Pre-Texts at the Bok Center
Use Text to Make Art: An Introduction to Pre-Texts Methodology
A Pre-Texts workshop led by Doris Sommer, Ira and Jewell Williams Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of African and African American Studies, and Thomas Wisniewski, Bok Pedagogy Fellow, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning Lecturer on Comparative Literature, will be held over 3 sessions on March 4th, 5th and 6th from 3-6pm at the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.
Are you interested in creative ways of engaging with texts in the Harvard classroom? In this workshop you will get a taste of the Pre-Texts method, and think about how to use it. With the single prompt: “Use this text to make art,” human capacities fire up and connect with one another. This innovative methodology dispels students’ fear of “difficult” texts because readers become users of the material. Classic literature or scientific documents turn into raw material for personal interpretations. Pre-Texts inverts the conventional order of learning that goes from basic information towards higher order understanding. Starting with the basics — such as grammar and vocabulary — is boring, and we lose students before they scale up to understanding, interpretation, creativity. With Pre-Texts, students begin with the challenge to create something original from a difficult text. To do that, basic information turns into a useful resource that artists appropriate. During the workshop, participants will explore a simple protocol that delivers profound results for teaching and learning practically anything and for negotiating difficult moments in everyday life.
Participation in the three sessions of Pre-Texts will be considered equivalent to one Bok Seminar for graduate students pursuing either a Bok Teaching Certificate or Bok Certificate in Teaching Language and Culture.
A Conversation with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
March 31st, 6-7:30pm, DRCLAS Room S216
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of Children of the Land, will be speaking at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), Room S216, on March 31st from 6:00-7:30pm. He will be launching his new book with a talk, signing and reception co-sponsored by the Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) with DRCLAS, Cultural Agents, and the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration and Rights at Harvard.
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is the author of Cenzontle, winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. prize (BOA editions 2018), winner of the 2019 Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award in poetry, a finalist for the Norther California Book Award and named a best book of 2018 by NPR and the New York Public Library. As one of the founders of the Undocupoets campaign, he is a recipient of the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” Award. He holds a B.A. from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His work has appeared or is featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, People Magazine, and PBS Newshour, among others. He lives in Marysville, California where he teaches poetry to incarcerated youth and also teaches at the Ashland University Low-Res MFA program.
For more information: https://immigrationinitiative.harvard.edu/
Pre-Texts with the Secretary of Culture in Bogotá
Prof. Doris Sommer and Jasmin Ippolit, with the support of ALARI, will be traveling to Colombia this month to facilitate a Pre-Texts training with Bogotá public libraries and Cultura ciudadana. They will also be working with Banco de la República and the new Ministry of Science and Technology.