This class will be co-taught by Stan Tag and Ruby Ted Seago, a Fairhaven senior.
What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art.--Virginia Woolf
What sort of diary or journal would you like yours to be? Journals can be reflective, cathartic, transformational, private, performative, visual, auditory--a container of time, experience, and identity. Journals take many forms. The word "journal" itself means "a place to shine the light." What is it you want to illuminate in your own life? In the life of the world inside you? Around you? Emily Dickinson said, "I dwell in Possibility." How might you create your journal to not only reflect honestly on your experiences, but to reimagine them and to dwell in the possibilities such reimagining offers you and others? In this class we will explore the intersections between the personal and the private and the performance of self; we will write together and on our own, sharing some readings and keeping others to ourselves. We will go on field trips, taking notes in real time, observing the world around us. We will read widely and deeply from a diverse range of journals by writers, activists, artists, explorers, and others. We will experiment with forms of journaling, reframing, reimagining, and navigating our conceptualizations of what it means to keep a journal. At times we will work with prompts in and out of the classroom investigating different parts of our lives--memory, family, relationships, identity, emotions, obsessions, questions--and do freewriting exercises to loosen up our writing body. We hope our personal and collective journeys in this class will awaken each of us to live with more depth, curiosity, artfulness, and motivation as we continue journaling long after the class ends.
Texts: To be announced. Many readings will be on Canvas. Credit/Evaluation: Faithful attendance, completion of all the readings, participation in class discussions, activities, and all individual and group work. Quality and completion of written and creative assignments, including reflection essays, artwork, presentations, journal exercises, and a quarter-long journal.