Transcorporeal Speculations on Place in Student Writing

Year: 2021

Author: Truman, Sarah

Type of paper: Symposium

This paper focuses on two writing research-creation projects created by grade 9 literary arts students that interrogated how walking and writing contribute to transcorporeal understandings of place. Transcorporeality, as theorized by Alaimo underlines the ways in which humans are entangled with the inhuman world, geopolitical networks of power, and inseparable from the environment. The first section of the paper will introduce research-creation as a methodology that considers arts-productions as a form of data. The paper will then focus on how the students walked throughout the school and surrounding environments and worked in pairs to consider transcorporeal toponarratives of place that were then linguistically mapped using literary devices. Outcomes of the linguistic mapping project, which challenged desk-centered learning, and the individualism of writing practices in secondary English will then be discussed in relation to a speculative writing practice the students conducted as a way of further engaging with transcorporeal understandings of place. To conclude, I will consider the potential of literary fiction for highlighting the challenges and affordances of empirical research in education in shifting geopolitical times.