Mindfulness in the Writing and Literature Classrooms: Mindful Teaching and Learning (Roundtable -- NeMLA 2022)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Leporati The College of Mount Saint Vincent

This roundtable session will discuss practical strategies for implementing techniques of mindfulness in the writing and literature classroom, and it will consider the advantages and disadvantages of such techniques. It will focus especially on the benefits of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions not only for students but for instructors as well.

In recent years, the utility of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) has gained significant attention in the study of pedagogy. Inspired by Eastern practices of concentration and attention, techniques that fall under the category of MBI prompt both students and instructors to become increasingly aware (without judgment) of the present moment and their reactions to it. Some instructors lead students in brief meditation as a preparation for writing exercises; others encourage students to free write their initial reactions to texts, observing and recording their inner monologue; still others employ descriptive writing assignments that require students to pay close attention to common objects, including the smallest details that might normally escape their notice.

Participants of this roundtable are welcome to discuss the theory and especially practice of mindfulness with attention to its benefits and drawbacks in the classroom. Topics include the ways instructors bring their own practice of mindfulness into the classroom; the benefits of mindfulness for instructors and/or students; the potential drawbacks of incorporating mindfulness; strategies for stimulating mindfulness; examinations of which techniques work well and which are less effective; methods for dealing with student resistance to mindfulness; reflections on the relationship between mindfulness and writing and/or literary studies; the potential for mindfulness practices to open discussions about ethics within and beyond the classroom; and ideas for resisting the recent commercialization and commodification of mindfulness in popular culture and the corporate world (sometimes called “McMindfulness”).

Please submit short (300 words or so) abstracts to https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/CFP by September 30, 2021.

For more information, please contact Matthew Leporati at matthew.leporati@mountsaintvincent.edu

The NeMLA conference will be held March 10-13, 2022 in Baltimore, MD.