Kasteel Well: James Baldwin Writers' Colony

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Program Dates

June 30 to July 31, 2023

*Students should arrange to arrive in The Netherlands on the morning of the program start date.

Program Overview

This 4-week, 8-credit program invites you to write, workshop and revise short works of creative fiction and nonfiction inspired by the literature of African-Americans who lived and worked in Europe. How do terms such as “black,” “African-American,” and “diaspora” function on a planet increasingly connected by technology and globalism? You’ll explore these and similar questions in conversation with classmates from Emerson and historically black colleges and universities.

Program Eligibility & Admission

  • Open to rising juniors and seniors.
  • Recommended for Writing, Literature, and Publishing students, but open to all students.
  • Limited to 12 students.

Course Information

Total of 8 credits. Students will be required to be enrolled by Emerson College in the following two courses:

  • WR 311 - Intermediate Fiction Writing (4 credits)
  • WR 316 - Intermediate Non-Fiction Writing (4 credits)

Academic Highlights

  • Engagements with contemporary black writers and artists will provide first-hand access to Europe’s thriving creative scene.
  • Lectures and discussion sessions will incorporate significant periods in African-American literature that affected—and were influenced by—developments in Europe, including the Harlem Renaissance (1920s), the postwar era (late 1940s) and the Black Arts Movement (1960s).

Cultural Highlights

  • Let your writing be inspired by beauty and history while staying at Kasteel Well, a restored 14th century castle located in the charming village of Well, the Netherlands.
  • Walk in the footsteps of cultural giants such as James Baldwin, Hazel Scott, Richard Wright, and Chester Himes.
  • Explore Amsterdam and Paris through the unique and powerful lens of black history.
  • Visit the EYE Museum and Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam and jazz clubs in Paris.

Cost & Inclusions

Program Fee: $7,050

Included in Program Fee

  • Tuition (8 credits @ $810/credit)
  • Registration Fee
  • Housing at Kasteel Well and on excursion
  • Some meals

Not Included in Program Fee

  • Round-trip airfare to/from the Netherlands (Est. $1,300)
  • Most meals and incidental or personal expenses
  • Course materials
  • Passports (or visas, if required)
  • International Health Insurance*

*May be waived by those with alternate comparable insurance.

*Health Insurance Coverage: Participants must have an insurance plan that provides coverage while abroad. If you feel your current insurance is not adequate, please research a plan that is. For information on Supplemental Health Plans, please visit our Health Insurance Requirements page.