Guest Contributors

Become a Guest Contributor

Are you an Americanist (however you choose to define that)? Or, an affiliate who engages American literary studies in the classroom? Do you have teaching practices you would like to share?

Well, you are in the right place. Join our conversation by becoming a guest contributor and help build this teaching resource for American literary studies. Check out what others have contributed below. As you can see, there are a range of focuses and concerns addressed in the posts. What do you do in the classroom? Which texts are important to you? How do your students respond?

If you would like to share with this growing teaching community, send an email to teachingPALS at gmail dot com telling us what you would like to contribute.

Guest Contributors


Adam Golub breaks down his interdisciplinary approach that introduces students to American monsters in .

Thomas Hallock steps into the summertime role of student in .

Matthew Luter tackles teaching literary theory by introgating fact or fiction in .

Matthew Teutsch lays out what a “Nordic” identity might mean to the characters of West Egg and East Egg in The Master Race? Xenophobia and Racism in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

Jacinta Yanders rethinks assignment choice while teaching Intro to Fiction online in .


Marlowe Daly-Galeano lays out the logistics and rewards of taking literature outside of the classroom in Bringing Moby-Dick to the People: A Reading Marathon as a Class Community Engagement Project

Theresa Dietrich shares her strategies for maximizing one time guest lectures that quickly orient students and move to larger ideas in Fostering Complexity in the Age of Oversimplification: Teaching American Culture in 90 Minutes or Less Part One and Part Two.

Katie Fitzpatrick opens a space for her students process current US politics through American literature in Teaching Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America after Charlottesville.

Darcy Mullen returns again with questions about how we conceive of literature in “The Times They Are A Changin”: Teaching Bob Dylan, the Nobel Laureate Winner.

Jessica Thelen fills gaps in students American history knowledge with literature in .

Cheylon Woods invites us into the past with different approaches to using materials in Treasures from the Archives.

Clay Zuba implores us to reconsider what we think we know about our new college students in .


Tiffany Austin pushes students through their discomfort with ambiguity in Irreverently Teaching Junot Diaz’s This Is How You Lose Her.

Naomi Clark catalogues some of her go to pieces for exploring race and rhetoric in the classroom in Teaching Resources for Talking about Race in a “Post-Truth” Era.

Kelli Hansen provides us with valuable insights from her experience as a librarian in Collaborating with Your Special Collections Librarian.

Caitlin L. Kelly shows students what revision looks on the practical level like in Teaching Revision through Hamilton: An American Musical of our 4 part Hamilton series.

Laura Miller engages students in 18th-C reader records through a contemporary entry point in Early American Library History and Digital Humanities Using Hamilton of our 4 part Hamilton series.

Darcy Mullen adds another population’s potential needs to the non-traditional student category in The Burst of The ITT Tech Bubble and Pedagogical Support.

Megan Peiser walks us through how to move student writing into the public space in Digital Literacy and Women in Knowledge-Building Systems: #MOWomenOnWikipedia.

Daniel Schweitzer shares his imitation assignment sequence and students’ approaches in Teaching Edgar Allan Poe’s Poetry and Writing Philosophy through Imitation and Response.

Carli Sinclair deciphers non-linear narrative and complex world building with students in Teaching Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Philip Smith interrogates the possibilities and payoffs of teaching texts from students’ childhoods in Teaching Disney, Part One: Hypertextuality, The Formula, and Gender and Teaching Disney, Part Two: Race and Ethnicity, and Economics.

Sunny Stalter-Pace begins with historians when bringing American theater into the literature classroom in Teaching Hamilton: An American Musical as Contemporary American Drama of our 4 part Hamilton series.

Christina Stubbs offers a student perspective about what teaching strategies impacted her learning in From an English Major: Reflections on Two Undergrad Classroom Experiences.

Larry S. Su uses William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” to demonstrate how he teaches students to focus on the formal elements of short fiction in Reflections on Teaching Style in Short Stories.

Randi Tanglen challenges captivity narratives two Native rejoinders in Misattribution and Repurposing the Captivity Trope: Teaching Louise Erdrich and Sherman Alexie with Mary Rowlandson’s The Sovereignty and Goodness of God  and then returns with an in depth class activity that provides students choice over their course readings in Student-Centered, Collaborative Learning and “Literature Circles” in the American Literature Classroom.

Jacinta Yanders brings her background in film studies and students’ interest in digital media to rethink how we compose texts in What’s in a Composition?.


Elaina Frulla presents a new relevance for the often overlooked Richard Brautigan with our 21st century students in Walking through Richard Brautigan’s Antique Shop: Brautigan’s Relevance in the Contemporary College Classroom.

Rachel Michelle Hanson explains how she teaches Natanya Ann Pulley’s “The Way of Wounds”as a model for her creative nonfiction students’ writing in Unpacking the Personal Essay: Teaching Structure and Avoiding Cliché in Creative Nonfiction Workshops.

Catherine Hostetter explores community colleges’ student populations and student expectations in Considering the Rhetorical Situation: Teaching Literature and Composition at the Community College.

Christina Katopodis engages with the challenges and benefits of non-canonical American literature in Addressing Despair in the Classroom: An Ecocritical Approach to Non-Canonical American Writers and how to build classroom community while students explore the nature of the cityscape in Student-Driven Pedagogy in the Early American Survey Course.

Caitlin L. Kelly considers the intersection of British literature and America in Teaching Transatlantic Influence.

Christine Kozikowski questions the way we adapt our content when accounting for the expectations of different course numbers in Same Class, Different Day?: Teaching Similar Content at Different Course Levels.

Sheila Liming reflects on her experiences with theory as both student and professor in the two part series Loving the Alien: or, Making Theory Useful to the Undergraduate Literature Classroom, Part 1 and Loving the Alien: or, Making Theory Useful to the Undergraduate Literature Classroom, Part 2.

Tawnya Ravy advocates for the value of students, from community colleges in particular, in the production and use of digital humanities projects in The #DHattheCC Project: Digital Humanities Needs Community Colleges.

Matthew Teutsch proposes an approach for teaching adaptation of multicultural texts inspired by the NEH Summer Institute featuring the works of Ernest Gaines in  “I think Aladdin looked kinda white”: Teaching Cultural Projection in the Classroom.

Mariko Turk brings in 1950 issues of a popular women’s magazine to show students how dominant cultural ideologies are critiqued in literature in Using the Ladies’ Home Journal to Teach Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar.

James Van Wyck interviews a 21st century poet to explore the additional possibilities for teaching contemporary literature in When the Author Isn’t Dead: Teaching the Work of Living Poets, an Interview with Poet/Scholar Jordan Windholz.