Second summer education colloquium focuses on authorship and time

Celebrated author Robin Hemley and visiting scholar Kathrin Berdelmann, a researcher and professor at the University of Education in Freiburg, Germany, spoke at the second summer colloquium hosted by York’s Graduate Program in Education. The event took place on Thursday, Aug. 6, in the Winters Senior Common Room on York’s Keele campus. The colloquium was introduced by Professor Sandra Schecter, the new director of the Graduate Program in Education.

"Since I joined the Faculty in 1996, we have evolved into a year-round school,” said Schecter. “The corridors of Winters College ring in July and August with energetic talk and laughter, much centring around the intellectually generative courses offered through our summer institute. The visiting scholars colloquia are the centrepiece of the summer institute, drawing colleagues from across the university and beyond.”

Above: From left, Professor Sandra Schecter, director, York’s Graduate Program in Education; author Robin Hemley; Professor Esther Fine; visiting scholar Kathrin Berdelmann; and Alice Pitt, dean of the Faculty of Education

Hemley is a professor at the University of Iowa, and the director of it’s Nonfiction Writing Program. His written works include Nola: A Memoir of Faith, Art, and Madness, Invented Eden: The Elusive, Disputed History of the Tasaday and Do-Over!, which was recently featured on CBC. He began his talk with a discussion of authorship and artistic license in memoir. Hemley questioned whether the authenticity of the author’s experiences was more important than the quality of the writing, arguing that reading audiences often praise second-rate novels simply because they believe that the accounts narrated within them are true.

In her lecture, Berdelmann, a professor and researcher at Freiburg’s University of Education, focused on synchronicity and asynchronicity in teaching and learning processes. She stressed the importance of time in the teaching and learning dynamics of classrooms, and elucidated how time factors were central to the social construct of learning communities.

The talks were followed by a lively question-and-answer period and a wine and cheese reception.