At UNG, I teach two literature surveys almost every year: American Literature II (1865-) and African American Literature; you can click on the links to get an idea what those classes might look like any given semester. I also regularly teach several upper-division courses, including “Introduction to Literary Studies,” “American Modernism,” and “The Short Story” From time to time, I also get to teach seminars such as “Seeing Race in Literature, Law, and Film,” or “American Science Fiction.”
In all my courses, I focus on building a classroom environment where students and I talk through our readings collaboratively–whether that’s a short poem or a complex work of philosophy. In most classes, I assign writing projects that ask students to step beyond the tradition essay: my students write short stories, TED Talks, dialogues, supreme court decisions and more. And in most classes, I employ a portfolio-based grading system, where students have the opportunity to improve their major assignments for a final, cumulative view of their accomplishments at the end of the semester, a process that emphasizes reflection and revision.
Over the years, I have taught courses in which students explored American literary history from the Civil War to the Cold War through recently digitized collections like Cornell’s Making of America and the Modernist Journals Project. In one course at GA Tech, we used Omeka to create our own archive of Science Fiction magazines from Tech’s SF Collection. Afterwards, I wrote a short pedagogy piece describing this process: “Teaching Modernism through Little Magazines.”