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List of Topics and Change to Description in Syllabus

Below, you will find a list of suggested creative writing topics. You do NOT have to sign up
now for one of the topics; rather, you may decide AFTER you have read a specific text to
complete the assignment for that text. E.g., if you decide to write a piece on The Coquette, you
would bring your work to class when we discuss that text. Please feel free to come up with
your own, original idea!

Author/Text                      Creative Writing Topic
Cabeza de Vaca, Relación         Describe a particularly difficult moment in your life in the
                                 voice/tone of Cabeza de Vaca’s Relacion!
                                 Or: Reflect on the fatal decision to take the expedition across
                                 the land and leave the ships from the point of view of Governor
                                 Panfilo de Narvaez!
                                 Or: Describe a specific scene in the account from the point of
                                 view of the Indians! (I admit that this is complete conjecture...)
Titu Cussi Yupangui, An Inca     Take on the view-point of a conquistador! Can we/should we
Account of the Conquest of       humanize the victimizer, the conqueror?
Brebeuf/Jesuit missionaries      As a missionary among the Indians, reflect—in a personal letter
                                 to a friend—on your inner conflict between suffering for the
                                 faith as a way to follow Christ and your desire to embrace life.
                                 Or: As a missionary, write a diary entry about your conflicting
                                 emotions toward the Indians!
Mary Rowlandson                  Write about Mary’s captivity from the point of view of one of
                                 the other characters! (e.g. Wetamoo, her husband, etc.)
Anne Bradstreet                  Write a poem about your experience and life in Puritan New
                                 England (in the 17th century)!
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz        Write a response similar to the Repuesta—i.e. a rebuttal that,
                                 on the surface, appears to be submissive!
Olaudah Equiano, Interesting     Recently, scholars such as Vincent Carretta have argued that
Narrative                        Equiano was actually born in the Caribbean and that he
                                 constructed the story of his childhood in Africa and the middle
                                 passage from printed accounts and stories told by other slaves
                                 (rather than first-hand experience). Imagine you are the 18th-
                                 century publisher/editor of Equiano’s Narrative and you have
                                 to defend the book against similar allegations brought against
                                 the book at the time!
Thomas Jefferson/Phillis         Write Phillis Wheatley’s rebuttal of Jefferson’s comments
Wheatley                         about her!

Samson Occom, Sermon            Write a short speech that is directed toward two different
                                audiences, maybe praising someone or something overtly, but
                                criticizing covertly!
The Cherokee Phoenix            You are a contributor to the bilingual Cherokee newspaper, The
                                Cherokee Phoenix. Write an editorial arguing for or against
                                removal of the Cherokee to Oklahoma!
Hannah Webster Foster, The      Write an elegy for Eliza Wharton from the point of view and in
Coquette                        the voice of one of the other characters in the novel!
Baron Ludwig von                Write a first-person reflection on any of the events in the novel,
Reizenstein, The Mysteries of   seen through the eyes of any principal character!
New Orleans                     Or: Write a contemporary (1850s) book review of the novel!
                                (I.e. how might have readers and journalists/critics reacted to
                                this book?)
                                Or: Write a different/alternate letter in response to one Eliza’s
                                letters to her friends!

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