Allison Schuette

Allison Schuette

Allison Schuette Professor of English
Co-Director of The Welcome Project
allison.schuette@valpo.edu 219.464.5219 Arts and Sciences Building 227
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Education

MFA – Penn State
B.A. – Valparaiso University

Biography

Allison Schuette is a writer interested in documenting lives through text and audio in a variety of genres. Much of their work teaching, writing, facilitating revolves around the practice of how we live well together in an increasingly diverse world.

In 2017, Allison and collaborators in History, Geography and Art received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to begin designing an interactive, documentary website, Flight Paths: Mapping Our Changing Neighborhoods (described below). As part of the NEH’s Digital Projects for the Public initiative, the website will house both a curated portion of historical materials and professionally edited, first-person stories from residents (past and present) as well as a user generated portion that will allow residents to upload mental maps of neighborhoods, stories, and photographs.

In 2016, Allison received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to develop an Enduring Questions course, Who’s My Neighbor? Questions of how to relate to those who are not family, kin, or clan have ancient roots in our religious and philosophical traditions, and how we define the neighbor and our responsibility towards the neighbor remains deeply relevant today. Is proximity any longer the best or most meaningful measure of this given relationship, or does the neighbor now include people in the next county, across the country, or on a different continent? And what are my responsibilities to this neighbor? How do they differ from my responsibilities to a family member, a friend, a spouse, or a stranger? Will certain conditions promote or inhibit neighborliness, and how much control do I have over those conditions? Students from a variety of majors and programs at Valparaiso University will be invited to explore these and other questions in a humanities, reading-intensive course.

In 2014, Allison received a residency at Ragdale (Lake Forest, IL) to work on a play in which a first generation Pakistani-American seeks to unite the Muslim Student Association and LGBTQ organization on his campus against bias and harassment. In the Belly of the Whale is play that asks questions about how we live in community when our differences appear insurmountable and was produced June/July 2015 at Khaos Company Theatre in Indianapolis.

Allison also co-directs the Welcome Project with Liz Wuerffel (Associate Professor of Art), an on-going audio/video story collection and archive used to foster conversations about diversity and inclusion. In addition to its primary collection, the Welcome Project has two initiatives: the Invisible Project and Flight Paths. 

  • The Invisible Project is a 2015-2016 collaboration between the Welcome Project and Porter County Coalition for Affordable Housing, Housing Opportunities, Gabriel’s Horn, Dayspring Women’s Center, Porter County Museum, and Prof. Yeohyun Ahn’s 598 Graphic Design course in the graduate Digital Media program at Valparaiso University. It seeks to educate and raise awareness about the realities of homelessness in Porter County, Indiana. Homelessness does not always look the way we imagine, and the homeless are important and valuable members of our community.
  • Flight Paths: Mapping Our Changing Neighborhoods is a five- to seven-year, digital humanities initiative begun in 2015 that explores de-urbanization in Northwest Indiana and the fracturing of neighborhoods, communities, and regions in post-industrial America. Stories and texts will also help participants consider the opportunities residents found and continue to find in the face of de-urbanization. We hope to launch cross-county conversations about what it means to be good neighbors by looking honestly at our past. Flight Path team members consist of faculty from Valparaiso University, Indiana University Northwest, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and Pacific Lutheran University.

Courses Taught

  • Engl 201 Intro to Creative Writing
  • Engl 321 Intermediate Composition
  • Engl 311 New Literacies, Technologies, and Cultures of Writing
  • Engl 323 Intro to Short Story Writing
  • Engl 325/525 Intro to Creative Nonfiction
  • Engl 491 Seminar in Professional Writing
  • Engl 492/592 Seminar in Creative Writing
  • Core 110/115 The Human Experience
  • General Studies 180 Service Learning—The Welcome Project

Publications

Creative Nonfiction

“Convicted,” TIFERET: A Journal of Spiritual Literature, Spring/Summer 2018

Bodhisattva Training,” 2017 Awst Press essay series, co-edited by Sophfronia Scott and Susanna Childress, Sept 17

“Breaking the Silence,” Kentucky English Bulletin, Spring 2017 (66:2)

Busy Enough to Take in the Likes of Me,” an audio essay, Slag Glass City, June 2016

