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When I teach a literature course, I invariably end up discovering something new, even in works I have read and taught multiple times. 

I see my literature pedagogy as a way of participating in the literary endeavor: my job is to help the words resonate for students, to help them see complexities and contradictions, to connect with the text both viscerally -- not necessarily positively -- and intellectually, and allow it to change one’s perception of the world. My literary courses tend to have a comparative or interdisciplinary bent, and to challenge students by juxtaposing complex texts, varied approaches, and intensive writing assignments.

In-class work includes:

  • whole-group discussion

  • directed group work 

  • in-class writing (minute papers at end of class, writing to prompt discussion at the beginning; in-class writing/discussion close reading exercises)

  • creative exercises meant to find new ways to make connections to the text (for example, students have written playlists to Anna Karenina or made a board game out of several 19th century novels).

  • structured debates

 

A sample class plan might look like this

 

Analytical writing has been a key part of my pedagogy as well. You can see more about it in the Writing section. Additionally, I have utilized:

  • Creative assignments (# 5 on this assignment sheet)

  • Assignments that ask students to practice their writing skills in contexts that resemble the real world.

  • Portfolio assignments

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