My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

December 17-18, 2022: Signs of Spring (Semester)

[This semester went fast, felt slightly more familiar than the very strange last couple years, and featured some wonderful individual moments that exemplified why I do what I do. So this week I’ve highlighted one such moment from each class—leading up to this weekend post on a few things I’m looking forward to in Spring 2023!]

Winter’s just getting started, but here are a few signs of Spring (semester) I’m still excited about:

1)      Sci Fi/Fantasy: I get to teach the Intro to Science Fiction and Fantasy course I created back in 2007 about every three years, so every section of it feels like the welcome return of an old friend. But that rotation means that the last time I taught it was the semester that turned into SPRING FREAKING 2020, so let’s just say it didn’t end up being everything it could have been (and/or felt like as the semester went along we descended directly into one of the dystopias about which we were reading). So I’m even more stoked for my Spring semester section of this class, one for which I’ve added a contemporary novel I haven’t had the chance to read and am thus equally excited to read and teach: Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch (2011)!

2)      The American Novel to 1950: I believe the Spring 2017 section about which I wrote in that hyperlinked post was the last time I got to teach this upper-level American literature seminar, so this Spring’s section will offer an even more overdue and welcome return to an old friend (which I taught in my very first Spring semester at FSU). It’s a class where I get to teach some of my all-time favorite American novels, from The House of the Seven Gables to The Marrow of Tradition to My √Āntonia. And it’s a class that ends with the most challenging book I teach in any FSU class, William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Can’t beat that with a golf club!

3)      A New (to Me) Grad Class: For the last year and a bit I’ve had the chance to serve as the Chair of our Graduate English Studies program, which has been its own super fun way to get more connected to our amazing grad students. But nothing beats teaching a Grad class, which is why I try to do one every year; sometimes in our condensed Summer sessions, but sometimes, as this coming Spring, during regular semesters. For this Spring’s, I get to teach for the first time something that’s been on the books but (I believe) not taught for a while, Multiethnic American Literatures. I haven’t finalized what I want to teach in there yet, but I’m leaning toward voices and stories of individuals who are themselves multiethnic, representing that cross-cultural identity and community I’ve been thinking about since at least my second book. That means I have plenty of starting points for texts we might read, but as always I’m very open to and appreciative of suggestions for more!

Holiday series starts Monday,

Ben

PS. What are you looking forward to?

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