Review: WRITING THE SELF AND THE SENSES (WORKSHOP WITH JESSICA LEE)
Over the two-day workshop on November 23rd and 24th, Jessica J. Lee led the PhD group into the many-layered world of nature writing and showed them how to combine creative writing with academic research.
The workshop experience came out to be a perfect blend of theoretical discussions and writing exercises. The group started off with free-style writing exercises and then compared different texts with each other in groups of pairs. Jessica Lee encouraged them to emphasize the sensual experience of everyday encounters with the material world (the sound of a feather? The taste of a pen?), and it was fascinating to listen to the resulting descriptions of the objects they each had chosen to write about. Another exercize involved thinking about the “baggage” that comes with a term (feather=freedom, pen=ink) and use that context to elaborate further on a seemingly insignificant item.
On the second day of the workshop, the PhD students shared and discussed the short stories they had created the previous day (some of them had even continued working on them late, during the night), concluding the experience on a memorable and also somewhat moving note.