Academic Writing as a Bodily Experience (1/4)

Image by edith lüthi from Pixabay

“Writing offers the chance to cultivate an attentiveness to life itself, and to enhance perceptions with the precision of words.” — Alive in the Writing, Narayan (2012: xi).

For the next ten minutes, write what writing means to you. Write it in any language(s) that feel(s) natural to you at the moment.

(Please don’t talk to anyone. If you need to leave the room, it’s fine. If you don’t have anything to write, that’s fine, too. Then, don’t write. Or, write that you don’t want to write. Or doodle. Or just wait for it to be over.)

So, how are you doing?

This material has been produced for an experimental workshop on academic writing organized by Marta Cenedese, Jérémie Poiroux and Aube Richebourg at the Centre Marc Bloch, a French-German interdisciplinary research center for the humanities and social sciences on 12-13 October 2020.

Feedback and resources welcome! I would also be very honored if you want to share your experience with me.

Important: This two-hour workshop is about getting to know yourself as a writer (that you already are). I recognize that material conditions such as precariousness, job stress, uncertainties, family issues, health conditions (including mental health), the neoliberal constraints of our current academic labor market greatly impact the writing process. I cannot cover these aspects here, and I hope that you’ll still want to embark on this journey with me.

The different topics are presented in a series of blog posts:

The material is under a CC BY 4.0 license and can be downloaded below. This is a slightly revised version of the material from 14 October 2020 (a few typos have been corrected and I have described the screenshots in order to make the material more inclusive).

The check-list of the first part can be downloaded independently (without my comments) here:

Narayan, Kirin. 2012. Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Cite this article as: Naomi Truan, "Academic Writing as a Bodily Experience (1/4)," in Ici et là, 12/10/2020,

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