Learning Drama, Writing Drama

In my second-level composition course, students have the option of doing extra credit, due the day we finish reading Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The assignment is to write a script that answers the question: "Whatever happened to Christopher Sly?" The play-within-a-play begins with the drunkard Sly who is tricked into behaving like a lord. … Continue reading Learning Drama, Writing Drama

Feminist Pedagogy: Scaffolding the Research Paper

Teaching Consent in the College Classroom (Part 2) [Read Part 1] Backwards Pedagogy and a Gender Studies theme for the semester turned out some really thorough and unique research papers in my Intro to Writing About Literature class. As I'm grading: there are papers drawing from medieval science and the humours as well as neonatology and … Continue reading Feminist Pedagogy: Scaffolding the Research Paper

Teaching Students Close Reading Skills with Twitter

Moving on from teaching the general theme of women's oppression in my composition course, as I described in my last post, we've turned to a much more complex and darker play, John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi. The most corrupt characters, Ferdinand and the Cardinal (also the Duchess's brothers), are motivated by many things: money, power, maintaining a … Continue reading Teaching Students Close Reading Skills with Twitter

Teaching Consent in the College Classroom

When I began teaching Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in 2014, I didn't expect we'd end up talking about the NFL with my English composition students. Ray Rice, who had been playing for the Baltimore Ravens was suspended for assaulting his then-fiance Janay Palmer, who married him after the incident much to the consternation of the feminist blogosphere. However, when … Continue reading Teaching Consent in the College Classroom

Learning Drama through Writing

This semester, I approached my Composition students with a new assignment that they themselves had a hand in creating and making possible. As part of the Intro to Writing About Literature course, I teach drama, fiction, and poetry. Each genre presents its own challenges but drama, in particular, is difficult to get into when students … Continue reading Learning Drama through Writing