MyAmericanFuture

MyAmericanFuture
MyAmericanFuture

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14-15, 2016: Fall 2016 Questions



[This week marked the final classes of the Spring 2016 semester, so this week on the blog I’ve offered some semester reflections, focusing on new texts or ideas I tried in my courses. Leading up to this special post previewing my Fall semester—please share your own previews, or more Spring reflections, here as well!]
Three requests for help with my Fall 2016 courses-in-development!
1)      Senior Seminar on Analyzing 21st Century America: For my second ever English Studies Senior Seminar, I’ll be turning last summer’s hybrid grad class into a semester-long undergraduate syllabus. I know I’ll have a through-line of texts and discussions focused on race, using Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me, and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen as our focal texts. And students will be presenting on a contemporary movie or TV show of their choice. But there’s plenty more room for texts (from all media), issues and themes, and other aspects of the course—so I’d love your suggestions!
2)      Honors Seminar on the Gilded Age: I got to teach our Honors program’s literature seminar for the first time last fall, and will be doing so again this fall. While I’m keeping the same main texts and units, however, I’m hoping to make two significant changes: shifting from individual student discussion leadings in every class meeting to panels of student voices once every few weeks; and adding in multimedia texts here and there, such as screening an episode of Deadwood to round off our unit on the West. Neither of those are things I’ve done in any prior literature course, though, so I could really use some advice and perspectives on either or both!
3)      ALFA Class on Salem: In conjunction with a program field trip to the city, my Fall Adult Learning in the Fitchburg Area class will focus on some of Salem’s many compelling sites, histories, and texts. As those and many other Salem posts in this space illustrate, I certainly have my own starting points for what I should include in this course’s five weeks of topics and materials. But I remain very open to suggestions, as always!
Next series starts Monday,
Ben
PS. What do you think? Previews or reflections you’d share?

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