Englishes: Writing and Thinking in Multiple Voices Workshop

Workshop leader: Kate Schapira, Brown University

This workshop will both offer and develop tools for writing, reading and discussing that invite, accommodate, and engage with the “funds of knowledge” that our students develop before we ever meet them, and discuss how these strategies can cooperate with what’s worthy in traditional academic practices. Participants will pool our own experiences of this kind of encounter. We’ll share assignments, exercises, questions and collaborations that we’ve developed with the goal of allowing students to draw on their own funds of knowledge, and to correlate these productively with time-tested strategies of studying, enjoying, and creating literature and writing. We’ll then draw on tools developed by various non-academic educational collectives (the Metropolarity Collective, New Urban Arts, and others) to try out—in discussion and writing– some additional exercises and practices, in order to test their power to validate multiple ways of understanding, frameworks of thought and modes of articulation. We’ll consider together the ways that both these and older strategies(such as the ones that Moll et al. investigate for younger students and the model outlined in June Jordan’s 1985 essay on Black English and the relationships among power, syntax and concepts) might be applicable in courses that focus on language,story, reasoning and meaning, and how we might continue to adapt them for a world whose economies, technologies, and movements of people continue to change.

Thursday 6th July, 5.00