Tactile Learning in the College Classroom

I've learned a great deal from Kahdeidra Monét Martin, a Graduate Center and Humanities Alliance Fellow I've had the pleasure of meeting at Futures Initiative events and a recent Hunter College ACERT luncheon. Kahdeidra reminded me, on our recent panel together, that just because we grow older doesn't mean that the learning methods we associate … Continue reading Tactile Learning in the College Classroom

A Lesson Plan for Democratic Co-Creation: Forging a Syllabus by Students, for Students

Earlier in the semester, I wrote a post about Structuring Equality in my early American Lit classroom. On the first day of class, I asked my students (individually and then in pairs, using Think-Pair-Share) to determine their goals and priorities for the year. Then, in larger groups, students revised and added to parts of the … Continue reading A Lesson Plan for Democratic Co-Creation: Forging a Syllabus by Students, for Students

Structuring Equality in my American Literature Survey Course

It's syllabus-writing season! After some time away from teaching, time for reflection and growth as an educator, I am thrilled to be teaching "American Literature: Origins to the Civil War" again this fall. I've taught this course twice, so I feel confident enough to hand my syllabus over to my students to plan all the … Continue reading Structuring Equality in my American Literature Survey Course

Revolutionary Office Meetings

[Originally posted on May 24, 2018 on futuresinitiative.org, and featured in "Better Meetings Through Pedagogy" by ProfHacker, The Chronicle of Higher Education.] Pedagogy is something we take with us when we leave a classroom, and it’s something (as I learned this year at the Futures Initiative) that we can bring into office meetings to make … Continue reading Revolutionary Office Meetings

Gantt Charts, or What Academics Can Learn From Project Managers, Part I

When I met with a colleague to talk about her Orals, she very kindly told me she had no idea how I managed all of the things that I do. I admitted that sometimes I only just barely manage to do them, and I said exactly the same thing to her. We both juggle multiple … Continue reading Gantt Charts, or What Academics Can Learn From Project Managers, Part I

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting my PhD

Now in my fifth year, writing my dissertation, I've had some time to reflect on my beginnings as a PhD student and the years preceding it when I was getting my Masters. I've attended the same institution for 7 years and watched it change for 9 (I took a 2-year break between degrees). I've realized … Continue reading What I Wish I Knew Before Starting my PhD

Reading Reflections vs. Midterm Papers

As you plan your syllabus for the next semester, consider assigning reading reflections instead of a midterm paper. A reflection is "a pause," as PALS contributor Corinna Cook writes, "it involves turning to look back, and to reconsider something thought or done in the past from the perspective of the present." In my experience, a … Continue reading Reading Reflections vs. Midterm Papers

Teaching LEMONADE in 19th-Century American Lit

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

How do we write at the intersection of race and gender?

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?

In Your Lecture, Research Together

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