[The Spring 2022 semester was in some ways more “normal” than the last few have been, but in many other ways just as difficult, if not indeed more so. But y’all know me well enough to know that I’m not going to focus on the challenges in this week’s series, but rather on individual discussions in each of my classes that reminded me of why we do what we do!]
Not that I remember the Fall 2013 semester very well in any case, but it was nonetheless quite stunning how different I felt teaching my Major Author: W.E.B. Du Bois seminar this semester than I had that first time 9 years ago. Partly that’s because I’m a lot better of a teacher than I was then, to be sure. But mostly it’s because this last decade of American conversations and conflicts has made Du Bois so, so much more relevant than even I previously would have argued. My favorite discussions this time around were precisely those which connected to our current moment while still dwelling deeply in the specifics of Du Bois’ works, and by far the best was a class-long conversation about his magisterial column, from the first issue of The Crisis, “Agitation.” We talked Du Bois’ metaphors, we talked #BlackLivesMatter, we talked the roles of journalism and writing—we modeled the best of a classroom community. I think Du Bois himself would have been proud to be among us.
Next reflection tomorrow,
PS. What do you think? Spring semester reflections (in all tones) you’d share?