Writing for Change: Research as Public Pedagogy and Arts-based Activism

Writing for Change: Research as Public Pedagogy and Arts-based Activism

by Claire Robson

Hardcover(2nd ed.)



In its analysis of the potential and realities of narrative inquiry, Writing for Change is both theoretical and highly practical, offering a way to conceptualize this kind of research and providing concrete suggestions as to how it might be conducted. With its emphasis on arts-based activist education, the book also contributes to current conversations about public pedagogy. Though many educators and researchers are moving into this burgeoning field, there is a pressing need for practical examination of methodologies. Practitioners and researchers working in psychoanalytic theory will find the book useful, particularly those interested in the intersections of literature, education, and psychoanalysis. Indeed, the research methodologies and pedagogical strategies presented in the book should prove useful in a broad range of research and/or educational settings. Also, the book’s appeal is not limited to those studying the experience and voices of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual, but to any marginalized population.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433119156
Publisher: Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers
Publication date: 09/30/2012
Series: Critical Qualitative Research Series , #8
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 169
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Claire Robson’s work as a writer, editor, and educator has spanned four decades and a variety of professional contexts, both formal and informal. Currently she is writer-in-residence for Quirk-e (the Queer Imaging & Riting Kollective for Elders), a federally funded arts-engaged community group in Vancouver. Her memoir, Love in Good Time, was published in 2003, and she edited Outside Rules, a collection of short fiction about nonconformist youth, in 2007. She was named Pink Triangle Press Writer of the Year in 2006. She received her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2011, having won a number of awards including the Lynch History Prize, the Dean's Award, and the Joseph Katz Memorial Scholarship for work in anti-oppressive education.

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures xi

Foreword xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Interlude One 9

Love in Good Time: An Extract 9

Discussion 12

Chapter 1 Minutes of the Escape Committee-Experiments in Education and Memoir 15

The Iron Lady 15

The Escape Committee 16

The Dropped Stitch 17

The Nightmare That Is the Present 18

The Minimal Self 19

Harvesting Silence 20

Education for Social Justice 22

The Queer Imaging & Riting Kollective for Elders 22

Uncanny Encounters 28

Some Preliminary Theories About Writing Processes 29

Conclusion: The Mechanical Bull 30

Interlude Two 33

"Can you see me now I'm gone?" 33

Discussion 35

Chapter 2 Fictional Practices of Everyday Life-Unfixing Identity Through Close Literary Practices 37

Lovely Knowledge and Difficult Knowledge 38


Theoretical Framework 40

Fixing and Unfixing Identities 40

Becoming Unhinged 41

Methodology 44

Close, Focused Reading of Core Texts 44

Close Reading 45

Close Writing 45

Introduction of Theory 45

Reflection 46

Individual Interviews 46

Discussion 46

Reflexive Pedagogy 47

White Handle Knives 47

Secrets and Lies 47

Reflexive Pedagogy in Action: Teaching on the Fly 48

Home and Exile 49

The Exile's Return 50

Revision 51

Exegesis 53

Memoir of a Memoir 55

New Representations of Learning and Findings 57

OWLS Presentation: Queerly Canadian: Changing Narratives 60

Conclusion 64

Interlude Three 67

"…but is it Art?" 67

Discussion 71

Chapter 3 What the Thrush Said 75

Interlude Four 89

"Privet" 89

Discussion 92

Chapter 4 Writers-Writing-Readers-Reading 95

Writers-Writing 97

The Starting Point: Episodic Memory 97

Episodic Memories as Hubs of Feeling 98

Unpacking the Hub 100

Readers-Reading 100

"Privet" 102

Physical Location 102

Characters 102

Constraints 103

Metaphor 105

External Constraints: Short Story Form 107

Nonconscious Processes 109

Conclusion 112

Interlude Five 113

"Heath. Rain. Wind. Birds." 113

Discussion 117

Chapter 5 Public Pedagogy 121

The Public 122

The Private 124

Making the Private Public Through Artistic Practices and Public Pedagogy 125

Teacher as Artist 125

How to Write a Short Story 126

Genre 127

Public Pedagogy as a Teaching Genre 128

Pedagogy 1: Locating the Private 128

Pedagogy 2: Considering Intention 129

Quirk-e's Evolution From Private to Public 130

Public Pedagogy 132

Collective Biography 132

Pedagogy 3 135

Pedagogy 4 136

Conclusion 138

Conclusion 139

Appendix 145

Notes 149

Bibliography 157

Index 165

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