Inside Oxbow

Oxbow Distance Learning - Personal as Political


In Citizen, An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine writes a profound personal narrative that speaks to institutional racism and cultural conditioning. She employs critical research as well as divulges personal experiences to craft her work. Using Citizen as a technical and conceptual structure, create your own personal-political narrative.
What social, political, and/or environmental issues do you care about? And how do they relate to your direct, lived experience?


Personal Chronology. Create a written timeline in your journal with major personal, political, social, and/or environmental moments from the last 5 years. Choose one political, social, and/or environmental moment that had a profound impact on you personally. Then, free write in your journal about this experience. Use this exercise as a brainstorming tool.

Pick an area (or areas) of interest (racial, gender, religious, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, educational, environmental, technological) that you would like to personalize. Conduct research on your area of interest. What collective stories, headlines, movements, and/or experiences support your personal narrative?

From this, craft your own, typed, 3 + page, personal-political narrative, incorporating both personal experience and research. Use the vignette style of Claudia Rankine’s poetic prose for inspiration. Incorporating imagery and artwork into your written works is strongly encouraged.

Student Work Example

A School Like No Other