Writing Instructor/Faculty Associate
His writing concentrates on American identity, biculturalism, and bilingualism, with a primary focus on Latinx and Latin American/Caribbean immigrant narratives. He has taught at UMass-Amherst, Smith College, and Holyoke Community College.
In the first part of the semester, we will read short fiction and narrative essays from published authors in order to better understand the decisions they made and how those decisions serve their narratives. In other words, we will read and try to understand their decisions by trying to read them as writers would. Students will then complete two short critical essays that analyze the published writing. The second half of the semester, students will write 2-3 creative pieces of writing, either non-fiction or fiction, for discussion and workshop. Students will also meet individually with the instructor. Enthusiastic participation in discussion and revision is expected.
In this course we will examine how narrators and narration drive and impose structure onto short stories. By doing so, we will begin to consider the role of the narrator in our own creative work. We will study the role narrators play into the function of the stories they tell, whether they feature in those stories or not. Thinking about the veracity of our narrators, we will approach storytelling by thinking about what these narrators add to our stories, and of course what they know and what they think they know, with respect to the story they are telling, and how all of that affects the reader's understanding of the piece. You will submit two stories for workshop. Published works from O'Connor, Cisneros, Baldwin, Cortazar, may be included. Attendance at the first class is required.
Home is where we live in every sense, but "Home" is more than the physical structure we reside in: it is also the psychological, societal, emotional, and even the mythical. In this course we will read a variety of fiction and non-fiction and explore the importance of these spaces, be they physical or metaphysical, to the construction of "home" and more importantly, how these terms, whether we accept them wholly, shun them entirely, or experience via travel and immigration, dictate to us and others a sense of self and identity via our own writing. We will write a mix of critical essays, personal and reflective writings, and creative work as we also delve into the process of writing: topic selection, drafting, and a variety of techniques for revision, including peer review. Individual meetings with the instructor will be required. Limited to First Year Students.
The short novel is a unique form. It has all of the elements of pace found in a short story without the constraints of time and scope, and remains sufficiently expansive to allow for the presence of a broader-length narrative. In this course we'll explore the parameters of various short novels--their structure, focus, intent, and scope--by trying to read them as writers would. We will discuss the choices of writers such as Bolano, Cather, Morrison, Marias, Gordimer, Greene, and Achebe with respect to the above criteria-and attempt to determine the efficacy of the short novel as form. Students will write short responses to each reading, as well as three larger (6-8 page) papers. The overall aim of the course is to be a better writer by being a better reader.
This workshop provides assistance to students who are engaged in large writing projects and research papers in any of Hampshire's five schools. The course offers a structured, three-hour block of time in which to write and receive feedback on pre-writing (brainstorming, outlining, etc.), writing, and revision. Special attention will be paid to the writing process: conceptualization, organization, and pacing oneself through work blocks and writing anxieties. In addition to having access to structured writing time, participants will have the opportunity to meet individually with the instructor(s). Because this class supplements work already in progress, no formal instructor evaluations will be provided and the completion of this workshop will not count as course credit or an advanced learning activity.
Food is so much of who we are. It is a basic function of staying alive, but it is also tethered to so many things that are beyond the basic and in fact can be quite sumptuous and decadent. Much can be discerned about ourselves and our priorities, our beliefs, our past, and our future, by studying how and what we eat. Where does our relationship to food become more than a basic function? How are these basic tenets of food and food culture capitalized upon and shaped by marketers and corporations? We will read a variety of writers whose work deals with these questions, and we will, by writing across the curriculum, study our personal, cultural, historical, and perhaps even mythical relationship to food.