I write entirely to find out what I am thinking, what I am looking at, what I see, and what it means - Joan Didion
Before we begin, we must first discuss a few other necessary disclaimers:
- It is important to note that this course examines how trauma memoirs can be understood as something more extensive than a personal means of therapy. In this same vein, writing done in relation to this course is not intended to serve as therapy.
- While participants are encouraged to submit completed weekly writing assignments to the online community forums, this is not a requirement. The online format of this course affords participants a certain level of privacy and agency in that they can choose how transparent they would like to be with their information and writing. To address the inevitable concerns that accompany online writing and community engagement – whether these concerns are rooted in receiving negative responses to a submitted work or no responses at all – What Would Joan Do? has created a few mitigating policies to ensure a safe and positive online community space is maintained.
- The creator of this site – who has researched and created the course design and weekly lecture materials – will act as the ‘instructor’ for this course through not only the monitoring of submissions for weekly assignments but also offering feedback to every individual who chooses to submit to the online community forum. Moreover, the creator of this site also reserves the right to monitor and remove, as needed, peer comments on submissions to the online community forums. Finally, it is also important to note that What Would Joan Do? is not a course intended to be evaluative but instead an online, communal learning space.
- While this course does not ask students to write about their own trauma, its focus on trauma might inspire writing focused on this topic. Should students experience any negative or confusing feelings as a result of engaging with work focused on trauma or writing about their own trauma, below are a list of online, readily available resources for participants should they need support: