8 April 2023 at 9:33:26 pm
Professor Darryl Whetter is the author of two poetry collections and four books of fiction, most recently the climate-crisis novel Our Sands (Penguin RH). A Canadian, he was the inaugural program director of the first Creative Writing master’s program in Singapore. Routledge for new book. www.darrylwhetter.ca
Xu Xi: Xu Xi 許素細 has published 14 books of fiction and nonfiction and edited 5 anthologies. Newest title: The Art and Craft of Asian Stories. Founder of Mongrel Writers Residence™ and Authors at Large. Currently, Jenks Chair in Contemporary Letters at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA.
Professor Robin Hemley is Inaugural Director of the Polk School of Communications at Long Island University-Brooklyn, Co-Director of the MFA in Creative Writing, Parsons Family Chair in Creative Writing, and former director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at The University of Iowa. He has had artist residencies at The Bellagio Center at Lake Como, The Bogliasco Foundation, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the MacDowell Colony, and others.
The Asian Program Era: On Teaching Creative Writing in Asia
teaching, Asia, pedagogy scholarship, Singapore, Hong Kong
The 2022 Routledge anthology Teaching Creative Writing in Asia adds to the growing body of international scholarship on Creative Writing [CW] pedagogy but is also the ground-breaking first book devoted to Asia. Like its editor, Prof. Darryl Whetter, fellow contributors Prof. Robin Hemley and Xu Xi were also recently inaugural leaders of twenty-first-century CW programs in Asia. Xu Xi directed the CW MFA at City University of Hong Kong from 2010-2016, and Prof. Hemley directed the Writing Program at Yale-NUS College, Singapore from 2012-2019. From 2016-2020, Whetter was the inaugural director of the first CW master’s in Singapore, in a degree conferred by Goldsmiths, University at London, at Lasalle, the art college that has just become part of the new University of the Arts Singapore. However, teaching CW in Asia, in English, is far from simple aesthetically, culturally or politically. Transnational writer Xu Xi’s Routledge chapter frankly states, “there is something amoral about teaching English Creative Writing in Asia. For one thing it is often disconnected from both the literatures and languages of Asia.” This panel from international CW professors with substantial teaching history in Asia wonders how well the short story’s traditional fixations on conflict, active protagonists and the transformed character transpose to Asia? Writers and critics as diverse as Viet Nguyen, Namrata Poddar, and Rachelle Cruz have pointed out that the default whiteness of the American CW workshop has led to a specific kind of aesthetics and pedagogy. These tensions and conflicts also inform the panellists recent work as anthologists of Asian short stories. Hemley and Xu Xi co-edited Bloomsbury’s 2021 The Art and Craft of Asian Stories, and Whetter is also presenting here from his The Best Asian Short Stories 2022.
Each of us has already been selected to other panels or events at ICSSE SG, but this panel from our 2022 Routledge anthology Teaching CW in Asia seems irresistible.