The Devil You Know
The figures that stalk our nightmares are as familiar to us as any fictional character we might embrace. For every Mr. Darcy, Harry Potter, and Offred, there’s a Dracula, Prince Joffrey, or a Freddie Kruger. As much as they repel us, we never quite let go of them; do we? But where do our monsters come from? In this class we will dig into the ways in which monsters in fiction and film grant us access to powerful impulses coursing through our society, culture and ourselves. Through inventive and infectious (!) writing prompts, we will explore how writers might harness these energies to answer the question: How do monsters, freaks, and other tragic metaphors enable us to speak about our society and envision change?
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Instructors: Janaya Kizzie & Rekha Rosha
Dates: Thursdays, October 18th & 25th
Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$120 – Scholarships available!
Interview with Instructors about this course:
Will this be a class about ghosts, zombies, and sorcerers—or what sort of monsters are we talking about here?
The seed for this course was zombies, but we’re really talking about all of them! We’re interested in exploring the ways that monsters reflect and are shaped by our fears, so they come in as many shapes and sizes as we can imagine.
The structure and prompts of the class follow the structure of monster stories, which is essentially a tale of transition and self-discovery in the face of extremes.
As students reply to prompts, they will be writing toward and engaging with the fundamental building blocks of horror novel. Meaning that our students will be, essentially, in their own monster story.
We’ll be looking at excerpts from short stories and novels that give us insight what monsters mean to us, as well as the ways in which we fight, flee from, or accept monsters.
Will you address some of the dreadful aspects of writing, with ways to overcome these terrors?
Writer’s block can definitely be as paralyzing as a monster! We have two tracks going at once during the class: The narrative of the monster/self discovery tale and the observation of the writers’ craft. For every prompt and narrative structural element of the monster story, we’ll talk about a different element of craft and how to approach it.
Janaya Kizzie writes horror stories and an occasional prose-style sonnet. Providence
inspires her often, and her career as an archivist often informs the historical elements in her creative work. She is particularly interested in genre fiction (especially historical fiction, horror and sci fi), interstitial fiction, small-batch self-publishing, and the places where writing meets other things, like visual art, music and film.
Rekha Rosha‘s work on the intersections of fiction and finance has appeared in anthologies published by Palgrave Macmillan and Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She has taught courses on American literature and composition at Boston University, Wake Forest University, and at Brandeis University, where she received her Ph.D. in English and American Literature. Her favorite moments
in the classroom were teaching “When Zombies Attack!”–a composition course that explored questions only the undead can raise about consciousness and identity. She is currently writing an early American noir novel about the violence of colonization in 1630 Boston. She lives in beautiful Pawtuxet Village.