Teaching Life Writing Conference

a virtual conference on nonfiction and pedagogy

University of Alberta, Canada
December 10-11, 2020


Website Content Creators and Designers:

Amanda Spallacci, Orly Lael Netzer, Julie Rak

Conference Schedule

Check out our Keynote Speakers: Here!

Check out our Blog: Here!

10 December 2020

Click on the panel title to view paper abstracts and presenter biographies.

1.1 Moving Online: 6:30-7:30 MST

Moderator: Olga Michael

Teaching Life Writing–Two Models, Batsheva Ben-Amos

Online or Remote Teaching Environments: Opportunities and Challenges of Teaching about Life Writing, Donohon Abdugafurova

Life Writing across the centuries: Pedagogical Implications, Karen Ferreira-Meyers & Lucie Houdu


Break 7:30-8:00 MST

2.1 Students Documenting Histories: 8:00-9:00 MST

Moderator: Candida Rifkind

Drawn By Hand: Students as Graphic Memoirists, Heidi Bollinger

Teaching Memoir in Qatar: Navigating between the Public and Private Self, Sam Meekings

How can creative nonfiction writing make history salient to the present? Clark Pomerleau

RT1 Life Writing Beyond the Undergraduate Classroom: 8:00-9:00 MST

Moderator: Jillian Abbott

Taking the Pedagogy of Life Writing Beyond the Classroom, Laura Beard

Life-Writing for Artists: Teaching Life-Writing in the field of “Artists’ Writing”, Lauren Fournier

Life Writing in the Journalism Classroom, Rachael Hanel

Teaching illness narratives and history in the medical humanities, Kirsi Tuohela

Social Break 9:00-9:30 MST

3.1 Approaches to Writing Selves: 9:30-10:30 MST

Moderator: Eric D. Lamore

Fill in the Blank: Social Media and the Non-Writing of Student Lives, Ilana Blumberg

An Action-Oriented Hybrid Approach to Teaching Life Writing, Dana Di Pardo Léon-Henri

Rant On!, Oline Eaton

3.2 Teaching Out of Time and Place: 9:30-10:30 MST

Moderator: Aleksandra Bednarowska

Teaching African Autobiography in a Western Classroom, Delphine Fongang

Bringing Empathy Home: Teaching Indigenous Life Writing in Central Europe, Martina Horakova

Looking into the educational implications of I Live Here: Juarez (Vol.3), Olga Michael

Teaching Frederick Douglass’ Narrative as a Text for Change, Lynn Domina

Break 10:30-11:00 MST

Break 10:30-11:00 MST

4.1 Teaching (through) Trauma and Grief: 11:00-12:00 MST

Moderator: Vicki Hallett

How to teach grief memoirs in times of grief?, Sandra Pinasco

Teaching/trauma/writing x two: six authorial fragments, Tanis MacDonald

Contemplative Pedagogy , Louise Harrington

RT2 Teaching Interviews as Form and Method: 11:00-12:00 MST

Moderator: Sonja Boon

The Great (Male) ‘Writer at Work’: Gender Analysis, the Paris Review and teaching with Interviews, Sarah Fay

Interview: Form, Method, Inscription Technology, Rebecca Roach

Critical Interviews, Theory & Pedagogy, H. Aram Veeser

The Critical Interview, Jeffrey Williams

Break 12:00-12:30 MST

Break 12:00-12:30 MST

Plenary Celebration and Book Event: 12:30 MST

Moderators: Orly Lael Netzer & Amanda Spallacci

5.1 Pedagogical Ethics: 14:00-15:00 MST

Moderator: Craig Howes

Crip Pedagogies for the Apocalypse, Adan Jerreat-Poole

Knowing, Seeing, and Accompanying Suffering: An Undergraduate Essay Course, Amy Robillard

Can you hear me?: Exploration and ethics in an online writing workshop, Cheryl O’Byrne

