After a Busy Fall Semester, Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative Looks Ahead to 2022

Beth Godbee welcoming participants to the first "Contemplative Writing Workshop" meeting on Oct. 5th.
Photo Submitted

Beth Godbee welcoming participants to the first "Contemplative Writing Workshop" meeting on Oct. 5th.

As it concludes a busy fall semester, the Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative is now looking ahead to an exciting start to 2022.

After co-sponsoring a popular workshop this past summer, "Planning Writing Projects," led by Beth Godbee, the Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative and the Fayetteville Public Library collaborated again in October to sponsor a virtual "Contemplative Writing Workshop," also led by Godbee.

Godbee, who has written for Inside Higher Ed about her decision to leave a tenured position at Marquette University in 2018, now regularly publishes pieces on contemplative writing through her blog at Heart-Head-Hands.com.

Her research focuses upon "social, racial, and environmental justice; power, agency, and rights; and relational communication."

Taking place over three evenings in October with each meeting lasting two hours, the "Contemplative Writing Workshop" was a fully registered event, attracting participants with a wide range of writing perspectives and experiences.

Godbee talked with workshop participants on a number of topics, including how they understood the term "contemplative writing" and engaged in "contemplative practices"; "productive" versus "receptive" literacies; developing a vocabulary to express "emotional literacies"; how contemplative writing can disrupt the kind of storytelling that one is conditioned to write (to be more conscious or attentive in one's writing practice); and three main types of writing: for one's self, for other people, and for the purpose of institutional change.

Professor Eric Darnell Pritchard, the Brown Chair in English Literacy, described the value of Godbee's workshop to the community as "an incredible opportunity for literacy advocates and writers in Arkansas and beyond to engage substantively with a noted community educator and thought leader in community literacies and its intersections with social justice and contemplative writing, and to incorporate insights gained from that exchange into their own important work as writers, readers, teachers, and creatives."

During the fall, the Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative also co-sponsored a lecture by K.J. Rawson. Rawson is the founder of the Digital Transgender Archive, a digital literacies and rhetorics archival project that documents trans* histories and makes them publicly accessible. The lecture was organized by professor Joe Hatfield, in the Department of Communication, and the Gender Studies Program.

Photo of Beth Godbee
Beth Godbee concluding the "Contemplative Writing Workshop" on Oct. 19.

Coming up in spring 2022, the Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative will be offering a number of virtual "Mindfulness Writing Retreats." The initiative will be hosting these events in partnerships with Arkansas public libraries statewide. One of the retreats will be designated for young adult participants.

Next spring will also see the launch of the Arkansas Literacy Lab, another new program of the Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative.

To learn more about events being offered or sponsored by the Brown Chair in English Literacy Initiative in 2022, and how to participate in them, follow the program's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/uarkbrownchair. You can also reach the Brown Chair in English Literacy via email at brownlit@uark.edu.

Contacts

Leigh Sparks, assistant director of the graduate program in English
Department of English
479-575-5659, lxp04@uark.edu

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