Letter Writing as a Social and Artistic Pedagogical Process: A Cross-Cultural and Transnational Dialogue Based on International Experiences of Higher Education Across Global Continents

  • Lilian Ucker PerottoEmail author
  • Meeri Hellstén
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Business, Arts and Humanities book series (PSBAH)


Writing letters as discursive practice can materialise the desire or need to interact across distance by disclosing a multitude of expressions and traditions. Letters form a means of representation of everyday life, in art, in literature, and as a strategy for data collection in social research. This case study traces accidental, yet autonomous research encounters spanning over ten years in three global continents and is structured by adaptation of Bruner’s (1986) narrative theory which relates to the concept of the imaginary as a significant meaning-making device of human experience. The chapter explores how auto-ethnographic perspective and arts-based research narrate experiences lived in letters, revealing scenes that would otherwise be hidden and developing critical reflections about the subjectivities produced in international scholarly spaces. We present the creative weaving of cross-cultural dialogue which brings to life an aesthetic dimension from artistic methodology and teaches us about our experience of being in the world.


Discursive social research Narrative case study Letter writing Internationalisation of higher education Imaginary as meaning-making Human experience Auto-ethnography Arts-based research Critical reflections Cross-cultural dialogue Artistic methodology 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of GoiásGoianiaBrazil
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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