5.2 Methodology: Teaching Life Writing: 14:00-15:00 MST

Moderator: Laura Beard

Reading Readers: Teaching Paratextual Analysis of Life Narratives, Laurie McNeill

Long Story Short: Encounters With Creative Nonfiction as Methodological Provocation, Anita Sinner

On Teaching Life Writing for (Not) Understanding, Vicki Hallett

Break 15:00-15:30 MST

Break 15:00-15:30 MST

6.1 Covid Pedagogy: 15:30-16:30 MST

Moderator: Eva Karpinski

Life Writing and Student Engagement after Covid-19, Kate Douglas

Pedagogies of Death and Dying: Teaching Thanatographies in the Pandemic, Eva Karpinski

(Life) Writing to Belong: Ableism and Teaching Remotely During a Pandemic, Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle

6.2 Mapping and Materializing: 15:30-16:30 MST

Moderator: Danielle Fuller

Teaching Place Identity Oppression with Digital Maps and Life Writing Katherine Roseau

Mapping Memory and Objects, Vanessa Berry

Automedia Portals in the Digital Writing Classroom, Threasa Meads

Break 16:30-17:00 MST

Break 16:30-17:00

7.1 Students Working With Each Other: 17:00-18:00 MST

Moderator: Kylie Cardell

Life Storytelling as Agency: Championing First-generation College Students through the Narrative Approach, Leila Pazargadi

Collaborative Life Writing Projects: Challenges and Opportunities, Klaudia Lee

The perceptions of students on integrating life writing into FYC, Demet Yigitbilek

7.2 Objects and Portraits as Selves: 17:00-18:00 MST

Moderator: Emma Maguire

Objects and Documents: reaching for the ‘material’ in digital teaching spaces Marina Deller

Teaching YouTube, Edith Hill

Self-Portraiture as Life-Writing: An Art Historical and Autoethnographic Utterance of Liberation, Luciana Erregue-Sacchi

Social Break 18:00-18:30 MST

11 December 2020

Click on the panel title to view paper abstracts and presenter biographies.

8.1 Methods of Recording or Retracing Lives: 8:00-9:00 MST

Moderator: Sergio Da Silva Barcellos

Teaching Sustainability and Climate Justice in Catastrophic Times: Journaling in the Pluriverse, Joan Greer

Opening Doors to Creativity: Journal Keeping, Marjorie Kanter

8.2 Methods, Texts, Challenges: 8:00-9:00 MST

Moderator: Batsheva Ben-Amos

Killing two birds with one stone- teaching American modernism through life writing genres (and vice versa), Anita Jarczok

How is Memoir Rhetorical? Bethany Mannon

I Live as I Write: The Word and its Worth in a Literature Classroom, Disha Pokhriyal

Teaching women’s biographies in the times of pandemic COVID-19, Aneta Ostaszewska

Break 9:00-9:30 MST

Break 9:00-9:30 MST

9.1 University and Community: 9:30-10:30 MST

Moderator: Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle

Teaching Intercultural Communication through Life Writing, Lamees Al Ethari

Working with life experience stories. On teachers’, course leaders’ and narrative coaches’ work to stimulate and shape autobiographical narrating, Katarzyna Wolanik Boström

Teaching in the Aftermaths of Disaster, Ricia Chansky

Working-Class Voices and Visibility: Kit de Waal’s Anthology Common People, Christina Schönberger-Stepien

9.2 Teaching Truth and/or Fiction: 9:30-10:30 MST

Moderator: Desiree Henderson

Diary or novel? Fact or Fiction? The routine of teaching auto/biographical texts in Brazil, Sergio Da Silva Barcellos

Another kind of (social) distancing: the life writing process and literary devices as distancing technique and its therapeutic value, Shauni De Gussem

