Workshop Series

Spring 2021

The workshops and special issue are a pilot stage for the development of an Open Educational Resource (OER) that explores the theoretical, methodological, and practical aspects of teaching life writing in educational, community, and creative settings.

Hosted in May and June 2021, the workshops — individually and collectively—formulate sites of extended theoretical and methodological inquiry, focusing on four topics:

Forum 1: Students Mediating Lives
Forum 2: Pedagogy Across Platforms
Forum 3: Memory, Mapping, Experience
Forum 4: Social Justice

The workshop series includes two sessions  — a 3-hour Forum Development workshop, and a 60-90 minutes Forum Feedback session. The Forum Development event explores a set of provocations that emerge from participants’ conference presentations, working together to develop short forum contributions for a special peer-reviewed issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies on Teaching Life Writing. The Forum Feedback sessions are designed to provide participants with an opportunity to receive initial feedback from their forum peers, or share concerns as they are drafting the special issue essay. The special issue will include work produced in the four workshops, thus addressing both theoretical and methodological concerns that emerge from the Teaching Life Writing Conference as well as directly contribute to an ongoing conversation in the field.

Aims and Values

The Workshop Series provides a conversational space to share your work, try out new or different approaches, develop your thinking, and solicit/ receive meaningful responses from participants regarding your individual work. The workshops facilitate these critical practices through dialogue, writing exercises, and shared reflection. 

As a whole, our project aims to facilitate process-based approaches to research and pedagogy, leading us to move from thinking about specific case studies towards contending with larger questions and practices in the field. The Conference identified keywords/themes that currently drive the field, and The Workshop Series is designed to further these conversations by exploring their shared threads and encouraging participants to position themselves and their work in relation to these threads. This critical approach is integral to the process of developing our research and pedagogy, and is the guiding principle of our project. 

We hope that the workshop will provide you with points of connection with other participants and their work, as well as with opportunities to reflect/ rethink and push forward your own work, which you can then take with you as you begin to write your forum papers.

You are not required to respond to one another in written form, nor prepare presentations. Instead, we invite you to read one another’s briefs before the workshop so that we can enter the live conversation with a sense of shared knowledge of one another’s work.