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Roxane Gay. © MasterClass

Award-winning Author and Cultural Critic Roxane Gay Shares How to Use the Written Word to Make a Positive Impact


Masterclass announces Roxane Gay to teach writing for social change

Published on February 19, 2021

MasterClass, the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world’s best across a wide range of subjects, announced that award-winning author, editor, professor, and cultural critic Roxane Gay will teach a class on writing for social change. Through honest discussions around the intersections of race, sexuality, gender and other social justice issues, Gay will teach members how to own their identity, write about trauma with care and courage and hone their voice to contribute to the world in a positive way. Gay’s class is now available exclusively on MasterClass, where subscribers get unlimited access to all 100+ instructors with an annual membership.

“Roxane drives change with every word she writes,” said David Rogier, founder and CEO of MasterClass. “In her MasterClass, she shows members how to own their identity, write better, think deeper and hone their voices to make real change in the world.”

By harnessing her distinguished perspective as an author and Black feminist—with an added layer of sharp humor—in her MasterClass Gay will show members a path for using the written word to make a positive impact in the world. Tapping her famous works as case studies, Gay will pull from her celebrated essay collection, Bad Feminist, to analyze her approach to writing as a cultural critic, and break down her memoir, Hunger, as an example of how to write trauma with care and courage. For members new to writing, Gay will provide candid and accessible insight into determining the right questions to ask themselves before putting pen to paper. More experienced writers will learn how to address purpose, voice and writer’s block, as well as navigate the business of writing and engaging with their audience on social media. Gay will also provide feedback to three writers with distinct points of view and challenges to show concrete examples of her lessons that members can apply to their own work. Through emotional readings of her deeply personal work and her raw transparency when speaking to her own experiences as a writer, Gay will have members leaving the class ready to tackle any subject in writing and use their work to challenge and persuade readers.

“When writing finds you, it opens up a whole new world of possibility,” Gay said. “In my MasterClass, I show you how to make a difference in the world through writing—because once you start writing, you have freedom and can start to see the world in a completely different way.”

A widely revered writer, editor, professor and social commentator, Gay has garnered international acclaim for her reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. She first emerged on the writing scene with her short-story collection Ayiti in 2011, quickly followed by her debut novel, An Untamed State, and the New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist, which is universally considered the quintessential exploration of modern feminism. In 2017, she released her short-story collection Difficult Women and her critically praised memoir, Hunger. Gay and poet Yona Harvey are also credited as the first Black women to author a comic book series for Marvel, entitled Black Panther: World of Wakanda. In addition to her individual writings, Gay is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times and has also been featured in McSweeney’s, The Nation and many other publications covering topics of intersectionality, race, gender, class, sexuality and self-image. Gay’s academic teaching career has also led her to serve as an associate professor of English at Eastern Illinois University, Purdue University and most recently, as a visiting professor at Yale University. Gay is the editor of The Selected Works of Audre Lorde, a new anthology featuring Lorde’s groundbreaking poetry and prose on topics of race, queer identity, feminism and justice.