Elizabeth Kate Switaj holds a PhD in English literature from Queen’s University Belfast and an MFA in Poetics and Creative Writing from New College of California. Her first collection of poetry, Magdalene & the Mermaids is published by Paper Kite Press. Her essay “Web Writing and Citation” appears in the forthcoming edited collection Web Writing: Why and How for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning.
Because most my students come from a cultural background that values communalism, I often use collaborative activities in my courses. In Introduction to Creative Writing, these exercises have included creating characters in groups and developing stories and other types of writing around those characters. I plan to use similar activities for my students participating in the Generative Literature Project, with the difference that their work will have a real audience and be part of something larger. Seeing and responding to work created by students in other locations will give them a perspective on the possibilities of collaboration and writing that they would not otherwise have access to. Understanding the different ways that others respond to similar writing situations will also strengthen their ability to reflect on their own work, by helping them to see it in a broader context.