Taking the Pedagogy of Life Writing Beyond the Classroom, Laura Beard
As a professor, I taught life writing in English, Spanish and Portuguese. As a senior academic administrator, I do not teach. How do I draw from my area of expertise in my administrative role? What lessons go beyond the walls of the classroom and into the administrative and committee roles we all hold?
Laura J. Beard is Professor and Associate Vice President (Research) at the University of Alberta, on Amiskwacîwâskahikan, Treaty Six territory and Métis homelands in Edmonton, Alberta. She is a consulting editor of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies and author of Acts of Narrative Resistance: Women’s Writing in the Americas.
Life-Writing for Artists: Teaching Life-Writing in the field of “Artists’ Writing”, Lauren Fournier
I teach a fledgling course called “Artists’ Writing,” which surveys writings produced by visual artists across form/practice. Students explore a range of genres, including emergent ones like autotheory and autofiction. Much of this falls under post-confessional writing, and as I’ve taught this course I’ve found it to be, in practice, a hybrid studio and studies course for artists, architects, and designers to explore first-person practices of writing their lives and selves—often engaging themes like queer coming-of-age and intergenerational trauma. I taught this for the first time as an online, synchronous course this summer.
Lauren Fournier is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto, where she teaches artists’ writing. She holds a PhD in English literature, and her first book Autotheory as Feminist Practice is forthcoming through The MIT Press. Her debut novel, an auto-fictional work, is forthcoming through Fiction Advocate.
Life Writing in the Journalism Classroom, Rachael Hanel
What role does life writing have in the journalism classroom? Journalists are taught to be objective for good reason. But there are times in which a journalist’s personal narrative can lend expertise or a critical perspective on important issues. This discussion will offer examples of journalistic life writing and methods on how best to teach life writing to journalism students.
Rachael Hanel is an associate professor of Mass Communication at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She teaches introduction to Mass Communication, introduction to media writing, digital design, and writing for multimedia. Her research interests include women’s memoir and trauma writing.
Teaching illness narratives and history in the medical humanities, Kirsi Tuohela
To discuss how illness narratives could be taught in the medical humanities I would like to present the theme that I teach at my university in a programme in the medical humanities. I teach about the experience of melancholy and depression in history and use two texts, a piece of diary from the 15th century England and a piece of depression memoir in the 21st century. So far the aim has been to teach about historicity of experiences in general and emotional and illness experiences especially. I might include other aspects, too, or rethink the aim.
I am cultural historian at the University of Turku, Finland. I have keen interest in the history of the self and have studied various kinds of autobiographical texts from letters and diaries to published autobiographies. I have written about mental illness and about the ‘inner child’ in Finnish autobiographical literature.