Reading Readers: Teaching Paratextual Analysis of Life Narratives, Laurie McNeill
This presentation will discuss how teaching paratextual analysis –engagement with the marketing, production, and reception that surrounds a text (Genette) – extends classroom discussions of life narratives in productive ways. Paratextual methodologies enable consideration of the auto/biographical text as commodity and, importantly, illuminate the practices and ideologies of the publishing industry (Rak; Whitlock) and, by extension, the socio historic and cultural conditions of the production and reception the auto/biographical subject as well as the text. Drawing on the paratextual research activities I’ve designed for my undergraduate courses, I will illustrate key insights on life narratives that can emerge from this approach.
Dr. Laurie McNeill is a Professor of Teaching at UBC (English). Her research focuses on digital, folk, and archival representations of “ordinary” lives, with recent publications in a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, Biography, Research Methods for Auto/Biography Studies (Routledge, 2019), and Inscribed Identities: Life Writing as Self-Realization (Routledge, 2019).
Long Story Short: Encounters With Creative Nonfiction as Methodological Provocation, Anita Sinner
In this session, I reflect on how life writing strategies and creative non-fiction (CNF) in art education graduate courses can be a viable method of inquiry that enables arts researchers to show through story, and tell through research, their process (conceptualizing methodology), practice (techniques and methods applied), and product (research account as a story). Stories showcase what is aesthetically and scholarly compelling of a given study, and in this way CNF offers elasticity and latitude driven by the content (data) of stories. This conversation is intended to be methodological provocation, a proposition of possibilities to revitalize research engagement and dissemination.
Anita Sinner is an Associate Professor of Art Education at Concordia University, Montreal. Her research interests include artwork scholarship, international art education, historical perspectives and community education. She works extensively with stories as pedagogic pivots, with particular emphasis on artful inquiry in relation to social and cultural issues in education.
On Teaching Life Writing for (Not) Understanding, Vicki Hallett
I could be one of those people who ask endless questions, allowing prurient curiosity to take the place of courtesy, respect, connection. Or I could quiet myself and sit with what I don’t understand” (Clare, Brilliant Imperfection, 175). With this annunciation, Eli Clare challenges the educational imperative to “figure things out.” Clare’s grappling with the stories of others, and the self, does not mean solving them as if they were mathematical equations. In this presentation I will engage the pedagogical possibilities of teaching Clare’s work and asking students (and teachers) of life writing to “sit with” stories we don’t understand.
Vicki S. Hallett is an associate professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Memorial University. Her research and teaching live at the confluence of life narrative, place, identity, autoethnography, and feminist postcolonial theory. She is also a mother and someone who writes poetry.