Teaching Dawid Sierakowiak’s Diary, Aleksandra Bednarowska

Teaching Autofiction, Shashibhusan Nayak

Break 10:30-11:00 MST

Break 10:30-11:00 MST

10.1 Trauma and Medical Discourse: 11:00-12:00 MST

Moderator: Kirsi Tuohela

Bibliotherapy and Life Writing, Mary Mahoney

Trauma, Affect, and Rupture in Multimodal Texts: Teaching Graphic Medicine in the Arts and Humanities, Melissa Jacques

Pedagogies of the Mad, Theresa Tinkle

RT3 The Ethics and Politics of Writing Lives: 11:00-12:00 MST

Moderator: Ricia Chansky

Letters, Literacy, and Identity, Sonja Boon

Teaching Black Literature: A Critical Collaborative Autoethnography, Kimani Mitchell and Hosanna Caraballo-Coronado

Teaching personal writing as an anticolonial strategy, Élise Couture-Grondin

Ethics, consent and life writing:’People’s lives are more important than my words’, Anna Derrig

Teaching Queer Life Writing, Nicole Stamant

Break 12:00-12:30 MST

Break 12:00-12:30 MST

Plenary Keynotes Live Q & A: 12:30 MST

Moderated by Julie Rak

Teaching life-writing in history: diaries and letters as historical texts, Maarit Leskelä-Kärki

Teaching Black Feminisms and Slavery Discourses in the 2020 US Election Season, Joycelyn Moody

Teaching Life Narrative in the context of Decolonizing the Curriculum, Anna Poletti

Social Break 13:30-14:00 MST

11.1 Curating Selves: 14:00-15:00 MST

Moderator: Bethany Mannon

Chronicling Black and Other Underrepresented Lives, Jillian Abbott

Life Writing Through Living Archives, Beth Yahp

Portraits of Self and/as Life Writing Praxis, Gina Snooks

11.2 Remediating Lives: Editing and Publishing: 14:00-15:00 MST

Moderator: Julie Rak

The (Recent) Histories of Lifewriting Pedagogies–An Eyewitness Account, Craig Howes

Teaching the epistolary in Brazil: framing the letter, Maria Rita Drumond Viana

Editing and Teaching Early Black Atlantic Lives and Texts in the Twenty-First Century, Eric D. Lamore

Break 15:00-15:30 MST

Break 15:00-15:30 MST

12.1 Teaching Archives: 15:30-16:30 MST

Moderator: Laurie McNeill

Teaching Women in Literature with Medical Life Writing: A Critical Reflection, Krista Roberts

Teaching life reading and life writing through archives, Emma Maguire

Teaching the AIDS Archive through the Activist Life of a Comix Artist, Janine Utell

12.2 Teaching Through Difference: 15:30-16:30 MST

Moderator: Tanis MacDonald

Educating Students about Gender Diversity via Trans Memoirs, Ina Seethaler

Writing Identity and Difference: Teaching creative writing online, Jeanine Leane & Laura-Jane Maher

Teaching Life Narratives of Violence, Oppression and Trauma Through Radical Survival Narrative Pedagogy, Dawn Shickluna

Break 16:30-17:00 MST

Break 16:30-17:00 MST

13.1 Witnessing Life Writing: 17:00-18:00 MST

Moderator: CJ Bogle

Teaching Asian American Life Writing and Social Issues, Eleanor Ty

The Memoir-festo: Humanitarian Life Writing as the Authority to Narrate Global Poverty and its Solutions, David Jefferess

Migrants at Home: Teaching Filipino Migrants’ Video Letters, Aristotle Atienza

RT4 Teaching Challenges: 17:00-18:00 MST

Moderator: Leila Pazargadi

Challenges in the Teaching of Biography, Li Shan Chan

What is a “Rebel” biography anyway? Kylie Cardell

Teaching French- Australian Migrant Writing to Australian Students of French, Natalie Edwards and Christopher Hogarth

Diary Fiction in the Life Writing Classroom, Desiree Henderson

Break 18:00-18:30 MST

Break 18:00-18:30 MST

Celebration: 18:30 MST