A Pedagogy of Curation for Writing Centers

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2020

Authors

Brazeau, Alicia
Hall, Tessa

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Abstract

While scholarship on the spatial rhetoric of writing centers (including Lunsford, Connolly, et al., and McKinney) has demonstrated the importance of evaluating how writing center spaces speak to us and our writers, the field of museum curation offers new insights for writing centers on how spaces and objects and visitors interact in critical, even pedagogical, ways. Contemporary curatorial scholarship has shifted the focus of curation from simple care for the artifacts to a care more broadly focused on a conversation among artifacts and people (including artists, subjects, visitors, and curators). Adopting a curatorial approach to writing center work, we interrogated how we and our writers interact with one another and with artifacts in the spaces we developed. This article delineates how a pedagogy of curation helped us analyze the complex interlocution among all the (living and material) constituents present in a writing center event, and our constellations of artifacts, spaces, and people. Assessing our retreat program through a curation pedagogy, we found a new understanding of how materials and spaces functioned, and how our and our writers’ responses to them unconsciously shaped our practice.

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