Teaching writing in English-medium universities where English is not the common tongue, while not without benefits, introduces its own challenges. Developing critical consciousness, per Freire, capable of addressing problematic constructs in educational settings (and beyond), can often seem untenable. With growing specialization and professionalization in higher education, teaching practices must be reclaimed, reimagined and revitalized.
The academy is now taken to be training grounds for the “real world” of global capitalism, where “skills” triumph, while those less conditioned are exhausted in a maze of failed courses, glass ceilings, and insurmountable odds (when not unceremoniously ushered out through silent exits of bureaucratic exigency or a lack of privilege). How, then, to rethink the role of writing in such contexts? How can educators confront the difficulties of teaching skillful writing, with an eye to critical pedagogy?
This series aims to engage educators across the university in an examination of teaching practices regarding student writing through monthly colloquia. From short answer exams and essays to research papers and theses, writing plays a central role in much of the evaluation of students. The purpose of this series is to expose and shed light on the practice, and hopefully give voice to areas unpronounced or lost in the clamour of approaches to writing.
We invite papers examining the state of writing at Bilkent University and beyond. We are particularly interested in papers from academics outside of the Faculty Academic English Program who have fresh things to say on the development of student writing at Bilkent, specifically concerning the essay. While preference will be given to papers that address linguistic, ideological and local concerns in student writing, all manner of anecdotal, scientific and artistic perspectives on writing will be welcomed.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in contributing to this colloquia.