Creative Pedagogy and Public Engagement with Modernism


Nanette O’Brien (Oxford) & Bárbara Gallego Larrarte (Oxford) – ‘Getting Ready for “The Modernist Party as Pedagogy’’: A Critique of Role-Play in the Teaching of Modernism

Sarah Churchwell (School of Advanced Study, University of London) – “Sarah Churchwell discusses ‘Living Literature’”

This panel will address creative pedagogy and public engagement with modernist literature. The panel will be divided into two parts. In the first part, Nanette O’Brien (Oxford) and Bárbara Gallego Larrarte (Oxford) will present their findings from their upcoming article in JML, ‘Getting Ready for “The Modernist Party as Pedagogy:’’ A Critique’. Drawing on and evaluating Kate McLoughlin’s role-playing model [‘The Modernist Party as Pedagogy’ JML (2015)] of a simulated modernist party to teach modernist literature, O’Brien and Larrarte evaluate their experience of teaching a variation of it, considering the broader value of role-play for modernist pedagogy. Role-play requires performance and risk-taking, acts that can generate critical and creative ideas that may later be used in essay writing. This innovative exercise harnesses the spontaneity inherent in oral conversation. Playfulness and performativity can then lead to critical, historical, and biographical thinking about the networks of modernism.

In the second part, Sarah Churchwell, Chair of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the Institute of Advanced Study, will discuss the aspects of role-play and public engagement with modernist literature that are part of her ‘Living Literature’ event series at Senate House in London: ‘Living Gatsby’ in April 2016 and ‘Living Proust and the belle époque’ in May 2017. Churchwell’s events aim to bring ‘iconic works of literature to life by getting into the spirit of those novels’. The evenings’ experimental and improvisational settings work to ‘break down the barrier between lecturer and audience’.

Thursday 6th July, 5.00