Wabash Round Table

2022 Wabash Round Table

Creative Writing as Teaching Tool


Gathering Date

May 16th-19th, 2022



Nancy Lynne Westfield, Ph.D., Director



Donald Quist, Vermont College
Sophfronia Scott, Alma College
Ralph Basui Watkins, Columbia Theological Seminary


The Wabash Center will provide travel expenses, meals, hotel fees, and a stipend of $2,000.


Given the rise of interest in creative arts and artforms in the scholarship of religion and theology, we are gathering to discuss ways our creative writing might better influence, inform, and expand our teaching. We are particularly interested in developing deeper more informed teaching on issues of difference, justice, diversity, welcoming, belonging, equity and inclusion. Rooted in a sense of abundance, possibility, and joy, our premise is that praxis teaching attends to orchestrating a synergy between creativity, practice, and critical reflection. This approach to teaching moves beyond the flimsy, simplistic and problematic dichotomy which espouses that teaching is primarily about critical theory or practice. Instead, creative praxis approaches complicate the inter-relationships of teacher, learner and subject to make evident the realized aesthetic of knowing with, between, and beyond one another. Creative praxis takes into consideration multiple ways of knowing, multiple kinds of knowledge production, and the inherent complexity therein. We are gathering to explore and discuss pedagogical aesthetics for liberative pedagogy.


Questions for the Gathering

What would it mean to routinely teach the experiences and brilliance of those who are marginalized by interlocking systems of oppression and hatred for justice? What role would creative writing play in this liberative teaching? • What insights are needed for creative writing to be a vibrant teaching tool? • What new knowledges can be conveyed with creative writing? • What does it mean to teach beauty? What does it mean to teach the divine? Suppose teaching is a sacred act that results in healing, community, care, and welcoming? • What would it mean to wield the collective power of teaching as artists? Who is the teacher who attempts to teach through critical aesthetics? • What teaching life is needed to support the practices of pedagogical aesthetics? • In what ways might the outcomes of: safer worlds (less violence and suffering), more justice, more accessible, and more sustainable be attainable through liberatory tools of creativity and wonder?


Wabash Center