Bodies and Body Language: How Poetry Can Teach Us to Communicate

Bodies, a personal yet strangely distant subject matter for most students to discuss, provide a ripe lens through which to hone the skills that composition classrooms aim to foster. As mediums of communication, bodies afford us multiple ways to express ourselves: through gestures, facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language… Continue reading

Putting Lux in the Darkness: Remembering Poet and Professor Thomas Lux

Editor’s Note: When I first had the idea to teach an English 1102 course about the The New Yorker magazine, I had hoped that Thomas Lux, who has published five poems in the magazine, would come speak to my students. Vijay Seshadri, former editor at The New Yorker and frequent contributor to the… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 21: “Britt History III (The Past)”

Part three of our series on the history of the Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship (the finale of The Office Hour‘s first season), finds Toby and I talking to Lisa Yaszek, Professor and outgoing Associate Chair of the School of Literature, Media, and Communication; co-editor of Sisters of Tomorrow: The First Women… Continue reading

The Doubleplusgoodspeak of Newspeak: Poetry and Orwell’s 1984

Two days after President Trump’s inauguration, on January 22, 2017, the newly-minted Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. She discussed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first press briefing the night before, in which he claimed, despite the existence of much… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 20: “Britt History II (The Present)”

In this episode, the second of a three-part series on the history of the Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship, Toby and I talk to former Brittain Fellow and current Associate Director of the Writing and Communication Program, Andy Frazee, about where the fellowship is now, where it’s going, and where… Continue reading

Strategies for Teaching Non-Native English Speakers: A Roundtable Review

On March 30, 2017, the Writing and Communication Program’s World Englishes Committee hosted the faculty roundtable “Instructing Non-Native English Speakers: Practical Tools.” This event drew Georgia Tech teaching faculty and staff interested in sharing ideas and learning new strategies for better serving the needs of the diverse population of English… Continue reading

Debugging the Gender Gap: Questioning Stereotypes in the Tech Comm Classroom

On Tuesday, March 14, Georgia Tech hosted a screening of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. The 2015 film, which played at various film festivals and tech events such as the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, examines the lack of gender diversity in the American software… Continue reading

“Should I Go to Work?”: On Participating in A Day Without Women

On the morning of March 8, 2017, I, like many women around the country (and perhaps the world) faced a particular question: should I go to work? On this particular day, the question was triggered by International Women’s Day and its attendant call for a women’s strike. Named “A Day… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 19: “April Is the Cruellest Month”

In honor of National Poetry Month, Brittain Fellow Jeff Fallis returns to the podcast to discuss what may be literature’s most ill-defined, misunderstood, and maligned genre. As recipients of 2016-2017 Poetry@Tech Pedagogy Grants, Jeff and I talk about some of the ways that we have integrated poetry into our composition classrooms,… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 18: “Britt History 1 (The Future)”

Toby takes over the podcast this week, in the first installment of a three-part series in which we address the past, present, and future of the Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship. In this episode, he interviews Brittain Fellow Halcyon Lawrence about her background and research in information design and experiences… Continue reading

Brittain Fellows Celebrate Teaching with Posters about Pedagogy

 On March 14, 2017, the Georgia Tech teaching community gathered for Celebrating Teaching Day, a demonstration of the innovative pedagogies that feature in courses across Tech, put on by the Center for Teaching and Learning. The inventive work of Brittain Fellows was on prominent display during the day’s events via a series… Continue reading

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

The Office Hour, Chapter 12: “Refusing to Read”

In our first episode of 2017, Toby and I debate Amy Hungerford’s Chronicle of Higher Education editorial, “On Not Reading.” Along the way, Toby shares some of his expertise about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and I divulge my inexpertise about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Special thanks to the panelists in the Modern Language Association 2017 session,… Continue reading

Applications Open for 2017-2018 Brittain Fellowship

  The Writing and Communication Program is now accepting applications for new Brittain Fellows. The job ad has been posted at Vitae, and appears below. To apply, please consult the job ad below and submit applications by February 1, 2017. The Writing and Communication Program in Georgia Tech’s School of… Continue reading

Meditations in an Emergency: Teaching After Trump

The outcome of the 2016 presidential election has thrown a number of institutions into crisis––or at least deep soul-searching: the news media, the Electoral College, the Democratic Party, libraries, humanities departments, and the university more broadly. The first-year composition classroom, in particular, faces newly urgent pedagogical challenges in the wake… Continue reading