Learning Through Memoirs: Self, Society, and History
Keywords:adult education, pedagogy, memoir
This article is based on our Memoir Pedagogy Reading Circles research. Using an interpretative sociological case study methodology, we facilitated two groups that read and discussed women’s memoirs as living texts of society, culture, and history; we read the self and the social through the personal narratives of violence, survival, and resistance. e themes that emerged from this collective e ort were a pedagogy for learning and unlearning, a pedagogy for engaging with others, a pedagogy for social justice, and a pedagogy for reclaiming a history. We conclude that, while the contexts, settings, and geographic regions changed in the memoirs, the presence of structural violence was constant. As a pedagogy, the memoir reading circles provided a consistent grounding that helped the participants collectively recognize and negotiate the meaning of the universality and uniqueness of experiences of patriarchy, racism, colonialism, culture, and capitalism as well as the implications of silence, hope, resistance, survival, community, and arts for social transformation.
Author et al. (2012).
Author et al. (2014).
Author & Author. (2015).
Bagnoli, A., & Clark, A. (2010). Focus groups with young people: A participatory approach to
research planning. Journal of Youth Studies, 13, 101-119.
Baer, A. L., & Glasgow, J. N. (2010). Negotiating understanding through the young adult literature of Muslim cultures. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(1), 23-32.
Beach, R. & Yussen, S. (2011). Practices of productive adult book clubs. Journal of Adolescent
and Adult Literacy, 55(2), 121-131.
Casey, H. K. (2008). Engaging the disengaged: Using learning clubs to motivate struggling
adolescent readers and writers. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 52(4), 284-294.
Certo, J., Moxley, K., Reffitt, K., & Miller, J. A. (2010). I learned how to talk about a book:
Children's perceptions of literature circles across grade and ability levels. Literacy
Research and Instruction, 49(3), 243-263.
Clandinin, D.J. & Connelly, F.M. (2000). Narrative inquiry: Experience and story in qualitative
research. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Clarke, L. W., & Holwadel, J. (2007). “Help! What is wrong with these literature circles and
how can we fix them?” The Reading Teacher, 61(1), 20-29.
Eigenbrod, R., Kakegamic, G., & Fiddler, J. (2003). Aboriginal literatures in Canada: A teacher’s resource guide. Curriculum Services Canada. Retrieved from http://curriculum.org/storage/30/1278480166aboriginal.pdf
El Bouih, F. (2008). Talk of Darkness. Austin: Center for Middle Eastern Studies University of
Texas at Austin.
Freire, P. (2010). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th Anniversary Edition). New York: Continuum.
Galeano, E. (2000). Days and Nights of Love and War. Trans. S. Cisneros. Monthly Review
Press: New York.
Haig-Brown, C. (2006). Resistance and renewal: Surviving the Indian residential school.
Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press.
Irving, C. (2010). Reviving a community’s adult education past: A case study of the library’s
role in learning. Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, 16(2), 21-35.
Knockwood, I. (2001). Out of the depths: The experiences of Mi’kmaw children in the Indian
Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia (New Extended Edition). Black Point, NS: Roseway Publishing.
Merriam, S. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San
Polleck, I. N. (2010). Creating transformational spaces: High school book clubs with inner-city
adolescent females. The High School Journal, 93(2), 50-68.
Polleck, I. N. (2011). Using book clubs to enhance social–emotional and academic learning with
urban adolescent females of color. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 27, 101-128.
Silver, T. (2011). Materiality and memory: A Marxist-feminist perspective on the “cultural turn”
in adult education. In S. Mojab & S. Carpenter (Eds.), Educating from Marx: Race,
gender, and learning (pp. 191-210). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Smith, S. & Watson, J. (2010). Reading autobiography: A guide for interpreting life narratives
(2nd ed.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Smith, S. & Watson, J. (Eds.). (1998). Women, autobiography, theory: A reader. Madison,
Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press,
Talebi, S. (2011). Ghosts of revolution: Rekindled memories of imprisonment in Iran. Stanford,
CA: Standford University Press.
