Drafted in the wake of Hurricane María in Puerto Rico, this article explores the potential benefits of students writing unrevised, real-time auto/biographical narratives as an element of disaster pedagogy. The lesson of the ugly auto/biography builds on an impromptu post-9/11 assignment and allows students the space to resituate themselves in the classroom after facing natural and/or national disasters. This article argues that such narratives offer faculty means to be present and active for students in times of crisis and tragedy, teach more complex and nuanced critical reading skills, and explore the structures of contextual frameworks necessary for close readings while modeling vital research practices.

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