Rehoming and Unhoming Pedagogies


Unhoming Pedagogies: Curiosity, Collaboration and Interruption in Contemporary Literary Studies (Nathalie Pollard)

This paper focuses on ways of being together as researchers and teachers that get 'outside' institutional space/thinking and which attempt to cut through existing educative habits. How can we engage in modes of knowing that are nomadic, digressive, curious, dialogic and vulnerably between agencies - 'unhomed' - rather than treating knowledge as secure, uni-directional, domesticated, belonging, or easily graspable?

Exploring theories and activities that have to potential to activate anti-hierarchical and collaborative modes of research and teaching, the paper considers how to bring about ‘unhomings’ and 'interruptions' of traditional knowledge structures and educational power hierarchies. It seeks to provide space for dwelling in complex moments of wonder, uncertainty and transformation, and to engage multiple voices and trans-disciplinary perspectives.

Chester Retold: Unspoken Stories, Put into Words (Eileen Pollard)

This innovative level five experiential learning module offers students the opportunity to take storytelling out into the community of Chester, as the undergraduates engage with the local community through learning about narrative and storytelling together. The module is run in partnership with Storyhouse and helps facilitate their commitment to reach out to the community of Chester – ‘This house is your house’ – while allowing for the unspoken stories of the people of this ancient city to be put into words and heard, so that the story of Chester can be retold for today.

Each session is taught either at the University of Chester or at Storyhouse. Every year the module works with a different Chester-based community partner that fosters the inclusion of marginalised groups. Chester Retold has previously had short-course students from Fallen Angels Dance Theatre (2018) a charity helping people recover from addiction and mental health problems through movement and dance – and LIVE! Cheshire (2019) who work to include young people with physical and/or learning disabilities. Participants from the community have full access to University facilities, including the right to borrow books and access online resources throughout the module.

In previous years, we have looked at storytelling through maps, memories, film, objects, storyboarding and drama, making the module highly interdisciplinary. The teaching has taken a range of forms, including talks, small group discussions, bring and shares, walks around the city walls, drawing, acting and meditation exercises – as well as flashmobs in the Storyhouse foyer!

This paper is an opportunity to reflect upon and share the challenges and gains of teaching English in this way, as well as suggesting why other English teachers may wish to try this approach to teaching the subject themselves.

Of [in] hospitality & Of [in] creativity: Writing through Derrida in the house of Academia (Agnieszka Studzinska)

Is there room? I ask. Is there space? Am I welcome here? Am I, an imposter in this field of knowledge inside the house of academia, whose hosts invite me but for how long? Under what circumstances can I remain? Under what thatched roofs is my  writing received in my readings of theory?  In my adaptations of them. Is this a creative process or an academic one? How do I admit the subjective, personal I into the structures of close readings and third parties and other remote voices of authority? Is my writing invited here? This creative- critical voice speaks of –

“The question of hospitality is thus the question of the question,” writes Derrida in Of Hospitality (Derrida and Dufourmantelle: 2000: 29) The question presents itself in the different welcomings, I choose to accept.  Does hospitality consist in interrogating the new arrival? Does it begin with the question addressed to the newcomer… what is your name? Derrida asks? (Derrida and Dufourmantelle: 2000: 27) Already my name, is foreign-looking and foreign-sounding, implies distance, an elsewhere from here in the United Kingdom. “Is it more just and more loving to question or not to question? To call by the name or without the name?”  he continues (Derrida and Dufourmantelle: 2000: 29).  In this paper, I open the question of hospitality proposed by Derrida and rearticulate, revise, readdress, re map this word onto a new surface, whose writing asks, how does one write creatively of an academic text in academia? What value is placed on this writing? for whom is this writing, who is the audience and what of [new] audiences? What other houses do I build with the diction of another in this collaboration of creativity and theory? In this paper, I follow the lines of this sentence, “I seek a permanent home, but this structure has an appearance of indifferent compoundedness and/isolation…” [1] to explore what finding a home or the hospitality of this concept [both home/hospitality] might mean in the context of creativity and academia as places and sites of productions of new ways of thinking about how knowledge is offered, invited, understood and conveyed.

[1] This is the first line from a poem by the American-Asian poet Mei, Mei Berssenbrugger in her poem called ‘Permanent Home’ in the collection, Nest: Kelsey St. Press (2104) pg 11

Agnieszka Studzińska has an MA in Creative Writing from the UEA. Her first debut collection, Snow Calling was shortlisted for the London New Poetry Award 2010. Her second collection, What Things Are is published by Eyewear Publishing (2014). She has had poems published in The Long Poem Magazine, The Manhattan Review, Wildcourt, Agenda, Myslexia, as well as having poems featured in several other anthologies. Her poem ‘Winged Narratives’ was nominated for the 2019 Forward Prize, for best single poem.  She is currently working towards her PhD at Royal Holloway London exploring how the image of the house is appropriated in contemporary poetry. She teaches creative writing and lives in London.

Fri 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm