Petra Dierkes-Thrun ’s research and teaching interests include the European and transatlantic fin de siècle and modernism (including literature, the visual arts, opera, dance, and film); feminist and queer theory; LGBTQ literary and cultural studies; and literary theory.
by Maria Popova “Power, for the writer….lies in his ability to reveal if only a little bit more about the complexity of humanity.” In 1953, celebrated novelist Ralph Ellison gave a remarkable National Book Award acceptance speech , arguing for fiction as a soapbox for injustice and a chariot of hope. Thirteen years later, in 1966, he gave a rare interview for the National Education Television, in which he discusses a number of timeless, timely topics — national identity, race, the purpose of literature — with extraordinary eloquence and grace, complementing E.B. White’s insights on the role and responsibility of the writer and George Orwell’s thoughts on the writer’s motives and political purpose .
June 6, 2012 By: Maryellen Weimer, PhD in Teaching Professor Blog Each year Magna Publications sponsors an award recognizing an outstanding piece of scholarly work on teaching and learning. Authors received the award and its $1,000 stipend at the 9th annual Teaching Professor Conference this past weekend in Washington, D.C. The winning article for this year’s Maryellen Weimer Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Award is well worth reading. It addresses the issue of content coverage—specifically content coverage in introductory history survey courses.
April 2, 2012 By: Yvonne Ho in Teaching with Technology I have always enjoyed watching YouTube videos and when I noticed that some of the videos dealt with serious literary topics and had re-enactments of Shakespeare plays, I began to wonder if I could incorporate them into my literature classes. Instead of students just reading a text version of Othello, why not have them also watch a live performance of Othello to get them more motivated to learn literature?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chowd/488098373/ CC Licensed Literature Circles have been around forever. Done well, the strategy is an effective way of engaging children in reading, while teaching them specific skills and behaviours we use when immersing ourselves in a text. With clear foci during the instructional part of the Literature Circle session, teachers can direct children to use these strategies to improve their comprehension and how they respond to text. One of my main concerns ( and the concerns of many I have worked with in implementing Literature Circles) is monitoring the independent reading and meetings as well as the work done by children in between sessions. Technology can play a big part in this and can also be used to enhance, simply and streamline the whole process.
Over the past twelve years, I’ve watched my students progress from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter, not to mention the hundreds of other apps-of-the-moment. The one constancy in this trend is that students are online, interacting all day, every day. In fact, most of their social lives are now taking place digitally. Sure, they still meet up for a basketball game or to go to a party, but the days of phone call invites has ended. Instead, they Facebook message or tweet each other. This year, I finally realized that if I wanted to reach these students where they “live,” I was going to have to get with it and embrace the “classroom with no walls.”
Teaching Graphic Novels
A dynamic three-day conference for English and Drama teachers held on January 18 – 20, 2013 Teaching Artists from some of the world’s most respected Shakespeare Theatres will share active and playful approaches to enliven the teaching of Shakespeare. The weekend is presented by the UC Davis School of Education and the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis in association with Globe Education (Shakespeare’s Globe, London) and the Shakespeare Theatre Association. Download our e-flier here . Continuing Education Units Now Available for Conference Participants
Over the last few years of developing a technique I’m happy with in discussion forums (see Discussion Goodness from 2009), I’ve also been experimenting with something similar in the classroom at San Elijo. I’ve done it for three semesters now, and I’m happy with it too. The idea is that every two weeks, we have “Lab Day”. On that day, everyone who has a laptop has to bring one (a smartphone is OK, just not as good for searching images), and Media Services brings me a batch of old clunker PCs without batteries for everyone else. There are cords all over the floor, and students arranged in small groups. The task, during our 75 minute class, is to create a collection of three primary sources related to that week’s era, then develop athesis and present it to the class with the evidence.
by Werner Sollors In currently available anthologies of American literature there appears to be a general double standard at work, as “general American” texts by “mainstream authors” are selected primarily for their aesthetic accomplishment and historical-political significance as well as for the cultural fascination they hold, whereas African American, multiethnic, and many women’s works are chosen primarily for their authenticity. That means that a particular burden is placed upon authors included to represent racial, ethnic, or gender categories: their texts must not only be authored by members of these groupings (which is why it is so embarrassing when a false ethnic or gender ascription is discovered), but their works are also expected to be mostly about themes of race, ethnicity, and (perhaps to a slightly less intense degree) gender.
For years I’ve tried to figure out how to get my “Introduction to Literature” students–99 percent of them not English majors–to appreciate literature. And by “appreciate,” I don’t mean “like.” That’s probably a lost cause. I just mean I want them to be able to understand what a writer is saying, how he or she goes about saying it, and what relevance it might have to their lives. As anyone who has taught a course like that knows very well, this is an uphill battle. Or at least it was for me until a couple of years ago, when I had an epiphany.
Regular commenter Crystal has asked for some more details about my Personal Narrative course , in which I focus less on literary analysis and more on literary appreciation. Here’s some general info on how the course unfolds. Feel free to steal/adapt/query, etc. Module 1: Literary Analysis Review Text : The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
EH 102 Textual Transformation (Summer 2012)
Today’s guest blogger is Ben Bunting , a Ph.D. candidate in English literature at Washington State University where he teaches undergraduate courses in Composition and Literature.
Two weeks ago I looked at one of the recommendations found in the Common Core Standards Publisher’s Criteria for Grades K-2 and 3-5, which attempt to lay out some guidelines for designing Standards-based reading curriculum. In addition to questioning strategy instruction, both Criteria also offer caveats against front-loading information or engaging students in pre-reading activities that provide them with access to a text’s ideas without actually grappling with the text itself. Like the criteria about comprehension strategies, questioning front-loading is a ‘biggie,’ especially when it comes to providing background knowledge which students might not have.
One of our challenges as teachers of literature is to encourage students to move from simply answering questions we ask to formulating their own questions. To get at this, I have students write two discussion questions every day we meet as a class and e-mail them to me no later than 30 minutes before the class begins.
posted: 2.22.12 by Emily Isaacson Adapted from “Draw the Argument” by Barclay Barrios of Florida Atlantic University.