Academic collaboration is topic of Oct. 19 English Department colloquium

Academic collaboration is topic of Oct. 19 English Department colloquium

UST students, staff and faculty are invited to the 2007-2008 English Department Colloquium Series. The second event in the series is a faculty-student panel focusing on the question "Is Collaboration a Viable Model for Teaching and Learning in Today's Academy?"

Dr. Erika Scheurer, Dr. Sherry Jordon (Theology), and students Anna Gajdel and Nicole Willette will discuss this topic from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in the O'Shaughnessy Room (also known as the "Leather Room"), Room 108, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. This event is free. Light refreshments will be served.

In their article, "Rhetoric in a New Key," Andrea Lunsford and Lisa Ede emphasize the challenges of working collaboratively in today's academy. Our humanities disciplines "valorize and reward single authorship," they note, "and disregard collaboratively produced texts." They cite the case of an English department that revoked an undergraduate poetry prize after it was discovered that the anonymous author was three students working collaboratively.

In another case, an associate professor was told that promotion to full professor would depend on the production of single-authored publications. In academic environments where the single-authored text and the single-instructor course are valued and rewarded, how and why should students and faculty work collaboratively? Is the collaborative mode inherently "subversive," as Lunsford and Ede suggest?

What can be learned from studying successful collaborations of the past and present that will help negotiate the hierarchal structures and isolating tendencies that characterize academic life? Is dialogic collaboration even possible – where all members of the writing, teaching or learning team assume equal authority and responsibility in the creation of a multi-vocal text or class? Panelists will examine these questions based on their own experiences working collaboratively as teachers, writers and students.

The next event in the UST English Department Colloquium Series will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in the O'Shaughnessy Room ("Leather Room"), Room 108, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. Dr. Juan Li will speak on " Intertextuality and the Representations of 'Us' and 'Them': Constructing Nationalist Ideologies in News Discourse."

Questions about the colloquium series can be directed to the English Department at (651) 962-5600.