International Journal of Education & the Arts

Volume 7 Number 1

March 16, 2006

Experiences with Poetry, Pedagogy and Participant Observation:
Writing with Students in a Study Abroad Program

Karen Rodríguez
CIEE Study Center at the
Universidad de Guanajuato

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.

This article is available in PDF format.

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