“Conversing Across Boundaries: Engaging Classroom Conflict” in Civil Strife in a Complex and Changing World: Perspectives Far and Near, Eds. Riecken and Urschel, Cambridge Scholars (2014)

“Like Grief to the Aching Side of Love,” Ruminate, August 2013, Issue 29

“Later | Now,” Michigan Quarterly Review, Summer 2012 (51:3)

“Teen Sleuth Manifesto” with Melissa Favara, in Nancy Drew and Her Sister Sleuths: Essays on the Fiction of Girl Detectives, Eds. Michael Cornelius and Melanie Gregg, McFarland (2008)

“Practitioners,” Cimarron Review, Spring 2008 

“Invocation,” Gulf Coast Review, Winter 2007/Spring 2008, Vol 20, #1

Risk Assessment,” AGNI Online, Dec 2007

“Public Anatomy” with Nancy Bernardo, South Shore Journal, Fall 06

“Harmony Reclaimed: Diagnosing Medicine’s Metaphors,” The New Review of Literature, Spring 2006 

“Crossing Borders,” Central PA Magazine, May 2004

“Disturbing Knowledge,” The Cresset: A Review of Literature, Art, and Public Affairs, May 2002

Fiction

“Exposed,” South Shore Journal, Fall 06

“An Epicurean Epistolary Exchange with Bess Marvin, Nancy Drew’s Chum” and “Why Ned Nickerson Subscribes to Maxim,” Mid-American Review, Spring 2006

Poetry

Crossing in Miller (1889),” Belt Magazine, July 2019

“Fallen” and “Mercy,” Perspectives, October 2010

“On Raking Leaves,” The Cresset: A Review of Literature, Art, and Public Affairs, Michaelmas 2006

 “Nancy Drew’s Vagina Monologue,” PMS: poemmemoirstory, Spring 2006

Plays 

In the Belly of the Whale, Khaos Company Theatre, Indianapolis, IN, June 20, 25-27, July 3, 2015

Scholarship 

“Mobilizing Digital Stories: Collaborating to Educate and Engage a Local Public in Realities of Homelessness” with co-authors Liz Wuerffel and Megan Telligman, in Digital Community Engagement: Partnering Communities with the Academy, edited by Rebecca Wingo, Jason Heppler, and Paul Schadewald, Univ. of Cincinnati Press, June 2020

“The More the Obstacles Fall Between Us: An Interactive, Multi-Media Performance to Develop Empathy and Prompt Action,” Diversity Research Symposium: From Research to Action, co-author Liz Wuerffel, Nov 2016

Invited Blog Posts

Three Poems: “Squatters,” “Ladies Aid Society,” and “The Lakefront Changed from Sand to Steel,” Northwest Indiana Historian James B Lane Blog, July 2019

Wikipedia for Teaching New Literacies in Writing,” WikiEdu, 17 Feb 16

Sea Legs,” Ruminate, 4 Feb 14

Memberships

  • Association of Writers and Writing Programs
  • Indiana Writers Center
  • Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Recognitions

  • Digital Projects for the Public Grant ($100,000), National Endowment for the Humanities (2019-2020)
  • Digital Projects for the Public Grant ($30,000), National Endowment for the Humanities (2017)
  • Enduring Questions Grant ($20,000), National Endowment for the Humanities (2016-2018)
  • Summer Research Fellowship,Valparaiso University (Summer 2015)
  • Community Relations Award/Welcome Project, Urban League of Northwest Indiana (Mar 2015)
  • Winner—Khaos Company Theatre’s Dionysia New Play Competition, Indianapolis, IN (Dec 2014)
  • Ragdale Writer’s Residency, Lake Forest, IL (Feb 2014)
  • VUAA Faculty Development Award (Spring 2013)
  • CELT Grant, Valparaiso University (Spring 2013)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Award/Welcome Project, Valparaiso University (Jan 2013)
  • CELT Grant, Valparaiso University (Fall 2012)
  • Summer Research Fellowship,Valparaiso University (Summer 2012)
  • CELT Grant, Valparaiso University (Spring 2011)
  • Arts and Science Research Fellowship, Valparaiso University (Fall 2008)

Interest

  • Creative Writing / Creative Nonfiction
  • Oral History / Documentary / Welcome Project
  • Publicly Engaged or Community Engaged Scholarship
  • Facilitation Practice / Center for Civic Reflection
  • Contemplative Practices