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K-12 North Carolina English Teachers’ Association Conference Session: “Poets of Protest: Poetry from the Middle East and North Africa”

November 5, 2020 | 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm


The annual North Carolina English Teachers’ Association Conference will take place online, November 5-7, 2020. Register in advance and more information.


Around the world, poetry has been a popular way to comment on and challenge systems of power. Often used as artistic expression in times of crisis, spoken and written word allows artists to tell stories of their communities, expose truths, and inspire action. Incorporating MENA poets is a way to prioritize MENA voices and gain an intimate perspective into the lives and hopes of those who live there. We will first discuss the historical and cultural significance of poetry in Middle Eastern societies over time. Then, attending teachers will break out into small groups to read and discuss six different poems from the MENA region including background information on the poet, spanning time and place. Groups will prepare a summary of their interpretation of the poem and information on the poet to report back to the entire group.


We will end with a discussion on how the poems add to, or enhance knowledge of, the region, as well as using poetry as an interdisciplinary teaching tool. We will share information on additional poets and resources to find translated MENA poetry, as well as general resources on the Middle East from the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies.



November 5, 2020
7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
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