My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

May 14, 2024: Spring 2024 Stand-Outs: Ambiguity in Am Lit

[Another semester comes to a close this week, and this time for my usual end-of-semester reflections series I wanted to highlight stand-out days from my classes. Leading up to a weekend off for a very stand-out reason!]

As I highlighted and contextualized in this December 2020 semester reflections post, and as has continued to be the case a good bit of the time, in the semesters and years since Covid I’ve frequently moved away from longer readings in favor of multiple shorter ones. A lot of the time I think that can achieve my and the course’s goals equally well, but I’m also committed to not abandoning longer works altogether, and more exactly to making the choice in each specific instance rather than having a blanket policy or perspective. And this semester offered a perfect illustration of something that can only happen with a longer work we’ve read and discussed across multiple class meetings: our final day with Nella Larsen’s stunning novella Passing (1929), where we had one of our liveliest discussions of the semester about what we make of that book’s shocking and ambiguous ending (no SPOILERS here). We couldn’t have had that stand-out conversation if we hadn’t built to it across multiple days of work with Larsen, and that was a great reminder of the importance of continuing to find ways to make longer texts part of my classes.

Next stand-out tomorrow,


PS. What do you think? Semester reflections or other work you’d share?

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