Writing Institute events focus on creating a culture of access

The Dietrich School of Arts & Science’s Writing Institute will host a series of spring events focusing on creating a culture of access.

These events are part of Creating a Culture of Access (ENGLIT 2925), a one-credit seminar facilitated by Jessie Male, postdoctoral associate in Disability Studies. For this seminar, four 1-hour discussions on Zoom (Jan. 27, Feb. 10, March 24, and April 7 from 11 to noon) will supplement the workshops below. In addition, there will be reflective writing assignments and a final project.

The seminar is open to any graduate or undergraduate students. Faculty members also are welcome and do not need to register for the credit; if they complete the seminar, they will receive a certificate of completion. If you are interested in pursuing the seminar, please complete this form.

You do not need to be registered for the seminar to attend events, though students and faculty in the seminar will have guaranteed spots in all workshops. Find more information about the events on the Writing Institute website.

1-3 p.m. Jan. 20, via Zoom. Pre-registration required. Book talk and conversation with Jo Hsu: “Bodyminds as Archives: Crip Wisdom and Communal Resilience.” Hsu, assistant professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, will share a passage from their book, “Constellating Home: Trans and Queer Asian American Rhetorics,” focusing on how disabled and other marginalized communities use storytelling to drive collective action. Registration link. Learn more about Hsu’s work.

Noon-2 p.m. Feb. 6, in-person. Location TBD. Open to the public. Public talk with Jay Dolmage, chair of English department at University of Waterloo in Ontario, on “Ableism, Accommodation, Access.” This work is based on Dolmage’s influential book “Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education.” This in-person presentation will chart the ableist attitudes, policies, and practices that are built into higher education. Learn more about Dolmage’s work

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 7, in person. Location TBD. Pre-registration required. Workshop with Jay Dolmage on “Moments and Modalities of Access: Composing Disability.” This  workshop will be capped at 15 and is open to anyone at the University, though priority will be given to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students. Registration link

11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 17, in person. Location TBD. Pre-registration required.  Workshop with Bojana Coklyat on “Alt-Text as Poetry,” based on the workbook developed with artist Shannon Finnegan. During the workshop participants will reframe alt-text as a type of poetry and practice writing it together. They will look at examples of poetic and creative approaches to alt-text, then do several writing exercises designed to focus on issues that often come up in alt-text, including attention to language and word economy, alt-text as translation, structuring and prioritizing, subjectivity, identity, and representation. The workshop will be capped at 20 and is open to anyone at the university, though priority will be given to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students. Registration link. Learn more about Coklyat’s work with Alt-Text as Poetry

11 a.m.-1 p.m. March 31, Location TBD. Pre-registration required. Workshop with Amy Jo Burns and Jessie Male on “Writing to Navigate and Process Trauma,” based on the work of memoirist and craft scholar Louise DeSalvo. Participants will consider the questions: Through writing, how might you attempt to recover what is lost? How might you reclaim power through creative expression?  How might writing reveal insight from painful experiences? The goal of this workshop is not to complete a piece of writing but rather to discover an entry point to further exploration and to expand understanding about the impact of trauma. This workshop will be capped at 20 and is open to anyone at the university. Registration link. Learn more about Burns’s work

Contact Jessie Male if you have any questions about access or specific accommodation requests.