard affiliates. (12 enrollees maximum).
How may we narrate who we are, what we remember, and the places we come from? Are the archives of our lives linear? This course investigates Black and Afro descendant writers’ techniques to destabilize narratives bounded by beginning and end and grounded in a singular authorial voice. Seasoned and new writers will be trained to imagine against chronology through an engagement with Afro-diasporic literary, cosmological, and intellectual practices at an intersection of multiple genres – fiction, poetry, essay, biomythography. In this course, the texts we read ask us to consider: How can we develop a writing craft that reflects the in-between, liminal spaces – defying rigid boundaries between present and past, self and community, mind and body – in which many of us live? How might we approach memory and archive as sites for both contestation and collective healing? The stories we tell shape our ability to dream new futures and ethically engage our current contexts; through this course, we seek to build such a storytelling practice.