During the first phase of the project, the Narrative Encounters team invited scholars working in fields relevant to our research questions in order to talk with them about how we read, analyze, and teach Ethnic American literatures.

January 15, 2020

Black, White, and Brown: Representing the Interracial

Workshop with Jesse Ramirez, University of St. Gallen

Based on several of his publications as well as selections from Jose Antonio Villarreal’s Pocho and Randol Contreras’s „Standpoint Purgatorio,“ Jesse Ramirez will discuss with the Narrative Encounters team the history and development of interracial relations in the United States. We will also speak about the complexities of ethnic and racial identities in „a post-Black Lives Matter moment in US political and cultural history“ (Ramirez 2019) and about what speculative fiction can contribute to this important political and cultural moment.

May 29, 2019

Encountering African American Literature in the Classroom

Workshop with Fulbright Scholar Matthew Teutsch, University of Bergen / Piedmont College

Based on several of his publications, Matthew Teutsch discussed with the Narrative Encounters team how teaching African American literature might help students gain a better understanding of the ways in which the past has led to the construction of the current cultural moment in the US, when racial incidents appear on news feeds daily. What insights can students draw from early African American texts such as David Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles and Frederick Douglass’s What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? How did later writers—from Charles Chesnutt and Jean Toomer to Ernest Gaines—expand and complicate these critiques of white supremacy by renegotiating what it means to be black in America? How might students’ narrative encounters with such texts shed light on the current cultural moment? And how might it affect our approach as well as the resulting conversations when we teach them not within the United States but in a European country such as Austria? These are some of the questions we discussed in the workshop.

November 21, 2018

Empirical Methods in Literary Studies

Workshop with Wojciech Małecki, University of Wroclaw

Based on his extensive experiences in the empirical study of literary texts with an interdisciplinary team of psychologists and biologists at the University of Wroclaw, Wojciech Małecki will discuss with the Narrative Encounters team how we can study the attitudinal impact of stories experimentally. Why Is empirical evidence Important in the study of literary texts? What methods are most appropriate for such studies? And what do we gain by using the method of controlled experiment to test the impact of stories on actual readers? These are some of the questions we will address in the workshop.