Distinguished Visiting Writer will teach new media course

Arab-American writer A.D. Lauren-Abunassar has been named as Cornell College’s 2021-22 Distinguished Visiting Writer for the college’s Center for the Literary Arts.

A.D. Lauren-AbunassarAs the Distinguished Visiting Writer she will teach Living Language: The Work of New Media Writing and Hybrid Forms during Block 7 in the spring of 2022.

Lauren-Abunassar is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and resides in New York. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Poetry, Narrative, Cincinnati Review, Radar Poetry, and elsewhere. She was a 2020 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg finalist and the winner of the 2020 Palette Emerging Poet Contest.

Her Cornell course will explore language in the digital world. The course will consider what it means to use new media writing and language as a form of resisting sterile spectatorship. How can it be a way of reclaiming life, of activating warning, of actively noticing? How does the act of noticing complicate both our writing, reading, and our humanness? And, more than anything, how can it help us negotiate identity in increasingly fraught sociopolitical contexts?

Her Cornell students will work together to develop annotated chapbooks, interactive zines, online scavenger hunts, installed audio visual essays, and more. They will embark on listening projects, nature walks, and research expeditions. And they will ask, what is at stake? How is the language alive, how is it making use of form to produce activity, change, conversation—and what is our role in this?

Each year The Center for the Literary Arts brings in distinguished writers to teach topic-based, upper-level creative writing courses. The writers rotate among fiction, poetry, journalism, creative nonfiction, children’s literature, and a range of other topics. While on campus, the writers also give public readings or lectures.