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 Roundtable: Digital Teaching Strategies in a Pandemic

While many of us have taught online before, we have not done so in the circumstances of a pandemic. Also, most of us have not been faced with a situation where the planning for our classes is so up in the air and where we have to switch between face to face plans and digital … Continue reading PALS Roundtable: Digital Teaching Strategies in a Pandemic

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

What’s in a survey?

This spring I had a rare chance to teach a literature survey course that is required for our English majors and minors. I taught a similar course as a doctoral student at the University of Missouri nearly a decade ago, which has remained my favorite course for all of those years. Both then and now, … Continue reading What’s in a survey?

Arrrrrrr! It’s time to Treasure Hunt with Dickinson!

Avast, me hearties, and an ahoy to those of you whose distance-teaching semesters are winding down. Why are you reading this? Please go feed your sourdough starter instead. (And then, please help me to understand how to feed mine. That burping thing it’s doing right now—is that good? Bad? Oh why did I accept this … Continue reading Arrrrrrr! It’s time to Treasure Hunt with Dickinson!

Tips for Faculty Teaching African American Languages and Literature

PALS is excited to welcome a guest post by Carly Overfelt. Overfelt writes about the mistakes that white people can make when teaching African American languages and literature and provides information about how to do this better in the classroom. Several weeks ago, a news story circulated on Twitter about a high school student who … Continue reading Tips for Faculty Teaching African American Languages and Literature

Teaching Whitman with Whitman, Alabama

PALS is pleased to have another guest post by Matthew Luter. See Luter's first post here. In this post he explores teaching Walt Whitman with Whitman, Alabama and explains the digital project that he has designed to go along with the reading. I teach a yearlong American literature survey regularly. And I tend to use … Continue reading Teaching Whitman with Whitman, Alabama

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

How to Make a Comps List: Tips & Tricks for Grad Students and Advisors

In writing this post I am struck with the realization that “Wow, it’s been almost a decade since I made my comps list!” It was a time of excitement. Putting together the comps was like selecting a menu of awesomeness: a wish list of things I wanted to read for a long time, but didn’t … Continue reading How to Make a Comps List: Tips & Tricks for Grad Students and Advisors

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

“Not to Drill, but to Create”: The Value of Service-Learning in a Transcendentalism-Themed Composition Course

PALS is very excited to have a guest post by LuElla D'Amico who teaches at the University of Incarnate Word in Texas. In this post, D'Amico explains the set up of her composition course which uses transcendentalism as a way to support students' formation of a scholarly community. This community building and academic learning is … Continue reading “Not to Drill, but to Create”: The Value of Service-Learning in a Transcendentalism-Themed Composition Course

Strategies for Teaching Blocked Writers

PALS Note: We are happy to have Aaron Colton take us through his composition course that focuses on the ever pervasive writer's block. Both Colton and his students made unexpected discoveries along the way. Join us as we get a glimpse into that journey. On the first day of the fall 2018 semester at Georgia … Continue reading Strategies for Teaching Blocked Writers