At the March 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication held in Indianapolis, Ind., Daniel Weinstein, Department of English, gave a presentation titled “Getting It Together: L'Atelier d'ecriture as Fountainhead of Academic Prose.”
According to Weinstein’s abstract for the presentation:
Rooted in the poetic philosophy of littérature potentielle, l'atelier d'ecriture is a special kind of writing workshop in which a group of writers, in a climate of trustful and playful improvisation, employs formal constraints to produce collaborative texts.
The regimented routines of latelier d'ecriture, designed to inspire creative writing, lend themselves to conceptual writing as well. Indeed, the activities of the workshop, with their focus on words as nodes in networks of associated meanings, and their careful attention to written forms, are ideal for use by first-year writing classes, to disrupt and reconstruct conceptual prose in ways that lead students not just to new ways of writing, but, in addition, to new ways of thinking about the subjects they write about.
Constraints can be used to influence the structure of paragraphs; still others can shape the structures of whole essays. In short, the constraints of l'atelier may be employed to guide students toward composition strategies they might never attempt and ideas about topics they might never entertain were it not "all part of the game."
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