My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

May 9, 2023: Spring 2023 Surprises: Akata Witch in Intro to Sci Fi and Fantasy

[As another challenging but rewarding semester comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on a handful of moments that particularly surprised me (in good ways). I’d love to hear some of your Spring reflections in comments!]

As I mentioned in my semester preview post, the new addition to my Sci Fi/Fantasy syllabus this time around was Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch (2011). I like Okorafor’s novel a lot, but we can never know for sure how a reading is gonna go the first time we teach it—and, as I’ve highlighted in this space before, I’m always particularly uncertain about assigning longer works like novels in our fraught and challenging current moment. And to add one more variable, we read Akata Witch after four weeks working with only short stories, meaning in the two weeks we spent on Okorafor’s book we have significantly more pages in front of us than had been the case. So I was definitely surprised and really impressed with how fully the students got into Akata Witch, in both senses: getting through the novel across those couple weeks of classes and conversations; and connecting to it on many different levels, making those discussions consistently thoughtful and fun. Think this one is staying on the syllabus!

Next surprise tomorrow,


PS. What do you think? Spring semester reflections you’d share?

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