In These Uncertain Times: Embracing the Weird in a Contemporary Literature Seminar

PALS welcomes a guest post from Kate Harlin. Harlin is an Assistant Professor of Postcolonial Literature at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. In this post, she writes about the joys and challenges of planning and executing a contemporary literature seminar in her first job during a pandemic. This was going to be a weird semester no … Continue reading In These Uncertain Times: Embracing the Weird in a Contemporary Literature Seminar

PALS Summer 2020 Post Retrospective

During the Before Times, academic summer, running roughly between the start of May and the week after Labor Day, represented a sparse time for PALS site viewership. Yes, we do share new pieces during the summer, but the posts don't always receive the same viewership as posts published outside of academic summer. One great thing … Continue reading PALS Summer 2020 Post Retrospective

Crowdsourced Online Resources for Teaching

Towards the end of the summer we put out a Twitter call for a crowdsourced list of online materials useful for teaching. We heard a wealth of responses from our followers. In the past, we would have turned all those tweets into a Twitter Moment. Alas the Twitter Moments feature is basically unusable. It has … Continue reading Crowdsourced Online Resources for Teaching

Why Moby-Dick?

Why Meme Moby-Dick? You don’t have to be a long-time follower of PALS to know that we post a lot of Moby-Dick content on our Twitter account. And the PALS site, too. Really, though, saying we post a lot of Moby-Dick content doesn’t explain the entirety of our fixation. In general, we post a lot … Continue reading Why Moby-Dick?

How Did Kurt Vonnegut Know There Would Be a Pandemic?

When we plan courses, our choices are deliberate, right? We conscientiously select texts and arrange them in meaningful ways to increase the odds of student engagement, and we envision particular learning outcomes based on the trajectories we spend months setting up. Yet, despite all the planning and preparation, sometimes the most profound moments of learning … Continue reading How Did Kurt Vonnegut Know There Would Be a Pandemic?

Cookbooks Not Novels

I have kept a running list of things students have called novels: plays, essays, articles, both primary and secondary sources of all sorts, poems, textbooks, memoirs, and cookbooks. Given how often I teach cookbooks in the scope of the American Literary tradition I have perhaps encountered this term-swapping with “cookbooks” at a disproportionate rate. Before … Continue reading Cookbooks Not Novels

Try an “I”: Essayistic Narration for Journalists

I recently taught a short intensive course in creative writing—“Nonfiction Bootcamp.” My students traveled from Carleton University’s School of Journalism (Ottawa, Ontario) to spend five weeks in a Yukon-based experiential learning program, Stories North. The program addresses one of the most pressing issues in the Americas: that of Indigenous sovereignty. Stories North asks: how can … Continue reading Try an “I”: Essayistic Narration for Journalists

Sound Writing and Literary Affordances

PALS is pleased to welcome a guest post by Joelle Mann. Mann is currently a lecturer in the Writing Iniatitive at Binghamton University. In her PALS post, Mann writes about teaching students about rhetoric through sound and having students create multimodal projects that include sound. Sonic Pasts and Literary Affordances via JenniferEgan.com When I teach … Continue reading Sound Writing and Literary Affordances

On the Importance of Repetition in Poetry: Robert Hayden and Drake

PALS is pleased to welcome a guest post by Alex Bernstein a poet, teacher, and editor in New York City. Please find below Bernstein's descriptions of how he made Robert Hayden's poetry more accessible through Drake.  Poetry is a great medium for teaching students close reading skills. Usually, when introducing poetry to students who have … Continue reading On the Importance of Repetition in Poetry: Robert Hayden and Drake

Making Room for BIG Books

Despite what some students might think, a semester is really short! All instructors know the feeling of wanting to cover more material than a semester can actually hold. As a result, perhaps especially in survey or genre courses potentially covering centuries of literature, we often opt to teach shorter-length works or excerpts from longer works. … Continue reading Making Room for BIG Books

Comminglings of Law and Literature: Thoughts from the Yukon Territory

I am presently on a Fulbright in Whitehorse, Yukon (northwestern Canada) to write essays. Politics-wise, this year gives me a little window through which to watch Indigenous land claims unfold in the Yukon, and pedagogy-wise it gives me time to observe the special relationship that Yukon College (the future Yukon University) maintains with the territory’s … Continue reading Comminglings of Law and Literature: Thoughts from the Yukon Territory