University of Manitoba - Faculty of Arts - Institute for the Humanities - Passions, Pedagogies and Publics
Passions, Pedagogies and Publics

Interdisciplinary and Inter-Institutional Writing in the Humanities:
Passions, Pedagogies and Publics

This cluster seeks to initiate an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional dialogue around writing in the humanities. Our aim is to create a “passionate affinity space” (Gee & Hayes, 2012) for those who care about writing and the teaching of writing, including faculty, staff, and students from across the humanities, as well as other disciplines and Faculties at the University of Manitoba, and as our colleagues in K-12 schools and other informal learning spaces across the province.

Research Goals

Through a series of events in 2014, our goals are to:
1. Create a K-16 space for conversations about writing and the teaching of writing. The goal is to initiate an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional dialogue about writing in the humanities in the 21st century. Bringing together writers and teachers of writing from different disciplines and levels of education, participants will share diverse understandings of why we write, the nature of the texts we study and those we in turn create, in the pursuit of answers to questions that intrigue scholars and teachers in the humanities.

2. Explore dimensions of writing with four areas of focus: disciplinary writing and thinking in the humanities; academic writing and digital literacies; writing pedagogies; and ethical and epistemological stances on writing.

3. Identify critical questions or key “threads” of the conversations that will serve as catalysts for further collaborative inquiry, research, and dialogue among university and K-12 school partners. Such questions or threads could become a focus for a second year of cluster activities, and/or a focus for new, externally funded university/school research partnerships in the humanities.

Areas of Critical Dialogue and Inquiry

As a cluster, we would seek to explore:
1. Disciplinary writing and thinking in the humanities. What does writing look like within different disciplines? What genres of writing, purposes for writing, and social practices around writing do we privilege, and why? What is the role of writing in interdisciplinary humanities scholarship and teaching?

2. Academic writing and digital literacies in the 21st century. How is writing in the humanities changing? What differences are we seeing in forms, purposes, and audiences for writing in the humanities? What is provoking these changes? What new forms of writing are we (and others) exploring in our teaching and scholarship? How are we (or should we be) thinking about writing and the teaching of writing in new and in digital ways? What current challenges and opportunities are we, and our students, encountering as writers?

3. Writing pedagogies in the humanities, K-16. What are we asking students to write? Why? What level of importance do we place on writing and on different forms of writing? What expectations do we have of student writing? How are students learning to write? What is our role in teaching writing? What patterns of writing and writing pedagogy do we observe across education levels (e.g., early, middle, senior years, undergraduate, and graduate)? Where are the continuities and where are the gaps?

4. Ethical and epistemological stances on writing. How do we engage in issues of voice, identities, representation and advocacy in writing? To what extent are we open to new forms of writing—the voices of communities or varied “publics”, and especially those who may be marginalized in school/academic writing? What work do we want our writing, and our students’ writing, to do within our respective humanities disciplines, and within and across diverse local and global communities?

Contact: Dr Wayne Serebrin (Faculty of Education)
Dr Michelle Honeyford (Faculty of Education)


Research Cluster Programming for the 2013-14 academic year: 

The Passions, Pedagogies, and Publics Research Cluster
presents a public talk by

Dr Kirsten Jamsen (University of Minnesota)
“Everybody writes!: Tapping interdisciplinary, collaborative, and human-centric approaches to writing and writing instruction, K-16”

Dr Kirsten Jamsen directs and teaches in the Center for Writing and teaches WRIT 3751W: The Theory and Practice of Writing Consultancy. With her colleagues in the Center and across campus, she currently studies writing across the curriculum, composition pedagogy, the role of technology in writing centers and classrooms, and the relationship between writing centers and institutional change.

The talk will be held on Monday February 24 in the Schultz Lecture Theatre (St John’s College), from 5:00-6:30 pm.
A reception with light refreshments will follow.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Public parking information can be found here.

More information on Kirsten Jamsen can be found here.


On Friday March 21, the cluster presents a public talk by
Dr Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy (San Francisco)
Ethical and Epistemological Stances in Writing
“Authors and Writers: Awakening the author’s ‘voice’ as life protagonist to foster the writer’s multiple potentials"

The event will be held in room 224 Education from 5:00-6:30 pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Public parking information can be found here.
A light reception will follow.

