Citation: Rodríguez, Karen. (2006, March 16). Experiences with poetry, pedagogy
and participant observation: Writing with students in a study abroad program.
International Journal of Education & the Arts, 7(1). Retrieved [date] from
Many anthropologists have turned to creative writing as they struggle to
represent experiences/encounters with other cultures. Study abroad
students, while not necessarily anthropologists-in-the-making, are also
representers (and representees) of exotic cultures while abroad. This paper
explores creative writing as a strategy to help study abroad students engage
questions about cultural representation, reflexivity and identity while
immersed in the other culture. It examines a semester-long pilot project in
which both students and the author explored poetry as a means to reflect
upon and represent experiences with the Other in Central Mexico. It
suggests that creative writing as an arts-based method of qualitative inquiry,
while not a panacea for the representation crisis, provides students and
researchers a powerful way to reflect upon cross-cultural experiences and
offers many directions for further research.