Swinnen's teaching has included courses in literature (e.g., narratology, literature and medicine), cultural studies, gender and diversity studies, medical humanities, research methods, and writing skills at BA and MA levels.
In the academic year 2016-2017, she teaches (in) the following courses:
- Narrative Media (UCM)
- Surfing the Silver Tsunami: A Cultural Critique of Our Aging World (UCM)
- Analysis of Paintings and Literary Texts (FASoS)
- Modernity and the Arts II & Entering the Field II (FASoS)
- Joint Research Project CAST (FASoS)
- Traditions in Humanism II: Humanism, Meaning in Life and Aging Well (UvH)
Swinnen (has) designed and directed two research-based educational projects (Marble and Peers) for BA students of excellence in the field of humanistic aging studies. The first project, “Live to Be a Hundred: The Cultural Fascination for Centenarians,” started from the paradox between the alarmist discourse of population aging and celebratory practices surrounding people aged 100 years and older. The students studied narrative and visual configurations of longevity and interviewed centenarians about their experiences of longevity (instead of letting them reminisce over their past and tell their life stories). The second and ongoing project, “‘Writing to Make Aging New’: Authors’ Understandings of Late-Life Creativity,” asks how literary writers perceive creativity and examines how popular discourses of both aging and authorship appear in their accounts. Furthermore, Swinnen supervise(d) research internships on subjects varying from young widows’ accounts of strategies to cope with grief and older women's fashion choices to older persons' testimonies of new love.