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Warm Memories of the Writing Retreat

09/11/20

The trees are losing their leaves, the clock has changed and the sun sets already around five o’clock.

In these weeks, it is very delightful to think back and remember some of the highlights that happened during summer. For me, one of these highlights was the MCS Writing Retreat in June, which fortunately could take place despite corona with certain measures in place. Andrea, Anna, John, Rachel, Sally and I stayed for four days in the Teaching Hotel Château Bethlehem, where the MCS team had already organised a 1-week Skillshare Workshop in July 2018. The Writing Retreat gave us the opportunity to detach from daily obligations and focus exclusively on our different writing projects.

In the morning hours, everyone worked on their individual pieces, which included activities such as improving an unpublished article, drafting a book proposal or finishing a fieldwork vignette. Before lunch, we exchanged our work in progress and gave each other feedback, while going for a walk through the château garden and passing willow trees, geese and roses.

In the afternoons, we met as a whole group and on two days Harro could also join us. We used these hours to discuss the edited collection by John and Anna. These group discussions were very interactive and included timelines, drawings, tables, and big post-its overviews. Through these different means, we collectively identified the main cross-cutting themes that run throughout the different chapters, which helped to establish a structure for the whole collection.

After these individual and collective work sessions, we enjoyed having communal dinners on the terrace of the château and having the chance to get to know new features of each other, such as what wikipedia article one would feel most comfortable to edit or in which (sometimes very unexpected) places we had worked before joining the MCS project.

Also the board game nights were bonding and represented a possibility to playfully explore how, for example, somebody’s experience of ‘doing a PhD’ could be visualised through Dixit Cards or how the different contributions of the book could be enacted through pantomime.

When remembering the MCS Writing Retreat now, I think of four warm summer days of focused working, vivid discussions, colourful post-its, willow trees, laughter, and most importantly dedicated and committed teamwork with astonishing results.

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Writing workshop

Warm Memories of the Writing Retreat

by Candida Sánchez Burmester
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Event

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by Rachel Allison
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Workshopping videos (3/6): Simulating candlelight

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by Anna Harris
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by Andrea Wojcik
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Place and Affect: From Semmelweis to Soeterbeeck

by Rachel Allison
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by Sally Wyatt
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by Anna Harris
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Conference

The Body and the Built Environment

by John Nott
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Material thinking workshop

by Anna Harris
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Event

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by Anna Harris
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by Anna Harris
June 14, 2019
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Introduction to perfumery

by Rachel Allison
May 17, 2019
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Practicing music skills

by Carla Greubel
May 16, 2019
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by John Nott
March 27, 2019
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Time for tinkering

by Anna Harris
February 21, 2019
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by Andrea Wojcik
January 11, 2019
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by Sally Wyatt
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by Anna Harris
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Cooking classes

by Anna Harris
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Letterheads

by Anna Harris
September 26, 2018
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Postcards

by Anna Harris
September 16, 2018
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Wax museum

by Rachel Allison
August 6, 2018
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by Anna Harris
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Writing resources

by Rachel Allison
July 23, 2018
Event

Meaning and beauty

by Rachel Allison
July 20, 2018
Conference

Correspondence

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July 16, 2018
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The allure of the archives

by John Nott
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Probes

by Anna Harris
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Tricks

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Writing workshop

Beyond the elevator

by Anna Harris
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Conference

Simulating touch

by Anna Harris
March 27, 2018
Conference

Dancing, moving, unsettling

by Anna Harris
March 9, 2018
Event

Skillshare Writing Workshop

by Rachel Allison
February 25, 2018
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STS in/on Africa

by John Nott
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February 8, 2018
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Comparison as method

by Anna Harris
February 6, 2018
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Working with bias

by Anna Harris
January 19, 2018
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Holiday reading

by Anna Harris
January 3, 2018
Materials

Modelling movement in medical education

by Andrea Wojcik
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by Sally Wyatt
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Tuning forks and electronics

by Sally Wyatt
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Drawing Instruments

by Rachel Allison
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by Andrea Wojcik
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A sensory training workshop

by Anna Harris
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