Gaurav specialises in teaching creative writing, and has twelve years of experience teaching it at diverse spaces. The modules that appear here show the range and diversity of what can be offered. Some of the institutes he has taught at: National Institute of Fashion and Technology; Indian Institute of Technology; Ahmedabad University; CEPT University; Mahatma Gandhi International School (Ahmedabad); Bangalore International School; Swiss Embassy (New Delhi); British School (New Delhi); Vasant Valley School; Trivandrum International School; Delhi Public School (Srinagar); Ullens School (Nepal); Carlsbad International School (Czech Republic); University of Basel (Switzerland).
FASHION AND FICTION
This workshop focuses on clothing and fashion as a semiotic structure. Students will be introduced to the writings of Roland Barthes, Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde, Colette, Junichiro Tanizaki amongst others. The purpose is to look at how fashion emerges as a language. Students will look at their relationship with clothes, at various 'clothing sites' that have influenced their lives. We are the only beings that dress and as a result clothing plays an essential anthropological role. This creative writing workshop will start with students attempting to tap into their own private relationship with clothes and then begin to see how it emerges as a language, as a semiotic structure.
This creative writing workshop introduces students to the rich tradition of absurdist writers such as Daniil Kharms, Russell Edson, Gertrude Stein, Matvei Yankelevich, amongst several others. Young children especially, have a privileged access to a profound imaginative realm, not merely because they might inhabit so-called imaginary worlds, but because, as growing children they are constantly trying to define their reality. Nonsense, as Ludwig Wittgenstein puts it, does not refer to meaningless gibberish, but rather to the lack of sense in the context of sense and reference. Absurdist and Nonsense writing attempts to (mis)represent reality via language. Students, as a result, will be compelled to construct their (ir)realities via language. Read a review on this module in Ahmedabad Mirror.
INTRODUCTION TO ABSURDIST LITERATURE
This creative writing workshop is especially useful for -- but not limited to -- architects. It introduces students to the writings of Walter Benjamin, Italo Calvino, Gaston Bachelard, Maurice Blanchot, amongst others. The purpose is to probe our relationship with our cities, homes and the architectural spaces we inhabit. Being ‘building’ and 'city' dwellers, writing about our most immediate and necessary environs, we write about ourselves. This particular writing workshop especially, uses devices pertaining to ‘transfer’ where we imagine ourselves as buildings and cities.
ARCHITECTURE AND LITERATURE
TEXT AND IMAGE
In this ever-growing visually stimulating world, the text-image creative writing workshop explores the dialogic imagination, at how text and image interact to create meaning. In this workshop, we will look at children’s picture books, the text-image work of Donald Barthelme, Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, Eugène Ionesco, amongst others. Students will also write their own text-image stories and explore how images can be textually represented.
WALKING WITH WALSER
Much of Robert Walser’s oeuvre involves the act of walking. He had even written a short novella, entitled The Walk, and many of his stories are ridden with characters on their path somewhere. Even stories in which no ostensible ‘walking’ occurs, the rhythm mimics that of a walk. The ambulatory is ontologically essential to his writing. In this creative writing workshop, students are taken for a walk that resembles a performance. While walking, stories by Walser are performed, often spontaneously incorporating strangers and other surprise elements of the environment. Students write about their walk afterwards. Interestingly, even though all students go for the same walk, their ’internal’ walks differ from each other radically. In this workshop we employ the peripatetic, an organically multi-sensorial method even the great Aristotle used for the purposes of teaching. This particular workshop was part of the European day of languages organised by the Swiss Embassy.
The Family Constellation: Family is an indispensable part of all our lives. In this creative writing workshop, students explore their family bonds. The workshop is a safe space for students to express their family dynamics without peer judgement. Literature is naturally teeming with family constellations, and as a result many literary works are used in this workshop as creative writing prompts.Some of the writers whose work we will read and use in the class include but are not limited to Danillo Kis, Bruno Schulz, Franz Kafka, Botho Strauss and the work of Gaurav Monga, himself.