RT2 Teaching Interview as Form and Method by CJ Bogle

A deeply provocative conversation on the critical and literary interview by practitioners and critics of the form — Sarah Fay, Rebecca Roach, H. Aram Veeser, and Jeffrey Williams — moderated by Sonja Boon. The presentations explored teaching interviews from The Paris Review within a creative writing and professionalization pedagogical context (Fay); teaching and affirming interviews as a form life writing (Roach); speaking to the pedagogical possibilities that emerge with the “ubiquity [and rise] of the interview” since the 1990s (Veeser); and exploring how the interview as a form allows for a deeper understanding of criticism as a lived experience (Williams). These presentations were generative in their scope and the resources that they offered to the audiences for further consultations of the topic. Moreover, in the collaborative spirit of the interview, the conversations which took place in the Q&A section raised a number of questions which invited further reflection by panelists. The questions included, but were not limited to the following: Is the literary interview a genre? A form? A genre of social action?; Are interviews over email as effective as those in-person?; What is the role of the interview as a research practice?; Does the interview presuppose a liberal subject who has full presence?; and how deliberate are interviewers in foregrounding the autobiographical traces of themselves in conversation with another? The responses to these questions were varied as one would expect, but they signal that critical study on the interview as form and method (especially within pedagogical contexts) deserves further reflection and attention by teachers, writers, and scholars, as they can prove useful as a way of diversifying the forms that we encourage our students to experiment with as they venture into the world of research and criticism. 

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