Voice is an expression of self, writing a set of acquired techniques. As authors and protagonists of our own lives, every individual has a voice that deserves recognition and respect—in whichever way it is expressed. When students believe in the value of their role as protagonists of their own lives and in their voices as its expression, they can easily accept the role of authors, someone with something valuable to say. This awakening of the author’s voice can be the best road to begin developing the techniques that will allow them to master diverse forms of writing.

Panel presentations will be also be made by Dr Karen Boyd (Instructor, University of Manitoba, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Department; ELA and Literacy Consultant, Manitoba Education) and Chris Wigglesworth (Early Learning Support Teacher, Seven Oaks School Division)

ALMA FLOR ADA, Professor Emerita at the University of San Francisco, has devoted her life to advocacy for peace by promoting a pedagogy oriented to personal realization and social justice. A former Radcliffe Scholar at Harvard University and Fulbright Research Scholar she is an internationally re-known speaker. Dr Ada's professional books for educators, include A Magical Encounter: Latino Children’s Literature in the Classroom, and Authors in the Classroom: A Transformative Education Process co-authored with F. Isabel Campoy, about their work promoting authorship in students, teachers, and parents. Alma Flor’s numerous children’s books of poetry, narrative, folklore and non fiction have received prestigious awards; among many: Christopher Medal (The Gold Coin), Pura Belpré Medal (Under the Royal Palms), Once Upon a World (Gathering the Sun), Parents’ Choice Honor (Dear Peter Rabbit), NCSS and CBC Notable Book (My Name is María Isabel), Marta Salotti Gold Medal (Encaje de piedra). In 2012 she received the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award in recognition of her body of work for children. Dr Ada is also the author of a book of memoirs, Vivir en dos idiomas, two novels for adults, En clave de sol and A pesar del amor. She has been awarded the Distinguished Professor Award at the University of San Francisco, the American Education Research Association [AERA] Hispanic Issues Award for Research in Elementary, Secondary and Postsecondary Education; the California Association for Bilingual Education [CABE] Life Long Award; the California Council for Higher Education 2011 Award; the 2012 Literary Award of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, and the OHTLI Award from the Mexican Government. Dr. Ada has also established an endowment for the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) to provide scholarships for future teachers.

More information on Dr Alma Flor Ada can be found here.

F. ISABEL CAMPOY could be described in her own words as a venturous, adventurous, international, multilingual, multicultural, mestiza. She obtained her degree in Philology from University Complutense of Madrid. For her postgraduate work she was a Ford Scholar at Reading University in England, and a Fulbright Scholar at UCLA. She is the author of over 150 titles in Spanish and English, including children’s books in the areas of poetry, theatre, stories, biographies, and art, as well as books for educators in the areas of Transformative Education, Second Language Acquisition and Authentic Writing. Her work aims at providing children keys to interpret the world in a fun, challenging, and affirmative way. As a researcher she has also published extensively bringing to the curriculum an awareness of the richness of the Hispanic culture. Her educational specializations are in the area of literacy and home school interaction, topics on which she lecturers nationally and internationally. CABE (The American Association for Bilingual Education) has established in her name an endowment to provide scholarships for future teachers. Among numerous awards she has been recognized with the Laureate Award from the San Francisco Public Library; the 2005 Reading the World Award from the University of San Francisco, and the ALA Notable Book Award; has been six times a Junior Library Guild Selection, included in Kirkus Best Books, and Nick Jr. Best Book of the Year. She is a Contributing Member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language and member of the American Academy of Poets, as well as several organizations for the advancement of multicultural awareness and world peace.


Past Cluster Events 

Dr Andrea Lunsford (Stanford):
"How New Literacies are Affecting Writing and the Teaching of Writing”

Dr Andrea Lunsford, Louise Hewlett Nixon Professor of English and Director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, joined the Stanford faculty in March, 2000. Prior to this appointment, Lunsford was Distinguished Professor of English at The Ohio State University (1986-00), where she served as Vice Chair of the Department of English, as Chair of the University Writing Board, and as Director of the Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing; and Associate Professor and Director of Writing at the University of British Columbia (1977-86). Currently also a member of the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English, Professor Lunsford earned her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Florida, and completed her Ph.D. in English at The Ohio State University (1977).

Dr Lunsford’s talk was held on Monday February 3 from 5:00-6:30 pm
in the Schultz Lecture Theatre (St John’s College).

More information on Andrea Lunsford can be found here.