Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2021

Happy to say the proposal that my friend Danielle Harms put together was accepted. So I’ll be presenting with her and with Nora Boxer about creative writing pedagogy.

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The 16th Annual Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Virtual Conference February 4th-7th, 2021

Keynote Speakers

Rachel Cargle

Alfred L. Martin, Jr., The University of Iowa


About MIGC

The 15th annual Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference is an annual graduate conference organized by graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 

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Roundtable Description

Title: “Pure Craft is a Lie,” Now What? 

The field of creative writing pedagogy has established with growing clarity the many ways that the concept “good craft” in writing is a problematic tool of literary “gatekeeping” and creates harm. Still, the work of deconstructing pedagogical practices that adhere to outdated and corrosive ideas about “quality” and “craft” is ongoing. Writers like Matthew Salesses, Janelle Adsit, Renée M Byrd, and Ocean Vuong have clarified and expanded the conversation around how “pure craft is a lie,” as Salesses argues, one derived from a literary tradition that evolved to accommodate violent structures like sexism, colonialism, and white supremacy. And yet teachers often continue to bring problematic ideas around craft into the classroom, from college settings to community workshops. This panel will explore ways to turn this awareness into pedagogical action. What can it mean to offer a more expansive, equitable, and socially just vision of “craft” in creative writing pedagogy? How can educators work to examine their pedagogy and practice to recognize the impact of how “literary writing” or “good craft” is applied and conceived? What action needs to happen, and what research still needs to be done? This panel will offer a conversation of the theoretical background and history of “craft” as a concept in creative writing, provide pedagogical strategies and practices participants can apply to their own work.  

Keywords: 

Craft, creative writing pedagogy 

Stereotype Life: Episode 1 John Thurgood

The inaugural episode of Stereotype Life drops on May 6, 2020 at 12pm central. In this podcast episode, I interview John Thurgood, a PhD student, teaching assistant and fiction writer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He talks about creative writing, skateboarding, grad school & teaching amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Highlights include:

  1. A quote from Kyle Minor’s Praying Drunk (1:45)
  2. Creative writing and skateboarding (7:31)
  3. Piquing students’ curiosities and getting them invested in composition through researching the communities they live in (13:15)
  4. How we’re stories within stories (15:11)
  5. Balancing a rigorous curriculum with teaching and learning amid the coronavirus pandemic (21:10)
  6. Keeping an open dialogue with students and navigating what it is to be a student right now (27:13)
  7. How we as instructors can be catalysts for our students (35:57)

To listen to the podcast and/or view show notes, resources mentioned, our guest’s brief biography, and a downloadable, accessible PDF transcript, please visit: http://stereotype.life/?p=697