Teaching Lives: Contemporary Pedagogies of Life Narratives

Laurie McNeill (Editor), Kate Douglas (Editor)

    Research output: Book/ReportAnthologypeer-review


    The contemporary ‘boom’ in the publication and consumption of auto/biographical representation has made life narratives a popular and compelling subject for twenty-first century classrooms. The proliferation of forms, media, terminologies, and disciplinary approaches in a range of educational contexts invites discussion of how and why we teach these materials. Drawing on their experiences in disciplines including creative writing, language studies, education, literary studies, linguistics, and psychology, contributors to this volume explore some of the central issues that inspire, enable, and complicate the teaching of life writing subjects and texts, examining the ideologies, issues, methods, and practices that underpin contemporary pedagogies of auto/biography. The collection acknowledges the potential perils that life writing texts and subjects represent for instructors, with a series of short essays by leading auto/biography scholars who reflect on their failed experiences teaching life narratives, and share strategies for negotiating the particular challenges these texts can present. Exploring issues including teaching across genres, analyzing writing about trauma, decolonizing pedagogies, and challenging assumptions (our own, our students’, and our colleagues’), Teaching Lives illuminates what makes the teaching of life narratives different from teaching other kinds of subjects or texts, and why auto/biography has such a critical role to play in contemporary education. This book was originally published as a special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
    Number of pages118
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • life writing
    • education
    • literary theory
    • teaching & learning


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