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CAH Faculty Writing Retreat creates space for CLA public scholars

Faculty writing at the Pebble Hill retreat

The Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for Arts and Humanities (CAH) invited faculty to work on public scholarship in a peaceful, productive environment at its biannual writing retreat in May.

Assistant Professor of Media Studies Eleanor Patterson has attended the writing retreat since its start in 2019. At her first retreat, she worked on a book proposal. During each retreat afterward, she worked on finishing that book.

"Bootlegging the Airwaves: Alternative Histories of Radio and Television Distribution" was published in February by the University of Illinois Press, and Patterson delivered her first book talk at Pebble Hill.

"This writing retreat has sort of punctuated my book writing process at Auburn," Patterson said. "So, it was very meaningful to have my first book talk here at Pebble Hill, because it felt like coming home, like I had gone full circle from junior faculty. There's a very supportive community here that wants you to succeed with your research and is invested in humanities."

Assistant Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Lauramarie Pope attended the CAH Faculty Writing Retreat for the first time. She said the retreat's atmosphere helped her work on a journal manuscript about how to support literacy in young children on the autism spectrum.

"A change of scenery really helps to get out of routines that are less conducive to writing or getting distracted by other things. Writing also feels more conducive and supportive when you're having the shared experience of knowing there are other people in the same boat," Pope said. "The center has been really thoughtful about setting up spaces, providing snacks and encouraging us to make connections."

For two days, faculty from across the College of Liberal Arts gathered at Pebble Hill to work and connected with scholars in other disciplines during catered, group lunches.

CAH Outreach Programs Manager Maiben Beard said the retreat is part of how the center fulfills its mission to support and elevate the public value of the arts and humanities.

"The Faculty Writing Retreat allows us to contribute to the formation of faculty as public scholars," Beard said. "We started the Faculty Writing Retreat to provide faculty with a quiet off-campus space for their research and writing. It's brought faculty from different departments together, helping build a strong sense of community."

The Faculty Writing Retreat is supported by the Ann Draughon Cousins Fund for Excellence. For more information about programs and events at Pebble Hill, visit the CAH website.

Tags: Center for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Research

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