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March 19 @ 1:00 pm EDT - 3:30 pm EDT

1 meeting
  • Winter/Spring 2023
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Meeting Location:
  • Online
Room: Zoom Room 2


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Cost: $ 45.00
Seats Remaining: 4 of 8
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Writing About Family

Family. What word could be more evocative when thinking about writing memoir? And what better timing for a class like this than after so many holidays when our interactions with family are often more intensely fraught?

Our sense of family is inextricably linked to our sense of home, both of which are foundational to memoir. Family is experienced and internalized in deeply personal and intimate ways yet institutionalized within our culture. While we may experience our own families in ways that are deeply personal and idiosyncratic, they are, indeed, shaped by broad social forces and patterns stretching far beyond ourselves. Powerful writing about family dynamics considers the public nature of private families. Topics include but are not limited to: complicated intimacy and relationships; family violence; marriage; parenting or choosing not to; family secrets; food, emotions, and memory; grief and loss; re-parenting ourselves; creating families we choose, etc.

Taught by memoirist, family sociologist, professor, and former counselor Deborah J. Cohan, participants in this class will be supported to think about how to free themselves of the constraints that so often hinder writers tackling topics related to the family. This session will be structured around questions that students bring, and will specifically address writing and publishing about family and how best to navigate that with care toward others and ourselves. Cohan will read a bit from her book, engage in spirited discussion with ample time reserved for participants to ask questions, and some time may be used for students to write, reflect, and share as they wish.

Please note: it will be expected that all participants have cameras on during this virtual session and will help to hold the integrity and confidentiality of this space for talking about these complicated topics.

Please note: This class or event will be held online (using Zoom or a similar live platform). To participate, students or attendees should have a stable internet connection. Class participants: you should have a computer or device with a webcam and microphone; and your Zoom link will be automatically sent to you after you register. Check your spam box if you don't see it.

The MuseTeacher: Deborah J. Cohan

Prerequisite: Open to writers of all levels of experience