Yazhini (From her Exhibition - Ambedkar Nagar- Near Kakkan Bridge, Chennai, 2019)
  • Workshop

Storytelling & Writing Workshop

19 - 21 December 2019

Storytelling & Writing Workshop

Humanities across Borders Programme, IIAS, Leiden - Kenyon College, Ohio - Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai

The Workshop will offer participants the opportunity to share their journey in integrating locally embedded knowledge, practices, concerns and motives into their teaching and research, through critical thinking and storytelling techniques.

The ‘Storytelling & Writing Workshop’ is being initiated to meet and scope connections for future collaborations between Ambedkar University Delhi - Kenyon College, Ohio - Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai, under the Humanities across Borders programme of the International Institute of Asian Studies, The Netherlands.


Some Workshop Highlights

  • Self-introductions and open sharing (and listening with attention) in a bi-lingual environment;
  • Break away groups for deeper interaction along shared themes such as rice, water, street food, artisanal tools and practices; women’s voices, cities, place in people’s memory;
  • Demonstration of digital storytelling techniques;
  • Brief critical thinking and writing exercises (in plain-speak) for a wider audience using prompts;
  • Editing to reveal one’s own voice;
  • Unpacking dominant word-concepts like development, heritage, identity, citizenship and sustainability in one’s everyday conversation/scholarship.
  • On Saturday afternoon a field visit to Roja Muthiah Research Library (RMRL) and the Periyar Thidal in Chennai is being planned.

Expected Outcomes

  • Participants will have shared their storytelling practice and received feedback to hone their process further.
  • They will have had a taste of writing for a wider audience in short effective pieces that are critical, personally/locally grounded, and impactful.  
  • Participants will have built some connections for future collaboration at different levels – research, teaching, especially using storytelling as a pedagogical tool in the classroom as well as for civil society actors.


  • Aarti Kawlra, Academic Director, Humanities across Borders, IIAS, Leiden
  • Wendy Singer, Director, Asian & Middle East Studies, Kenyon College, Ohio
  • Anandhi S., Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai


Date and duration                                                                             

December 19-21, 2019

9:00 - 17:00

Venue & local host

Auditorium of the MIDS, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar, Chennai



9:00 - 17:00


Madras Institute of Development Studies
Gandhi Nagar, Adyar
Chennai Tamil Nadu 600020