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Poetic Inquiry as a Research Methodology with Dr. Laura Apol
Friday, 22 Nov 2019
1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
International Center Room 303
Center for Gender in Global Context
Event Details:

GenCen Fall 2019 Colloquia - Nov - Laura Apol.pngFor years, I worked in Rwanda, using writing as a means to facilitate healing among survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. I reported out the work in the form of my own poems that were published in a collection entitled Requiem, Rwanda (Michigan State University Press, 2015). The use of poetic inquiry offered much to the work: it enabled me to discover new aspects of the topic and my relationship to it; it facilitated and allowed me to convey complicated interpersonal interactions; and it permitted me to engage in "poetic rumination" (Leggo, 1999, 2005).My poems attend and attest to my own "lived experience" of the research and helped me better understand myself and my topic as I explored aspects of the work through poems.In this way, my poems enabled me to find ways to say what might not otherwise be said, and to bring to a wider set of readers some of the complexities of the writing-for-healing work.

However, some of these strengths of poetic inquiry brought with them a series of challenges unique to this methodology as well—challenges I have labelled aesthetic, investigative, ethical and relational. What is the role of the poem in poetic inquiry? How can research(ed) information, presented in a poem, be conveyed with scholarly integrity? What does it mean to be at once a researcher, poet and witness? How do interpersonal relationships both support and challenge the writing of research poems? In this talk, I will use my work in Rwanda and my own experiences as a researcher and a poet to illustrate some of the affordances as well as the tensions inherent in conducting / conveying arts-based inquiry.

Location: International Center Room 303
Date: Friday, November 22, 2019
Time: 1:30PM - 3:00PM
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