Twomey, S. (2007). Reading “women”: Book club pedagogies and the literary imagination. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 50(5), 398-407.
Twomey, S.J., 2011. Girls, computers, and ‘becoming’: The Pink Voice writing project. Journal
of Youth Studies, 14(7), 795-810.
Vyas, S. (2004). Exploring bicultural identities of Asian high school students through the
analytical window of a literature club. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 48(1), 12-23.
Whitlock, G. (2000). The intimate empire: Reading women’s autobiography. London: Cassell
Whitlock, G. (2007). Soft weapons: Autobiography in transit. Chicago: The University of
Whittingham, J. L., & Huffman, S. (2009). The effects of book clubs on the reading attitudes of
middle school students. Reading Improvement, 46(3), 130-136.
How to Cite
Authors of manuscripts accepted for publication will be required to assign copyright to the Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education/L’Association canadienne pour l’étude de l’éducation des adultes (CJSAE). CJSAE requests that, as the creator(s)/author(s) of the manuscript your are submitting assign certain rights to the manuscript to the CJSAE in exchange for undertaking to publish the article in print and electronic form and, in general, to pursue its dissemination throughout the world. The rights the CJSAE requests are:
- The right to publish the article in print and electronic form or in any other form it may choose that is in keeping with its role as a scholarly journal with the goal of disseminating the work as widely as possible;
- The right to be the sole publisher of the article for a period of 12 months;
- The right to make the article available to the public within a period of not more than 24 months, as determined by relevant journal staff of the CJSAE;
- The right to grant republication rights to itself or others in print, electronic, or any other form, with any revenues accrued to be shared equally between the author(s) and the journal;
- The right to administer permission to use portions of the article as requested by others, seeking recompense when the CJSAE sees it as warrented;
- The right to seek or take advantage of opportunities to have the article included in a database aimed at increasing awareness of it;
- As the author(s), the CJSAE wishes you to retain the right to republish the article, with acknowledgement of the CJSAE as the original publisher, in whole or in part, in any other pbulication of your own, including any anthology that you might edit with up to three others;
- As the author(s), the CJSAE withes you to retain the right to place the article on your personal Web page or that of your university or institution. The CJSAE askes that you include this notice: A fully edited, peer-reviewed version of this article was first published by the Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education, <Year>, <Volume>, <Issue>, <Page Numbers>.
BY AGREEING TO THE FOREGOING, YOU CONFIRM THAT THE MANUSCRIPT YOU ARE SUBMITTING HAS NOT BEEN PUBLISHED ELSEWHERE IN WHOLE OR IN PART, AND THAT NO AGREEMENT TO PUBLISH IS OUTSTANDING.
SHOULD THE ARTICLE CONTAIN MATERIAL WHICH REQUIRES WRITTEN PERMISSION FOR INCLUSION, YOU AGREE THAT IT IS YOUR OBLIGATION IN LAW TO IDENTIFY SUCH MATERIAL TO THE EDITOR OF THE CJSAE AND TO OBTAIN SUCH PERMISSION. THE CJSAE WILL NOT PAY ANY PERMISSION FEES. SHOULD THE CJSAE BE OF THE OPINION THAT SUCH PERMISSION IS NECESSARY, IT WILL REQUIRE YOU TO PURSUE SHUCH PERMISSSION PRIOR TO PUBLICATION.
AS AUTHOR(S), YOU WARRANT THAT THE ARTICLE BEING SUBMITTED IS ORIGINAL TO YOU.
Provided the foregoing terms are satisfactory, and that you are in agreement with them, please indicate your acceptance by checking the appropriate box and proceed with your submission.
This copyright agreement was extracted with permission from the "Best practices guide to scholarly journal publishing" (2007), produced by the Canadian Association of Learned Journals (CALJ).