Emory University

When: April 1-2, 2016
Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Institution: Emory University
Facilitator: Doris Sommer


Prof. Doris Sommer visited Emory University from April 1-2 for three events. On Friday, April 1st, she gave a public talk titled “The Work of Art in the World Creates Pre-Texts for Teaching and Learning.” She introduced the importance of the arts in society as a powerful force for social change and empowerment to a group of about 35 participants. She gave examples of several political leaders from around the world who used art to transform struggling communities in collaboration with a broad variety of stakeholders. After introducing these projects, as well as the Cultural Agents Initiative, she led the group in a Pre-Texts inspired activity. A participant’s child read a poem by Emory Professor and former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and then Johannes Kleiner played a musical selection of four instrumental pieces. Participants matched music with lines in the poem and then talked about their choices. 


An Emory Storytelling event was held next. Following the format of previous CoLA (Coalition of the Liberal Arts) Emory Storytelling events, this session featured a conversation with Professor Sommer and story circles in which participants shared a meal and told their own stories related to the “work of art in the world.” 


On Saturday, April 2nd, several simultaneous workshops using the Pre-Texts pedagogy were held under Prof. Sommer’s guidance. The workshops were open to students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and community partners. 


Prof. Sommer’s visit was made possible through co-sponsorship with the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Hightower Fund, the Center for Ethics, the Office of Residence Life in the Division of Campus Life, the Emory College Language Center, the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, the American Studies Program, and the IDEAS Fellows in the Institute for Liberal Arts.


For more information: http://cfde.emory.edu/news-events/news/2016/february/doris-sommer-visit.html



Emory College Language Center and the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence also co-sponsored Pre-Texts workshops led by Professor Vialla Hartfield-Mendez and Professor Bobbi Patterson earlier in the year for Emory students and faculty (January 2016).