Notes from “Emerging Narratives: Illuminating Breakthrough Experiences of Community,” 9/27

The opening meeting of the Narrating Change Seminar in the Humanities was designed as a way to begin our discussion of narrating community, within our larger focus on narrative and social change. It also functioned as the beginning of a community-building process for us, as the hope for the coming academic year is to move away from a focus on one-off events (as valuable as these can be) and to move towards the developing of working groups that can collaborate and support members of the seminar in developing ongoing work. We are working towards a final conference at the end of the spring where much of this ongoing work can be presented, and have also begun to discuss other possible outlets for disseminating the work of the seminar.

Concretely, we decided to form two working groups that will work on specific projects (both of these are working titles for the groups): 1) a community narrative archive team, which will work on bringing together existing CUNY reports (task force findings, student- and faculty-initiated reports, and other documents) with an eye towards questions of narrating community; and 2) a cross-CUNY writing team, which will work on developing a writing prompt focusing on analyzing notions of community that could be assigned across a spectrum of classes throughout the CUNY colleges, from two-year campuses to the GC (as part of the process of working towards the idea of more direct collaborative work to be carried out between classes across these different campuses and colleges). Separate pages for each working group have been set up on the Narrating Change blog, to provide a space for online collaboration. There was also a discussion of ideas for planning towards the conference in May, as well as other working group possibilities, including working towards identifying forms of research support for those teaching at the two-year campuses, and developing alternative pedagogical spaces for the discussion of community and social change, including the ongoing work of the Free University.

We decided to meet again on Friday, November 1 at 10am at LaGuardia Community College, English Department Conference Room (E Building, Room 103); this would be a meeting for working groups to come back together and follow up, as well as a chance to continue some of the discussions we began at the first meeting, and to bring in new participants and new ideas as well. There are also several events related to the seminar that are coming up in October: a film screening on Wednesday, October 9 at 7:00pm (Screening of When Mother Comes Homes for Christmas, followed by a conversation with filmmaker Nilita Vachani, moderated by Sujatha Fernandes), co-sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics and the Narrating Change Seminar in the Humanities, at the Graduate Center, Martin E. Segal Theater; an event on Tuesday, October 22 at 6:30pm (Narrating Reform: Roma Educators Narrate Social Inclusion in Europe, featuring Tünde Kovacs-Cerovic, Jordan Naidoo, and Colette Daiute), at the Graduate Center, The Skylight Room (Room 9100); and two panel discussions on Wednesday, October 23 at 2:00pm – 4:00pm Discussion of the Report: “Roma Educators Narrate Reform” Graduate Center, Please write to for the report and the room number.

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1 thought on “Notes from “Emerging Narratives: Illuminating Breakthrough Experiences of Community,” 9/27

  1. Thanks for this superb summary Tony,

    On a technical note, to those who attended our first meeting: It would be great to continue to collaborate online as noted in the above summary.

    If I had your ‘’ email address I sent you a note giving you permissions to join this blog as an author – that means you can create your own new posts.

    If I did not have your email address – please send it to me “” – then I can add you as an author.

    Even if you are not an author – you can still comment, as I’m doing now on things that other people post.

    Looking forward to our next meeting and please let me know if you have any questions or issues regarding this site.



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