MyAmericanFuture

MyAmericanFuture
MyAmericanFuture

Saturday, May 16, 2015

May 16-17, 2015: Summer and Fall Courses

[As another semester winds to a close, this week’s series has highlighted some of the moments that have stood out to me and what conclusions I’d take away from them. Leading up to this special weekend post on some of my summer and fall plans. Share yours in comments, please!]
Lots going on for the summer and fall, but here I wanted to focus specifically on three new courses I’m very excited to teach, and ask you to share an upcoming course (summer, fall, or any other time) of your own in comments! To wit:
1)      Analyzing 21st Century America: An Interdisciplinary Perspective: This summer, I get to teach my first hybrid grad class, one that will meet once a week (for five weeks) but include a good bit of material and conversation online as well. And I think the focus is perfect for that format, as well as something I’ve never taught and am very excited to. Highlights for me: folders of primary and secondary texts on contemporary issues from #BlackLivesMatter to Iggy Azalea, sports to immigration; amazing short stories from the 2013 Best American Short Stories anthology as our shared readings; and individual presentations where students will watch a few episodes of a TV show they’ve never seen before and analyze it from an interdisciplinary lens. Can’t wait!
2)      Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone: The interdisciplinary focus will continue but shift a bit in this undergraduate course, which I’ll be teaching for the first time this fall. The IDIS Capstone mirrors the English Studies one which I’ve taught (and written about here) a few times, including in the use of shared readings and conversations which I anticipate in this case will parallel my grad class’s focus on 21st century American issues. But just as the English Capstone asks students to create their senior portfolios within it, so too do IDIS majors research and create a culminating senior project in their Capstone, pulling together three distinct disciplines in the process. I’m a bit scared but mostly excited at the chance to help students create such interdisciplinary projects, and to teach and model interdisciplinary thinking and research along the way.
3)      Honors English Seminar: I’ve taught individual students from FSU’s Honors program (which my friend Joe Moser is about to take over directing) before, but have never had the chance to teach that program’s sophomore-level literature seminar. Well, that changes this fall, and to say that I’m excited at the opportunity to teach a seminar on America in the Gilded Age—one including works by Sui Sin Far, Helen Hunt Jackson, and Charles Chesnutt, among others—to this group of smart, engaged, dedicated, passionated students … well, that’d be a serious understatement. Just one more thing I’m looking forward to!
Next series starts Monday,
Ben

PS. What upcoming course(s) are you excited about? Other summer and fall plans (or spring conclusions) you’d share?

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