Course Catalog

Seeing Beyond Stereotypes

All Levels | In crafting literary works that involve characters from diverse communities, the writer must work to avoid the pitfalls of stereotypes. One way to do this is to practice seeing diverse people in their full humanity. In this course, we will examine examples of writing that successfully present unique, fully drawn, non-stereotypical characters. We’ll also look at portraiture of diverse people and, through discussion and writing, we’ll put into practice what we’ve learned to write beyond stereotypes.

Beginning Fall 2021, we will be adding select in-person classes back to our course catalog. The majority of our classes will still be offered via Zoom.

If a class says IN-PERSON in its title, it will take place in person at our permanent home in Seattle.

If a class says ASYNCHRONOUS in its title, it will take place on Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform.

If a class does not have a marker after its title, it will take place via Zoom.

Instructor: Michele L. Simms-Burton

Class Type: 1 Session

, , , ,

Term: Winter 2022

Start Date: 03/13/2022

Days of the Week: Sunday

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PST

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 25

$54.00 Member Price:
Become a member >

$60.00 General Price:

Class has begun, registration is closed.

Michele L. Simms-Burton

Michele L. Simms-Burton, Ph.D. is a writer, instructional systems designer, scholar of African American and Africana studies, and a former tenured and university professor. She has held appointments as a professor at the University of Michigan, University of Rochester, Howard University, the University of Maryland University College, the George Washington University, and George Mason University. She also served as the Academic Dean for the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) at Johns Hopkins University. Her publications include flash guides, essays, book reviews, short stories, and poetry appearing in The Crisis Magazine, African Voices, DownBeat, DC Metro Theater Arts, For Harriet, Medium, Callisto Media, Joint Literary Studies, The Chronicles of Higher Education, The San Francisco Chronicle, the American Studies Journal of Turkey, the Hemingway Review, Callaloo, the Detroit Free Press, and the Detroit Women’s Voices, to name a few. She has served as a ghostwriter for various media outlets and individuals. She was the founding secretary-treasurer of the Toni Morrison Society and has co-chaired the Committee on Language and Literatures of People of Color in the Americas at the Modern Language Association (MLA). She has been a researcher and consultant on various film projects about African American culture, with her most recent contribution being a documentary about Sammy Davis Jr. to be aired on the American Masters program on PBS. She is also a radio commentator on “The Margins” hosted by E. Ethelbert Miller on WPFW in Washington, DC. She lectures on African American studies in Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Her current writing projects are a novel about the 1967 Detroit Rebellion and collection of short stories that unveils the suppressed, ignored, or silenced voices of historical Black women and girls.

See current classes >