Learning Community: Works in Progress

close up photo of gray typewriter

As part of the Cromwell Learning Community focused on our own writing/scholarship/creative work, I am organizing a discussion group that complements the Writing Group led by Rachel Rodriguez and explores relations between our scholarship and our teaching practice.

Rachel’s group will meet Tuesday mornings (9.15 am – 11.15 am) this fall in the Faculty Lounge. The focus is protecting and putting time into writing/scholarship, with light guidance from Rachel and encouragement from the group–and coffee.

I am envisioning a complementary discussion (rather than work time) that might wander broadly around the theme of Works in Progress and also explore relations between our scholarship and our teaching: 

  • what we do in our writing/creative process—and how we can develop it
  • what we would love to be writing/creating—if only we had the time
  • lessons/strategies from our experiences with the peer review and publishing process: conference paper, article, book proposal, grant, exhibition
  • lessons from our writing/creative practice (revision, editing, etc.) we have brought or might bring into our teaching (our students are also works in progress)
  • other topics and presentations members of the group might want to propose

To get things started with Works in Progress, I propose an initial lunchtime discussion in the Hodson dining hall: Tuesday, October 3, from 11.45 am – 12.45 pm. We can follow a format we’ve used for other learning communities: drop in late, leave early as needed. At the counter indicate you are here for CTL and lunch is on us. Then meet upstairs in the loft area.

For the initial discussion, we’ll reflect on our writing/creative process—what we consider to be our strengths and limitations. We can use a heuristic (called the BASE) developed by Helen Sword, author of Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write. You can read about it in Sword’s introduction—the book is available electronically through our library. You can also test out the heuristic on this interactive site Sword has created:

The BASE – Identify your academic writing habitsUse The BASE to determine writing habits that can be improved for a stronger and more sustainable writing practice.writersdiet.com

For those unable to attend this initial session but interested in joining a group list for future sessions, please let me know. You are welcome to drop by any of the discussions without joining the group. I also encourage you to take a look at Sword’s ideas to guide some reflection on your habits with academic writing, scholarship, and creative practice.

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