I am headed to the University of Southern California to present as part of the 2023 The Future of Writing Symposium:
The Writing Program at the University of Southern California and the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism invite proposals for The Future of Writing: A Symposium for Teachers, a one-day event in which we look down the road to what is coming next.
We’re interested in coming together in-person and online for a collaborative, interactive event in Spring 2023 on the future of writing (from first-year college writing to journalism, from professional to creative writing) and how we teach it. Join us to explore the ever-changing norms of digital pedagogy and how our choices now will shape the classroom praxis of the decade ahead.
I proposed a workshop on using LARP in the classroom, particularly as an alternative modality to engage reading, analysis, writing, and reflection. I am going to talk about my ENG 1100: Crossing Culture with Text: “Literature as LARP as LIterature” course that I just taught this fall, and how I had students create short, freeform LARPs inspired by the texts we read in class. My workshop description reads:
This workshop will outline several literature, writing, and specialized courses that I have taught at Ohio University that incorporate live-action role-playing games (LARPs) to think about the pedagogical possibilities of LARPing as part of class. According Evan Torner, classrooms can use “embodied fiction, or live-action role-play (LARP), to adapt and teach film and literature…the act of physically enacting characters in a classroom grants students access to unique perspectives on characters’ motivations and decision trees, as well as what might be described as the ‘system’ of a particular narrative work.” In a fun, critical, even campy way, this workshop hopes to share how LARPs reconfigure students’ relationship to reading, writing, and analysis; how they might encourage the “queering” of spaces and interactions; and finally, how they offer the opportunity for people of different identities, bodies, erotics, and gaming and non-gaming goals to cross paths. In particularly, I am interested in exploring alternative ways to read, analyze, and write about literature or other texts that do not rely only on identification and “relatability.” The workshop will offer sample syllabi, assignments, materials, as well as a hands-on LARP experience.
I am looking forward to visiting Los Angeles and USC, a campus I have never been to. While I’m in Southern California, I hope to see a few friends and colleagues, too. Special shout out to Dr. Evan Torner for all of his help and resources on freeform LARPs. Thank you to Dr. Mark Marino and the other organizers of the event for including me in the symposium.