Exploring Hybrid Lit with Lindsay Lerman

Merge the theoretical with the fictional to produce unique forms of hybrid writing.

Your Instructor: Lindsay Lerman (author of 'I'm From Nowhere')

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: July 7, 2020 - July 28, 2020

Enrollment: 16 Students

Price: $275

Class Description

What happens when your writing just won’t stick to one genre?

What happens? What comes of it, what is produced? Something unrecognizable? Something unclassifiable? Let’s move in the direction of hybrid forms together and see.

If you write fiction and you’re drawn to theory—any of the many variations of theory—this class is for you. If you write theory and you’re drawn to fiction, this class is for you. Are you interested in the work of writers like Eve Sedgwick, Anne Carson, Chris Kraus, Charlene Elsby, Maggie Nelson, Reza Negarestani, Michael Taussig, and Steven Dunn—writers who pull in explicit references to philosophy and cultural studies to make their fiction and autofiction neither theory nor fiction, but also both? Are you like Yiyun Li, who writes, “I would like to believe that there are as many alternatives in life as in fiction”?

Each week, we will read and discuss some hybrid writing that reflects a range of approaches and concerns when it comes to messing with form. Each week, we will work on our own hybrid writing, using our readings and our discussions to strengthen, deepen, challenge, or otherwise transform what we’ve written. By the end of the class, students will have a more or less complete, workshopped piece of writing.

This class will feature discussion, lecture, writing, and workshopping. The aim of this class is to provide you with new techniques, new theoretical/intellectual approaches and insights, and new goals.

What This Class Covers

Week 1: The Characters are More than Ideas

Lecture/Discussion Focus: How do we do justice to characters and make them feel real without reducing them to “examples”?

Reading: selections from Nelson’s The Argonauts, Dunn’s Potted Meat, Elsby’s Hexis

Writing Goal: determine character/s that require attention, sketch them, and provide feedback to each other

Week 2: The Ideas are More than Characters

Lecture/Discussion Focus: How do we give the nuance and complication of ideas/theory room to breathe in a story, so that the ideas and the characters are compelling?

Reading: selections from Kraus’s I Love Dick, Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia, Taussig’s Cocaine Museum

Writing Goal: explore ideas that require attention, isolate them, then expand them, and provide feedback to each other

Week 3: Where Do They Meet? How Do They Meet?

Lecture/Discussion Focus: How do ideas and characters meet? What’s the point of trying to make them meet? What are we producing? (each of us) How is it functioning?

Reading: selections from Sedgwick’s Epistemology of the Closet, Anne Boyer’s The Undying, Fleischmann’s Time is a Thing The Body Moves Through

Writing Goal: unite ideas and characters, producing a draft to be shared for another round of feedback

Goals Of This Class

  • Interrogate the nature of at least two types of writing: theoretical and fictional
  • Produce writing that plays in (and with) multiple forms/genres
  • Examine the role of character in hybrid forms
  • Expand what can be done with both fiction and theory
About Our Classes Class FAQs