Spring Craft Intensive: Jordy Rosenberg


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Editor's Note

Novels of Revolutionary Ideas with Jordy Rosenberg
Sunday, June 2
2 PM  – 5 PM PST / 5 PM – 8 PM EST

This class explores techniques of politically-committed writing, and begins from the premise that we are living through a robust reawakening of artistic practice as a front of struggle. Our craft intensive will focus on strategies by which literature engages its social context – how it has historically done so, and how we might skillfully incorporate some of these approaches ourselves.

We will start by discussing the genre, as Colleen Lye and Viet Thanh Nguyen recently put it, of the “Novel of Revolutionary Ideas,” and explore the proposition that politically-committed writing is at its best when it brings readers into the process of materializing an idea – what Ludovico Silva once described as the great stylistic ability to present writing “not as the result of previous thought but as the process or act of thinking itself.”

This might be another way of talking about novels that teach us how to read them, but we will push this concept further. Our particular interest is in how to write fiction that teaches us not just how to read, but how to read a revolutionary thought. We will study different traditional novelistic elements – defamiliarization, dialogue, character, the arrangement of temporality – with an eye to how these elements have differently mediated the play of historical forces. Examples will be drawn from a range of genres, including realism, metafiction, horror and science fiction, and may include authors such as Adania Shibli, Toni Cade Bambara, Victor Serge, and Rivers Solomon.

We have one scholarship available for this intensive. Scholarships are conducted through a lottery. If you are interested in submitting your name, please fill out this form.

BIO:Jordy Rosenberg is the author of Confessions of the Fox, which was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a Lambda Literary Award, a Publishing Triangle Award, the UK Historical Writers Association Debut Crown Award, and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award. He has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Lannan Foundation, the Banff Centre, the Clarion Writers Workshop, the Ahmanson-Getty Foundation, the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies. Confessions of the Fox was recognized by The New Yorker, Kirkus Reviews, Buzzfeed, and LitHub as one of the Best Books of 2018, and it was a New York Times Editors’ Choice Selection that year. Jordy is also the author of a scholarly monograph on 18th-century religious enthusiasm, and a forthcoming hybrid work (the title of which keeps changing) from Random House/One World. Jordy is Professor in the Department of English and Affiliate Faculty in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst