“Composition students need this book.”
—Eli Goldblatt, Temple University
“Teaching Writing through the Immigrant Story offers clear ideas, examples, and experiences that demonstrate the ways that immigrant narratives support students’ meaning making in terms of family history, politics, social justice, and social relations.”
—Kaia Simon, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
“The authors, who are also teachers of writing, amplify and illustrate the realization of composition courses as gateways to education and thus, subscribe to the common responsibility to match values through literacy material and pedagogical practices that positively impact (im)migrant students.”
Teaching Writing through the Immigrant Story explores the intersection between immigration and pedagogy via the narrative form. Embedded in the contexts of both student writing and student reading of literature chapters by scholars from four-year and two-year colleges and universities across the country, this book engages the topic of immigration within writing and literature courses as the site for extending, critiquing, and challenging assumptions about justice and equity while deepening students’ sense of ethics and humanity.
Each of the chapters recognizes the prevalence of immigrant students in writing classrooms across the United States—including foreign-born, first- and second-generation Americans, and more—and the myriad opportunities and challenges those students present to their instructors. These contributors have seen the validity in the stories and experiences these students bring to the classroom—evidence of their lifetimes of complex learning in both academic and nonacademic settings. Like thousands of college-level instructors in the United States, they have immigrant stories of their own. The immigrant “narrative” offers a unique framework for knowledge production in which students and teachers may learn from each other, as the ordinary power dynamic of teacher and students begins to shift, to enable empathy to emerge and to provide space for an authentic kind of pedagogy.
By engaging writing and literature teachers within and outside the classroom, Teaching Writing through the Immigrant Story speaks to the immigrant narrative as a viable frame for teaching writing—an opportunity for building and articulating knowledge through academic discourse—creating a platform for immigration as a writing and literary theme, a framework for critical thinking, and a foundation for significant social change and advocacy.
Contributors: Tuli Chatterji, Katie Daily, Libby Garland, Silvia Giagnoni, Sibylle Gruber, John Havard, Timothy Henderson, Brennan Herring, Lilian Mina, Rachel Pate, Emily Schnee, Elizabeth Stone