The masterclass will explore and deepen the knowledge and craft of writing through studying contemporary queer fiction from around the world. We will travel the world through fiction, looking at different themes in contemporary global LGBTQ literature, and what they tell us about new ways of thinking about our world, our bodies, and our politics. How are contemporary writers exploring and expanding traditional ideas of literature, of imagining new futures, and in pushing the boundaries of identity, culture and borders (both between states and between bodies)? What are the ways in which authors and storytellers have shone light on stories from the margins, exploring themes like belonging, revolution, imperialism, exile, race, and conflict? How have writers written about and integrated the political with the personal lives of their characters?
In addition to exploring queer texts from around the world, including the works of Ocean Vuong, Qiu Miaojin, Carmen Maria Machado, Akwaeke Emezi, Édouard Louis and others, the course will also challenge existing approaches to teaching craft, exploring and re-thinking traditional writing techniques such as ‘character’, ‘voice’, ’setting’ and ‘plot’. What makes literature ‘queer’, not just in terms of content but also in forms and style? And what are some of the bigger debates, thoughts and conversations happening in global literary circles around language, representation, visibility, and access?
This course is not just meant for writers but also readers who want to more deeply engage with contemporary global literature. Students will learn how to read fiction more deeply, understand their political context, and also work on developing their own creative writing pieces— either fiction or non-fiction.