Picador Seminars by Sheila Heti in the Summer Term 2021

As part of her tenure in the summer term of 2021, Picador Professor Sheila Heti will teach two classes at American Studies Leipzig.

Sex in American Literature

Tuesdays, 5-7 pm (taught remotely)

We will be discussing depictions of sex in American writing from the 1930s to the present, to understand how sex is used to reveal not only character, but cultural values, the political moment, and the author’s and the character’s views on men and women, justice, race, and the soul. Students should look forward to reading their selection of at least half of the novels from the following writers: Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer), James Baldwin (Giovanni’s Room), Jacqueline Susann (Valley of the Dolls), Gayl Jones (Corregidora), Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), Kathy Acker (Blood and Guts in High School), Audre Lorde (Zami), Leslie Feinman (Stone Butch Blues), Helen DeWitt (Lightning Rods), Marie Calloway (What Purpose Did I Serve in Your Life), Tanya Tagaq (Split Tooth), Garth Greenwell (Cleanness) and Torrey Peters (Detransition Baby). Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and submit several informal responses to texts of their choosing.

This seminar is part of BA module “Literature and Culture III.”


Creative Writing, On the Spot

Thursdays, 5-7 pm (taught remotely)

We will spend much of our in-class time writing. Each session will involve practicing different writing exercises and techniques, with students then sharing their work with each other. Not everyone has to share every time, but students who think they will never want to share should consider not taking this class. We will practice skills that are related to writing well, such as asking questions of other people, how to make decisions in longer-term creative projects, how to incorporate interruptions into one’s creative process, and more. There may be some writing assignments to complete between sessions. For those who enjoy writing, exploring and experimenting, it will be a fun class.

Please note that the first session of these seminars will take place in the week of April 19.

This class foms the BA Professional Skills Module “Creative Writing: Envisioning America” (5 credits). More information on this module is available here.