In light of the recent Junot Díaz buzz, a friend asked me on Saturday if I would still teach him. My short answer was yes, and my long answer was if my students want to read him. This post is about why. Studying Díaz In college I knew I wanted to write and hadn't made … Continue reading Will I Still Teach Junot Díaz?
I'm a 19th-century Americanist and my syllabi for courses taught in early American lit have covered a wide span of women's literature. I've always gone for non-canonical authors and approaches that critique a male-dominated, colonialist canon. But aside from teaching the usual suspects, slave narratives such as Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave … Continue reading Teaching LEMONADE in 19th-Century American Lit
My 8am class has turned into a hotbed of burning questions and research. How this happened since my last post about the grueling 8am time slot, I can barely tell... but I think it started when I canceled the reading for a day and assigned my students debate roles as "administrators" and "English faculty," tasking them with … Continue reading How do we write at the intersection of race and gender?
As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, my 8 a.m. class this semester has been a challenge but by now (two months into the semester) my students have grown accustomed to me throwing questions like "Is feminism a privilege?" at them at 8:10 a.m. They talk in their listening dyad activity for two minutes each, … Continue reading In Your Lecture, Research Together
Teaching Margaret Fuller’s Woman in the Nineteenth Century is instructive in its challenge. The text contains numerous references that take students to task with additional research to understand the import of its anecdotes. The text’s oscillation between essentialism and radical gender fluidity can also perplex the student who expects a linear argument one would find … Continue reading “A remaking of the mind itself”: Margaret Fuller’s Pedagogy & Mine
When I was assigned "Women, Gender, and U.S. Literature," a 5-week summer course that meets 4 days a week for 2 hours, I stared at my bookshelf ready to put 75% of its contents on the syllabus, then I went to Twitter and asked for suggestions, and then I went to colleagues for help who … Continue reading Teaching the Impossible Syllabus: “Women, Gender & U.S. Literature”
Last year I wrote about several women who are tough as nails, hiking the Appalachian Trail through rain and pain (read Part I here). This year I'm blown away by how many women are on the trail, and how little sexism I've witnessed compared to last year's alpha male surplus. They're thru-hiking in every bubble and … Continue reading Hiking Like A Woman, Part II
"The vast majority of our professors...used the classroom to enact rituals of control that were about domination and the unjust exercise of power. In these settings I learned a lot about the kind of teacher I did not want to become." -- bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress When my observer asked me about letting my students … Continue reading Education is the Practice of Freedom
The sad thing about teaching a composition course in which sexual violence is the major topic, is that it is always still relevant. An updated report from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the Education Department says that there are now 306 sexual violence cases being investigated at 225 schools in the U.S. These investigations result from the … Continue reading Teaching Consent, Revisited
About to begin teaching my favorite second-level composition course for the sixth time, I can safely say that I know every required secondary reading has a clear purpose in the syllabus. I look forward to how each one will inform and pivot in-class discussion, deepening our understanding of the primary texts and how they've been … Continue reading Use Secondary Sources in College Composition, But Use Them Wisely