Weird Things Nick Carraway Says

One of the greatest problems in teaching The Great Gatsby is the extent to which the novel has been overshadowed by its film adaptations. My students have already seen the Baz Luhrman 2013 film adaptation, just as a previous generation of readers found their experience warped by Robert Redford’s Jay Gatsby. As a result, readers … Continue reading Weird Things Nick Carraway Says

Wisconsin Toilet Trip

A (Toilet) Bowl of Mysteries You should always ask THE QUESTIONS when you encounter exactly 4 toilets in a single bathroom A story about a newly listed Wisconsin home with four toilets in a single bathroom recently went viral. Many people, including folks counting themselves among the elite of the extremely online elite, scratched their … Continue reading Wisconsin Toilet Trip

Ann Petry’s The Street

I want to write this essay about The Street, and I will! (see below), but I don't think I can do it without first acknowledging the fact that many state legislatures are currently—in what they often say is defense of not teaching critical race theory to children (who are already not being taught critical race … Continue reading Ann Petry’s The Street

Teaching Books You Love

One curious thing about teaching literature (I don't know if it happens the same in other fields) is that students want to like or even love the things that you teach them. That sounds awesome! But actually I think liking can get in the way of the purposes for which we use texts in the … Continue reading Teaching Books You Love

Teaching the Literature of Witchcraft

Teaching the literature of the Salem Witch Trials has gone out of fashion in the early years of the twenty-first century. It had probably gone out of fashion already by the time I was in high school in the 1980s because most of what I learned about the Salem Witch Trials came from reading Arther … Continue reading Teaching the Literature of Witchcraft

Work in Life in the Iron Mills, “A Church Mouse,” and “Bartleby, the Scrivener”

What do Life in the Iron Mills, "A Church Mouse," and "Bartleby, the Scrivener" have in common? My first instinct would probably be to answer: not much. Yet, I teach all of these three texts together in a sequence that is focused on work, and while all very different, they fit together well to ask … Continue reading Work in Life in the Iron Mills, “A Church Mouse,” and “Bartleby, the Scrivener”

Oops, we did it again…

A Short Guide to Classroom Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic The Sitch In Spring 2020 they shut down our campuses, locked the doors and turned off all the lights, and sent us home to teach by Zoom. In Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, many of us continued to teach fully or primarily online, whether that … Continue reading Oops, we did it again…

Book Spotlight: Creating Captivating Classes: A Guide for Kink, Sexuality, and Relationship Presenters

The Why I purchased Creating Captivating Classes: A Guide for Kink, Sexuality, and Relationship Presenters by Shay and Stefanos Tiziano for several reasons. First, the table of contents suggested a huge range of teaching topics covered throughout the book. The depth and breadth of topics captured my attention because many introductory teaching books I see … Continue reading Book Spotlight: Creating Captivating Classes: A Guide for Kink, Sexuality, and Relationship Presenters

On not teaching in a pandemic…

A new essay last went up on our site April 1, 2021. It does not escape us that the post went up on April Fools Day.  Not that it means anything.  I encourage you to read the post, one of the most popular of the year. Kristin Lacey covers how we might adapt community building … Continue reading On not teaching in a pandemic…

Zooming Out: What Teaching Online Taught Me About Classroom Community

PALS is excited to welcome back Kristin Lacey for another guest post. Lacey is a PhD student at Boston University working on nineteenth-century American literature. In her post, Lacey documents changes she made for online teaching to help foster student interactions and community building. She explores how these online practices could be adapted for the … Continue reading Zooming Out: What Teaching Online Taught Me About Classroom Community

On Losing What You Never Had

This post marks my first in over a year. I didn’t plan for that to be the case, and last January I had begun to sketch out a series of essays that I was excited to write for the blog. And then the pandemic hit. Like most others, I found myself overwhelmed just trying to … Continue reading On Losing What You Never Had

Academia, Your Whorephobia is Showing

Academics love a good dragging of higher education’s broken systems. Academics got exactly such a dragging when The Chronicle of Higher Education dropped a long-form feature essay on December 5th, 2019.  The essay detailed a first-person account written by a recent PhD graduate abandoned, shamed, and harassed by their dissertation advisor. The essay’s author found … Continue reading Academia, Your Whorephobia is Showing