Course Catalog

Under the Skin: An Exploration of Autotheory

Intermediate / Advanced | Since Maggie Nelson’s 2015 book The Argonauts referenced autotheory, the term has had some buzz in the literary world. Autotheory—loosely defined as writing that mixes embodied personal narrative with philosophy, criticism, or theory—is often hybrid not only in discipline, but also in genre and form. In this weekend writing intensive, we will explore autotheory through authors such as Christina Sharpe, Maggie Nelson, Bhanu Kapil, Chris Kraus, and Gloria Anzaldúa, with a mixture of generative writing, reading, and discussion.

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: Arianne Zwartjes

Class Type: 2 Sessions

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Start Date: 02/22/2020

End Date: 02/23/2020

Days of the Week: Saturday, Sunday

Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm PST

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$216.00 Member Price:
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$240.00 General Price:

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Arianne Zwartjes

Arianne Zwartjes teaches for the Sierra Nevada College low-residency MFA program, and has also taught at the University of Arizona and the United World College. In her other life she has worked as an outdoor educator, a wilderness-medicine instructor, an EMT, and a carpenter. She is the author of the lyric nonfiction, medical-humanities book Detailing Trauma: A Poetic Anatomy, and the prose-poetry collection The Surfacing of Excess. Her writing won the 2011 Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize, was a Best American Essays Notable Essay, and has appeared in Tarpaulin Sky, Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, Ninth Letter, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. Visit her and her writing at

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