Debate and Game: The Relevant Britain Literary Award – Enabling students to discuss contemporary issues in a safe and engaging way

Garcia Rangel, Sherezade and Young, Jennifer (2019) Debate and Game: The Relevant Britain Literary Award – Enabling students to discuss contemporary issues in a safe and engaging way. In: NAWE Conference 2019, 8-10 November 2019, York. (Unpublished)

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Abstract / Summary

Proposal: Ever wondered what it would like to be a judge on a literary award? Come play the Relevant Britain literary award game – a workshop or seminar activity designed to overcome resistance, enable debate and enliven discussion over difficult current topics in a safe environment. Be a judge on a fictional literary award and perform your character to the fullest in order to influence the discussion, evidence your point and carry across your objective of awarding or not a current title the Relevant Britain award. Take part in this workshop activity and learn how to carry it through on your own.

Description:
In a recent Contemporary Writing module, we encountered unexpected resistance from third-year undergraduate students around issues in the literary zeitgeist such as politics, race, feminism and others. This third-year module aims to investigate what is happening in contemporary writing and pays attention to best-selling and award winning books and artefacts (such as interactive stories and podcasts) to highlight the current situation of publishing and literature. As an English module, engagement and debate in lectures, tutorials and seminars are highly relevant for generating a good student experience and enabling learning. To overcome student resistance, to challenge all students to safely discuss difficult topics and to achieve a good level of engagement, we created the Relevant Britain game. This activity asks students to participate as fictional judges of a literary award. Each student is given a character with a few notes on their personality, their politics and their initial ideas about the book they are judging for the award. In character, students debate the reasons why the week’s book should or should not be given the Relevant Britain award. This activity enables them to engage with arguments other than their own, to make theirs more robust and evidenced when facing opposition, and to present relevant arguments in order to sway the opinion of others. It also allowed them to debate themes related to the module such as the role of technology in contemporary literature, the place of literary awards in a writer’s career and what factors might influence award judges when deciding.

For this workshop, we want to run a Relevant Britain game and allow participants to experiment for themselves how games can help lower resistance and enliven seminars and tutorials by helping lead safe, engaged discussions on important topics. We will provide a guide on how to run the Relevant Britain game and host a discussion on the role of games in overcoming resistance. Materials will be provided.

Keywords:
Teaching, Workshop, Debate, Seminar Activities, Games, Contemporary Literature, Creative Writing, English, Social Issues, Cultural Issues

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Subjects: Education
Writing & Journalism > Literature > English Literature
History
Writing & Journalism > Journalism
Writing & Journalism > Literature
Research
Social Sciences
History > UK
Writing & Journalism
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sherezade Garcia Rangel
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2019 10:43
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2019 10:43
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3661

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