The Art of Change: Creation, Growth, and Transformation

The Art of Change: Creation, Growth and Transformation

Created by Laura Rogers, Director of the Writing Center and Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

About the theme

Change may be chosen or involuntary, accepted or resisted, and is one of the foundational issues of both our temporal human existence and literature. Writers have addressed the idea of change throughout history and across cultures, from the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, through Ovid’s "Metamorphosis," and the Old English "The Wanderer" to more contemporary texts such as Malcolm X’s autobiography and Jimmy Santiago Baca’s memoir "A Place to Stand." Baca’s memoir chronicles the enormous changes he experienced during his incarceration that resulted from his determination to learn to read and his subsequent immersion in poetry and writing. Malcolm X similarly transformed his life from imprisoned criminal to civil rights leader by becoming literate and using that literacy to transform not only himself but society as well. These works by Baca and Malcolm X point to the importance of the arts and humanities as catalysts for change. Continue reading about this theme.

Reading List

  • Buck: A Memoir by MK Asante
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Read ALA's statement about the use of Sherman Alexie's books for this project.)
  • The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi 

Programming Materials

Promotional Materials