2014/2015 Travel Grant Recipients and Blogs
The Child's Got Her Own: The Girl Narrator Comes of Age Diverse writers discussed multi-genre work as documentarians and cartographers, as ceremonial archaeologists digging the bones of our histories, returning them to sacred. Panelists brought to the topic a unique and critical cross-section of historical and cultural backgrounds and multiple craft forms; their contributions will broaden perspectives on the body and how creative work serves as a site of investigation for underrepresented narratives.
Conference: Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference Conference Description: The mission of The Association of Writers & Writing Programsis to foster literary achievement, to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing. This year, AWP held its Annual Conference & Bookfair in Minneapolis, MN,featuring over 550 presentations: readings, lectures, panel discussions, and forums plus hundreds of book signings, receptions, dances, and informal gatherings. The 2015conference attracted over 12,000 attendees and more than 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. It’s one of the biggest and liveliest literary gatherings in North America. “Race, History and the Body: Social Acts of Writing” – Panelists Debra Busman, RainaLeon, Faith Adiele, Aimee Suzara, Matthew Shenoda Event Description: The body has been both metaphor and literal site of contestation: the gazed upon, exhibited, racialized, gendered other. How do writers make social acts of resistance, mapping the histories of our bodies? How do we respond to the epidermalization of inferiority (Fanon) instilled by wars, colonization and conquest? Diverse writers discuss multi-genre work as documentarians and cartographers, as ceremonial archaeologists digging the bones of our histories, returning them to sacred.Panelists bring to the topic a unique and critical cross-section of historical and cultural backgrounds and multiple craft forms; their contributions will broaden perspectives on the body and how creative work serves as a site of investigation for underrepresented narratives. “The Child’s Got Her Own: The Girl Narrator Comes of Age” – panel/reading withDebra Busman, Faith Adiele, Elmaz Abinader, and M. Evelina Galang Event Description: Brown girl superhero, queer white L.A. street kid, Nigerian-Nordic mini-Obama, Filipina Angel de la Luna, Arab girl in all-white Appalachia... What happens when girls take charge and narrate their own worlds? In this diverse, cross-genre panel, novelists,poets, memoirists, and playwrights share from their work, discuss craft and context, and explore the gifts and challenges inherent in voice, agency, and narration when authors decide to 'write like a girl.' “Five-Fingered Discount Reading and Reception” – off-site reading with selected authors from five major presses. I was one of two selected to represent Dzanc Books. Feedback and insights: The Creative Writing and Social Action Program at CSUMB has presented at AWP for the past 15 years, building national recognition for our unique and groundbreaking program and further establishing social action writing as a vibrant, critical genre. This year, as in the past, our panel presentation was received with great excitement,engagement and acclaim, with several audience members in the standing-room-only crowd stating that this was the best event they have experienced at the conference. Clearly folks were hungry to hear how writers and writing programs can integrate creativity with social/historical/cultural awareness and expression.This year’s AWP conference was a bit different from the past in that my novel ‘like a woman’ had just been released by Dzanc Books and so, in addition to the traditional panel presentation, I had a panel/reading, a book signing event, and an off-site reading in the community highlighting my book. The audience reception to my book was passionate,enthusiastic, and engaged, and so overwhelming that the press sold out of my books after my first reading and had to turn away ‘hoards’ of folks after each subsequent reading. I could not have asked for a better book-launching event for my novel. The response to our‘The Girl Narrator’ panel was so great that we were asked to submit a proposal to next year’s AWP conference to further the conversation.
Photo of Debra Busman
The Flipped Classroom Compared to Team Based Learning How do students learn? This is the question that keeps many professors up at night. The combination of factors that are a part of this human equation are dizzying. For example, the classroom environment, the personal connections between the teacher and her students, student motivation, student preparedness, teacher training, and teaching strategies are just a few of the many factors at play. The results from my study revealed that for half the class the flipped classroom materials seemed to be better learned as evidenced by exam scores... For the results of the other half of the class read my travel report.
Photo of Jennifer Dyer-Seymour