Course Catalog

The Craft of Toni Morrison in Beloved

All Levels | One of the most celebrated writers in American English, Toni Morrison creates masterful and complicated narrative structures and employs neologisms to convey unspeakable things often left unspoken. We’ll look at the structure of Morrison’s masterpiece, Beloved (1987)—a narrative of enslaved Africans and their white enslavers—as an example for stories about loss, violence, memory, and healing. Some short writing exercises will be given to apply Morrison’s techniques to your own work-in-progress.

Students in this class will receive a book club discount on the instructor’s reading list at the Elliott Bay Book Co.

Due to COVID-19, all classes will take place online-either through Zoom or through Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform-through Spring quarter 2021.

All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Instructor: Michele L. Simms-Burton

Class Type: 1 Session


Term: Summer 2021

Start Date: 07/25/2021

Days of the Week: Sunday

Time: 1:10 pm – 4:10 pm PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 25

$81.00 Member Price:
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$90.00 General Price:

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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.

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