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Spring Ulmer conducts intensive workshop at UMT
March 12 - 16, 2012

The Center for English Language (CEL) at UMT organized a five-day series of rigorous workshop in fine-arts, literature and pedagogy. The training entitled, “World of Creative Writing, Literature, and Photography: An Intensive Workshop”, was conducted by a scholarly figure, Spring Ulmer, of Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont USA. Ulmer’s teaching and research competencies include African Literature; Composition and Rhetoric; Contemporary Art Issues; Cultural Studies; Feminism; Genocide: Literature and Theory; Journalism; Justice Studies; Creative Nonfiction; Poetics; Photography; Post-colonial Literature and Theory; World Literature.

The workshop began from March 12, 2012 and led a chain sequence of training till March 16, 2012. The first in the series was an exclusive schooling session for the faculty geared towards “Curriculum Preparation and Review for Composition Courses”. This training turned out to be an excessive help for our teachers by providing valuable information and enlightening techniques to lead their department to success and acclaim. The remaining four sessions offered an intensive coaching in literary craft and the study of arts from a writer’s perspective, providing students with an illuminating opportunity to strengthen professional skills and flourish as effective writers and artists.

The second in the series was a daylong exercise in “Creative Writing” with particular focus on poetry and fiction. With this in mind that we engage in the world where there is so much we want to or “need to” say but are ultimately left speechless, for what is on our mind sounds inexpressible, or there are hesitations within us as we weigh one phrase against another and end up saying nothing. Ulmer, through her coaching in ‘writing creativity’ trained our students to use words for shaping thought.

Another lesson on projecting mind into writing was carried out in the next session of “Essay Writing and Nonfiction”. It tendered a practice in socio-political use of language for “dressing wounds with words”. In other words, it offered training in how to produce writing for emotional catharsis in “the midst of genocide, environmental catastrophe, and economic devastation”. This part of training proved instrumental in sharpening the analytical thinking and expressive ability of the students by giving them a shift from aesthetic to humane writing.

In order to move from picture in words to words in a picture, the workshop was directed towards a session on “Photography”. This piece of instruction attracted the highest number of students who ended up getting polished in reading between and behind the sketch of an image. This was a remarkable attempt at producing creators of effective photo-essays at the university. Last but not the least, was a comparatively short yet equally valuable talk on “Contemporary American Literature”. This session served as a lock to the chain that hooked up the whole week’s intensive workshop on a note of cross-cultural comparison between contemporary America and Pakistan through the mirror of literature.    

The success of this sequential workshop through which she shared a precious part of her knowledge with the faculty and participants of UMT has essentially reflected Ulmer’s international reputation for academic quality, creative innovation, and professional value.


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