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Public Memory May Be a Moving Target, but that Can Be Good for Our Writing

CULOWHEE—Any writer who finds themselves writing about the past quickly discovers that memory, especially public memory, is not singular or stable—far from it. Instead, the history we remember as a community—what we remember, how we frame it, what we forget—is informal and diverse, even ever-changing. But it does define us.

Our concern as writers then is recognizing the public spaces that define our memories, and therefore our identities, when we commit these histories to the page.

On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at 7:00 pm EST, Dr. Travis A. Rountreean assistant professor of English at Western Carolina Universitywill lead the online class “Writing through Memory: Exploring Places and Spaces of Public Memory” (Nonfiction).

Registration is closed.

In this course, we’ll discuss definitions of public memory and how we engage with memory spaces and places daily. Specifically, we’ll talk about how we remember, map, and write through public physical places and online spaces. Working our way through these spaces and places, we’ll learn how much of an impact they and the memories that they carry impact us every day.

The cost for the class is $35 for NCWN members, $45 for non-members. Space is limited.

Dr. Travis A. Rountree is an assistant professor in the English Department at Western Carolina University. He earned his Ph.D from the University of Louisville, his MA in English from Appalachian State University with a certificate in Appalachian Studies, and his BA in English from James Madison University with a minor in American Studies. He is from Richmond, Virginia, but lived in Boone for nine years. He enjoys running, weight lifting, and gardening. He is an avid fan of old time, bluegrass, and country music and lives in Sylva with his two cats.

“The Network offered online classes long before the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ll continue to do so moving forward,” said NCWN communications director Charles Fiore. “While nothing can replace the energy of an in-person event, online classes can still be inspirational. More importantly, they offer a way to connect with writers across the state and beyond while staying safe.”

The online class “Writing through Memory: Exploring Places and Spaces of Public Memory” (Nonfiction) is available to anyone with an internet connection, or who even owns just a telephone. Instructions for accessing the online class on Wednesday, January 12, will be sent to registrants no less than 24 hours prior to the start of class. The class will be archived and made available to registrants for repeated viewings.

The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit