How Placing Literature Creates Connections to Neighborhoods

Our last blog post was about experiential learning – or learning through experience.  How might that work for Placing Literature?

Here’s our vision.  Take the Kolb Experiential Learning Cycle (see last week’s post) and superimpose our process on it.

PLCycle

To see how this would work in practice, why not use one of the Lake Superior novels?  In The Long-Shining Waters, the main character owns a bar.  When I read the book, I recognized the bar immediately.  So for me, the way the cycle worked:

1. Read The Long-Shining Waters by Danielle Sosin. (Concrete Experience)

2. While reading the novel, I recognized the bar owned by the main character, The Anchor Bar in Superior, Wisconsin. (Reflective Observation in my recognition of the bar)

3. I plotted the bar on the map.  This action meant that I thought about the book, and I thought about the bar and wrote about the bar and the neighborhood. (Abstract Conceptualization by working out my ideas in the app)

4. I had a new awareness next time I went to The Anchor Bar.  I closely examined all of the décor, listened to the conversations and chatted with the bartender.  As someone who does not live in Superior, this experience was important to me because it wasn’t just a bar, it was THE Anchor Bar, it was Nora’s bar.  I now had an emotional connection to the place.  (Actively Experimenting with my new found appreciation of The Anchor)

Our hope is for a lot of things with Placing Literature.  We want to create conversations around literature and places.  We want to create connections between people and neighborhoods.  But, mostly we want people to love all of the great, living places that we call home and (hopefully) reawaken the emotional connection to those places.

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