[This week marks the start of the Fall 2023 semester and my 19th year at Fitchburg State. So as ever, I’ll kick off the semester with preview posts, this time focused on ongoing challenges and leading up to an update on my current book project!]
Unlike yesterday’s focal course, to which I’m returning after a number of years away, our English Studies Capstone class is one I’ve been able to teach almost every year. I’ve tried to continue revising it as I’ve done so, so this section will feature some returning favorites (like Kevin Gannon’s Radical Hope as our Education Unit shared text) and some new ones (like Eric Nguyen’s Things We Lost to the Water as our Literature Unit shared text). All of that falls entirely under the umbrella of things I’m excited about—but I can’t lie, with each passing year it becomes more of a challenge to teach this particular course with my usual, congenital optimism. That’s due not only to all the uncertainties of the future (a subject on which this class focused a great deal), but also to the striking threats to higher education generally and the humanities specifically in the present (another pair of such focal subjects). I’m not going to pretend I have any answers to those challenges—not here, and certainly not with the students—but one thing I’ll say is that I very much look forward to talking about them with one of my favorite groups of people in the world, Fitchburg State English Majors!
Next preview post tomorrow,
PS. What do you think? Fall previews you’d share?