As part of the LSA Theme Semester, “What Makes a Life Worth Living,” our class will ask: What does writing tell us about life? How do writers reflect upon their writing processes? In what ways is writing also a learning process? How does it provide us with alternative ways of thinking, being, and existing in the world? In what ways do writers from different backgrounds reflect upon their own creative processes? And how does such an investigation help us with our own writing? Focusing in particular on the figure of the writer, the course readings will be transnational and comparative, including authors such as Frederick Douglass, Edward Said, Jorge Borges, Eudora Welty, Virginia Woolf, Hélène Cixous, and Jamaica Kincaid. We will also watch several movies (Il Postino, Wonder Boys, Sunset Boulevard, and Capote). The aim of this course is to create a congenial learning community in which we will both read and write. Active participation is a must! Students should expect daily writing exercises along with short readings. Formal paper assignments will vary in length but will not be longer than 8 pages. Assignments might include: a creative response & analysis to the course’s theme, a comparative paper, a close-reading, and a research paper. Full-class workshops will also be central to this course.