My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

January 16, 2024: Spring Semester Previews: American Literature II

[As this new semester gets underway, it does so amidst a particularly fraught moment for teaching & learning the Humanities. So for this week’s Semester Previews series I’ll highlight one thing from each of my courses that embodies the value of the Humanities for us all—leading up to a special weekend post on MLK Day and the Humanities!]

I’ve had the chance to teach a wide variety of courses in my 19 years at FSU (and have written about most of them at one time or another in this space, especially in semester previews and reflections series), but by far the most frequent have been the two American Literature surveys: Am Lit I: Origins to Civil War, recently renamed Slavery and Freedom) and Am Lit II (Civil War to Present, recently renamed Making and Remaking America). I love each and every chance to teach these courses, and while some of that unquestionably has to do with the fact that nearly all of my favorite authors and texts make an appearance in them, even more has to do with a deeper and more communal fact: that there’s no way to be an informed and engaged American citizen, something that every one of us (and certainly every young person) needs to be if we’re going to make it, without an awareness of and engagement with our history and culture, our literature and community, our national story in all its complexities. To repeat what I said in yesterday’s post, I don’t imagine I need to convince anyone reading this blog of that fact, and indeed would say making the case for those stakes of this work has been one of the most central goals of the blog. But it’s also one of the most significant desired outcomes of my teaching—not to get students to see any of those topics how I do, but to get them to see them at all, and then to see what they see and say about them themselves. La lucha continua in Am Lit II this semester!

Next preview tomorrow,


PS. What do you think?

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