Workshop Description & Guidelines

The workshop series brings together four forums that are based on participants’ shared concerns with teaching life writing, and as you may notice there can be significant crossover between the interest of  different participants and varied forums. 

Though the members of each workshop and the group as a whole teaches in different contexts, settings, and for very diverse learning communities, below you will find the threads that we see connecting and guiding each forum group. As you prepare for the workshop, we’d like you to reflect on your approach to these questions in a pedagogical capacity (the methods, theories, concerns that would guide your approach). As you reflect on your group’s prompt/s we’d encourage you to think both in terms of options/ possibilities and in terms of limitations/ challenges.

Forum One: Students Mediating Lives

May 3, 2021 8:00am EST

Whose stories are legible and to whom? How are they made legible and on whose terms?

Forum Two: Pedagogy Across Platforms

May 6, 2021 5:00pm EST

How do mediums shape strategies of curation and representation? How do these affect the storytelling acts, what stories can be told, and how? 

Forum Three: Memory, Mapping, Experience

May 4, 2021 3:30pm EST; May 5, 2021 7:30am AEDT

How do we trace memory and experience? What are the tensions/ gaps/ potentialities between personal accounts vs. public texts?

Forum 4: Social Justice

May 3, 2021 6:00pm EST; May 4, 2021 7:00am PHST

How are life narratives produced/ circulated/ received through/ for the prism of social justice?

Workshop Structure

Rather than fully answer the Forum prompts, or fully develop contributions for the special issue, each workshop will offer entry points into a conversation that explores these concerns. It is our hope that this initial conversation will guide you as you write your individual Forum contributions for a/b: auto/biography studies, providing you with some feedback on your own direction, as well as a view of other contributors’ work. To achieve this aim, each workshop will include 3 parts:

  1. Prompt-based conversation
  2. Individual writing-exercises and shared reflections
  3. Feedback and takeaways (a collaborative or transparent peer-feedback process)
In Preparation for your Workshop:

You are not required to prepare a presentation for the workshop, nor reproduce your conference paper. 

Instead, building on your conference presentation and in response to your group’s assigned workshop prompt, we’d ask you to prepare a 1-page brief of your approach to the question/s and send it to us by Thursday April 22nd. We will circulate the briefs with all workshop members, so that we come together as a group ready to discuss shared threads and questions that emerge from our individual works.

Please feel free to write the brief as a narrated text, or in bullet point form, share/cite resources or focus on reflection — this is a process document, not a formal submission, and the group will meet all its members in their current stage of work / thinking process.

However, to ensure that we do have a shared base-line and that everyone is able to review materials prior to the workshop, we would ask that you ensure that you include the following in your brief:

  • keep the brief focused on your pedagogical approach 
  • start your brief with a direct 3-5 sentence answer to the forum prompt/s
  • keep it to 1 page (we will have lots of time to elaborate during the workshop)

If you have any questions, queries, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at