In response to a questionnaire sent out by Full Stop last year, Marilynne Robinson wrote: “Teaching has given me a good life. I think for many writers this is true. It is a widely established feature of American life that we teach, just as musicians and painters do, typically. I think it is good for most of us — the impulse to sustain and develop an art through pedagogy is very ancient and respectable.”
Whether by necessity, tradition or desire, it is a fact of our present situation that the arts have become intimately tied to education. With “Teaching in the Margins” Full Stop seeks to further explore the implications of this reality, the ways the writing happening now is influenced and influences the teaching of reading and writing. Further, at a cultural and historical moment when funding for arts nonprofits is increasingly being cut and university presidents are dethroned for not moving fast enough, the question is no longer should the way artists and educators operate change, but how?
With this in mind, we sent our questionnaire to the novelists and poets, academics and educators, who we think are pushing boundaries, including trailblazing hypertext fictionist Michael Joyce, conceptual poet Vanessa Place, and composition and media scholar Gregory L. Ulmer. With an eye open to the interface between innovative artistic practice and progressive pedagogies, each of our contributors takes stock of the untapped potential of these unconventional ways of knowing, helping us to discover how art pushing borders creates new spaces for teaching and learning at the margins.
Over the next several months, we will be posting one response a week on the site, with the participants being announced the day beforehand through our Twitter account. Please follow us at @fullstopmag.