Course Blogs: Commenting Privately on a Student’s Post

Rebecca Burnett and I had a conversation about the nature of commenting on student blog posts. As instructors, should we have the option of making a private comment – viewable only to the student author, or should all comments be viewable to all students? There is an argument to be… Continue reading

Little Eureka Moments

The final project for my ENGL1102 course “London City Comedy” is a collaborative digital edition of Tarlton’s Jests, a 17th century collection of anecdotes about the Elizabethan clown Richard Tarlton. The assignment consists of five parts: Continue reading

Putting Students to Work: Guest hosting a “best blog” round-up

I had an “a-ha” moment in first-year composition class last week. I was preparing for a conference, writing job letters, preparing my classes, and trying to keep up with grading. In short, something had to give. But what? And then it hit me – Blog Post of the Week! Every… Continue reading

Myth in the Classroom, take two

I know you’ve been holding your breath for the second installment of my musings on and eternal search for effective stereotype-breaking strategies. So here goes. Today I take on the elusive term “race” as a myth that students approach rather curiously: with great resentment. And I think I’ve figured out at least part of the reason why. Let me try to explain:
I attempted to have a conversation with my students this week about white privilege. They read “The End of White America?” by Hua Hsu, published in The Atlantic in 2009. I also had them look at this hilarious video made by Smirnoff in 2006, which Hsu mentions.

So, they had read (or were supposed to have read) Hsu’s essay on the “beiging” of the white race in the United States, the increasing diversity of American popular culture, and the ensuing backlash against multiculturalism and retrenchment into whiteness. Continue reading

Venturing into Unfamiliar Territory: Visualizations of the Oral Mode in the Classroom

Last week I ventured into largely-unknown territory for me – speech analysis and a consideration of the oral mode. Unknown, I say, because even though teaching involves vast amounts of time standing before an audience and, well, speaking, I have never formally studied speech at length: no speech communication class,… Continue reading

Skiles Breezeway or Blackfriars Theatre?

This week I’m teaching Francis Beaumont’s The Knight of the Burning Pestle as part of my English 1102 course on London City Comedy. The play is usually identified as a breakthrough Early Modern parody (of other plays like The Shoemaker’s Holiday and The Four Prentises) and one of the first English plays to break the fourth wall. Continue reading

Postmodern Theory in Multimodal Composition

Ever since Baudrillard found his way into my dissertation (I have no memory of inviting him—suddenly he was there, like Jack Nicholson in that picture at the end of The Shining), I’ve been curious about how he’d fare in an undergraduate classroom. His postmodern and Nietzschean sympathies make him entertaining… Continue reading