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Northeast Modern Language Association

Interactive Workshops

Free interactive workshops will take place at the 2018 convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Registration is required and space is limited, so please pre-register now at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/Login and click on "Convention Registration."

Documenting Culture through Digital Pedagogy: Primary Sources in the Classroom (Pedagogy/Professional and Interdisciplinary Humanities)

Nikolaus Wasmoen

SUNY University at Buffalo

Learn how to integrate engaging student research projects into primary sources into the design of courses in a range of humanities disciplines. We will discuss strategies for identifying exciting collections for student research, practice encoding primary sources in print or manuscript, and create simple prototype web publications of these encoded documents as annotated digital editions or other enhanced document collections. Tools will also be introduced for further processing encoded texts and the data they contain including methods for mapping (GIS) and text visualization. Digital research methods covered will include textual encoding, editing, visual analysis, and simple web publishing. No previous technical skills or knowledge required. All disciplines welcome. Please bring a laptop and a copy of a syllabus for a recent or future course in which you might consider integrating a digital research project addressing primary sources.  

This workshop is supported by the Association for Documentary Editing and the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.

Creating and Implementing a Successful Learning Community (Pedagogy/Professional)

Terry Novak and Paul Gounaris

Johnson and Wales University

In this workshop the facilitators, teaching partners in a successful first-year learning community model for seventeen years, will engage participants in discussion of how to best create and implement a learning community on their own campuses. The facilitators will cover student engagement and collaborations, faculty engagement and development, and community involvement as the keys to a successful learning community model. Participants will draft a learning community that fits their needs and the needs of their institutions and students and will leave the workshop with solid tools that can be used for gaining support for learning communities on their campuses.  

Extending Learning Spaces to the Virtual World: Teaching with Technology (Pedagogy/Professional)

Theresa Schenker

Yale University

Participants in this workshop will learn how to use free technology tools to enhance their students' language learning and cultural awareness. Tools for speaking, listening, and writing practice, cultural exploration, and collaboration will be presented, and participants will be guided through creating their own activities. This workshop will also introduce tools for telecollaboration and help participants set up telecollaborative projects.  

Memoir and the Erasing of Memory (Creative Writing)

John Hampsey

California Polytechnic State University

Approaching the genre of memoir for the first time, a writer might expect to find relief at finally turning sacred or disturbing experiences from the past into a narrative. But this literary reckoning includes memory erasure as well, which the writer may not realize until the narrative is complete. Childhood memories seem particularly vulnerable once the memories are put through the writing processor. Moments from childhood initially have a gauzy and amorphous layering to them, and a sense of multiplicity regarding “what might have been.” However, once a childhood memory is transmuted into memoir, the amorphous layering inside the past is gone, and all that can be remembered is the narrative itself.

The workshop will focus on the crucial decision of whether to write childhood memoir from the perspective of the child or from the adult looking back. Attendees will write a short memoir sequence from one or both perspectives. Discussion will follow regarding the contrasting perspectives, and also about whether erasure has occurred in the act of turning memory into memoir. This workshop will explore the possibility of erasure, as the memory-self passes those memories onto the writer-self. 

John Hampsey, Professor of English at Cal Poly and Pittsburgh native, is the author of the boyhood memoir Kaufman's Hill (Bancroft Press, 2015), a book that speaks both to NeMLA's 2018 host city of Pittsburgh and to this year's convention theme "Local Landscapes and Imagined Worlds." Set in Pittsburgh in the 1960s, Kaufman's Hill follows Hampsey's path through his local surroundings and how he negotiates them with the imagined worlds of human possibility. Howard Zinn has referred to Kaufman's Hill as "the best book written on American boyhood in decades."

Digital Storytelling and the Humanities (Pedagogy/Professional)

Christina Fisanick, California University of Pennsylvania

Robert Stakeley, Heinz History Center Affiliates Program Director

This workshop will be held at the Heinz History Center, which is a short walk from the Omni Hotel. Participants will learn about how to effectively incorporate digital storytelling in a variety of humanities classrooms and will have access to the Heinz History Center collections before, during, and after the workshop. Participants will gain new insight into helping their students improve their critical thinking, writing, and reading skills.