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“Taking Control of Our Lives: Reading, Writing, Transforming”--A Proposal

Anne Dalke's picture

“Taking Control of Our Lives: Reading, Writing, Transforming”
Proposal for the Bryn Mawr Book Group, Riverside Correctional Facility, Spring 2014

“In Pedagogy of Freedom Freire states, ‘I like being human because I know that . . . my destiny is not given but something that needs to be constructed and for which I must assume responsibility.’ We assume responsibility for our crimes. We believe that we are the products of our decisions and actions, and we recognize ourselves as such. This represents the transformation of the prison system from within….education in prison is the vehicle through which we meditate, analyze, and transform ourselves and, ultimately, society from the inside-out” (from Anke Pinkert and students, “The Transformative Power of Holocaust Education in Prison: A Teacher and Student Account.” Radical Teacher 95, Spring 2013).

In this workshop, we will use reading and writing as pleasurable, necessary and meaningful tools for understanding and change.  We will read different kinds of writing by women, and use our own writing as a tool both for reflecting on the reading and for understanding our own lives. Reading and re-reading, writing and re-writing stories offer the opportunity to work on literacy skills and critical problem solving, and can empower us to reclaim and reimagine ourselves.

Jan. 24:  Maya Angelou's "Phenomenal Woman"
Jan 31 & Feb. 7:  Dorothy Allison's Two or Three Things I Know For Sure
Feb. 14 & Feb. 21: Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street
Feb. 28 & Mar. 7: drama
[March 14: Spring Break]
Mar 21 & 28: more drama
April 4 & 11: Marjane Sartrapi’s Persepolis
April 18 & 25: Toni Morrison’s Sula
May 2: Celebration and Finale

Additional texts for thinking-with:
Michelle Fine,, "Participatory Action Research:  From Within and Beyond Prison Bars"
Paolo Friere, “Reading the World and Reading the Word
Megan Sweeney, The Story Within Us: Women Prisoners Reflect on Reading
Eve Tuck, “Suspending Damage: A Letter to Communities
Something on Code Switching?




Sasha De La Cruz's picture

Looks great!

Looks great!