3 May 2021 6:00pm EST; 4 May 2021 7:00am PHST
The Forum Participants Will Discuss the Following Prompt:
How are life narratives produced/ circulated/ received through/ for the prism of social justice?
Letters move, and it moves people. This paper reflects on teaching migration through life writing in the classroom. Specifically, it seeks to investigate what and how students left behind learn from migration by looking at short viral selfie video posts of overseas Filipino workers documenting tragic events in their working life abroad (even before and especially during the pandemic). Considered as both private and public, these intimate letters perform not only as cries for help that appeal for the state’s intervention to the abuses these migrants face but also as calls for reminder that problematizes personal emotion to national feeling.
Aristotle J. Atienza is Assistant Professor at the Ateneo de Manila University where he teaches art, literature, and popular culture. An active member of the Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle, he is currently finishing his dissertation in Philippine Studies from the University of the Philippines at Diliman.
Radical survival narrative pedagogy involves a reconceptualization of trauma through a dialectical historical materialist framework, revealing the social relations of violence and oppression that constitute and mediate that trauma. This pedagogy further incorporates the critical concept of ‘radical vulnerability,’ and the notion of ‘survivance,’ originating in Indigenous literary theory. Through such reconceptualizations and alternative knowledge production, this pedagogy aims to contribute to social justice and transformation. I outline the components of radical survival narrative pedagogy and discuss its application with examples of political prisoner memoirs and autobiographies of Indian Residential School survival.
Dawn Shickluna recently completed her PhD at the University of Toronto, in which she developed a critical pedagogy of life narratives of violence, oppression and trauma. Dawn is a Registered Psychotherapist specializing in working with survivors of trauma and is an instructor at Brock University.
Self-portraiture is a form of visual life storytelling which allows portrait-makers to explore one’s subjectivity and lived realities through photography. The act of creating self-portraits is personal, but it can also be political. In this presentation, I consider the political and pedagogical potential of self-portraiture, combined with personal narratives, as a mode of critical inquiry in feminist classrooms. In doing so, I examine life writing as a mode of social justice, thereby raising questions about what it might mean to curate our life stories for political purposes.
Gina Snooks is a PhD Candidate in Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at Western University, London, Canada. Her academic interests include autoethnography, life writing (particularly life stories of women in Newfoundland and Labrador), trauma studies, and spirituality.
Leila Moayeri Pazargadi
This talk discusses the ways in which a narrative approach taken in summer bridge programs allows for first generation college students to own their life stories and exchange them through reciprocal acts of listening. This approach, which asks students, peer educators, and professors to exchange autobiographical narratives, raises awareness about identity capital while encouraging identification with others. Comparing case studies at UCLA, Vrije University in Amsterdam, and Nevada State College, this talk shows the way in which the exchange of life narratives can result in empathetic witnessing that boosts solidarity, inclusivity, and empowerment amongst historically underrepresented and under-served students.
Leila Moayeri Pazargadi is Associate Professor of English at Nevada State College, currently teaching literary courses about postcolonial, ethnic American, and Middle Eastern writers. She received her Doctorate of Philosophy in Comparative Literature from UCLA in 2012. Her research focuses on post-9/11 Middle Eastern women writers.