Teaching Life Writing–Two Models, Batsheva Ben-Amos
An in-class course on comparative analysis of life-writing genres, centers on a historical period, while a remote course on the same subject, takes a broader perspective, focusing on theoretical and methodological issues. In the first model the texts were all produced during or are related to a historical period, a place and specific global events. The impact of genre, medium and context on self-presentation are explored.
Dr. Batsheva Ben-Amos teaches at the department of Comparative Literature and the College for Liberal Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a practicing clinician. Her edited book The Diary: The Epic of Everyday Life (coeditor: Dan Ben-Amos) was published in 2020. She has written about Holocaust diaries.
Online or Remote Teaching Environments: Opportunities and Challenges of Teaching about Life Writing, Donohon Abdugafurova
This study investigates the challenges of adjusting to online teaching through the content-based approach. It analyzes the pedagogical choices of university professors who teach diaries, letters and oral history in online and remote modes. It pays specific attention to the disciplinary and methodological differences of professors’ expertise, their reflection on class delivery and class activities and assignments. Syllabus analysis, pedagogical approaches and modalities of engagement provide insights onto challenges and opportunities of developing and delivering a course related to life writing. The findings will result in a blog post and will consequently be revised to a research article.
Donohon Abdugafurova is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Islamic Civilizations Studies Program at Emory University, and Instructional Designer at Wake Forest University. Her research interests include Central Asian intellectual history, women’s literature and life writing. As an instructional designer at WFU, she provides teaching consultations and trainings for online education.
Life Writing across the centuries: Pedagogical Implications, Karen Ferreira-Meyers & Lucie Houdu
The authors examine how reading life writing (through letters from soldiers) from the previous century benefits contemporary foreign language learners living during the Covid19 pandemic. First we discuss non-fiction life writing and how it assists with language learning and dealing with stress. How does the students’ progressive understanding of life writing texts arouse emotions and feelings echoing their own lives, especially in times of crisis?
We examine pedagogical implementation in an online environment (due to social distancing measures). How can distance learning overcome obstacles related to the migration to online learning by using innovative pedagogy and new technologies?
Karen Ferreira-Meyers is Associate Professor (Eswatini). Her research is on autofiction/autobiography, crime/detective fiction, distance/e-learning, language teaching/learning. She publishes and translates regularly.
Lucie Houdu is a secondary school English teacher (France) and a PhD candidate, working on British poet Tony Harrison. Her research interests include memory/exile, displacement, space-poetry, poet identity/representation.