Collision Course: Using Visual Art and Poetry as Composition Pedagogy

Last fall, I led students through a writing and communication course titled “One World is Not Enough.” This class investigated cultural values and ideologies as exhibited in the narratives that societies construct and consume. The course focused on two contemporary novels, Stephen Graham Jones’s Ledfeather and Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 17: The New Yorker

This week on the podcast, Toby and I talk about The New Yorker magazine––which I happen to be teaching an English 1102 course about this semester. Along the way, Toby shares a cartoon by Tom Toro and reads from “Sadness Lamp F.A.Q.” by Sarah Hutto (both of which can be found in the March 13,… Continue reading

The Censorship Files: Using Digital Media to Teach Censored Media

When teaching the art of research writing, I aim to help my students learn the tools of the communication trade through assignments that challenge them to see the world with more conscientious eyes. I strive to help my students recognize not only that the forms of their words matter but that… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 16: “Poetry”

This week, Toby and I read and discuss some of our favorite poems: William Wordsworth’s “We Are Seven,” Frank O’Hara’s “Having a Coke with You,” Lucille Clifton’s “shapeshifter poems,” and George Saunder’s “Trump l’oeil.” Plus: an inordinately long intro about the Oscars and parenthood. The podcast can be played using the embedded player above or… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 15: “Public School”

On the occasion of Betsy DeVos’s confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education, Toby takes over the microphone to school me on the history of public education. The podcast can be played using the embedded player above or downloaded as an mp3 file. Music: “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,”… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 14: “Hobby-Horse”

This week, we begin with a discussion of Laurence Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, which ultimately reveals itself as a sly attempt by Toby to get me to talk about my career moonlighting as a musician––and more specifically, as the frontman of the band Shouts & Murmurs… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 13: “Protest”

This week we talk to Brittain Fellow Ruthie Yow about a topic on the mind of many Americans at the moment: protesting. Ruthie’s book, Students of the Dream: Race and Inequality in the Resegregating South is forthcoming from Harvard University Press. The podcast can be played using the embedded player above or downloaded… Continue reading