Month: November 2015

"’The Vanishing American’ in American Literature" Syllabus

Last year, I wrote a post on the Ernest J. Gaines Center’s blog about William Apess and Daniel Webster. The post examines Apess’s and Webster’s views in regards to the date commemorating the Pilgrim’s arrival at Plymouth Rock (December 22). Today, I want to take the time to share with you a syllabus I constructed for an Early American Literature class. Entitled “The Vanishing … Read More "’The Vanishing American’ in American Literature" Syllabus

Mark Twain’s "The War Prayer" & #JeSuisParis

#prayfortheworld, Leemarej, ink on paper, 2015 Scrolling through my Facebook feed a couple of days after the events in Paris, I came across a post that referenced Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer.”  Twain’s story, published posthumously in 1923, takes place in an unnamed country preparing for war. Community members, filled with patriotism, gathered at the local church before the soldiers (volunteers) departed for the … Read More Mark Twain’s "The War Prayer" & #JeSuisParis

Bloomingdale’s and the Visual Analysis Essay

When teaching composition, one of my favorite assignments has always been the visual analysis essay. This semester, students must choose one or two advertisements and analyze them, looking at audience, context, message, format, and other items. As usual, reality outside of the classroom always has a way of seeping in to the discussions, even in a composition course. Bloomingdale’s Holiday Catalog Page Last week, … Read More Bloomingdale’s and the Visual Analysis Essay

Embracing Cellphones in the Classroom: My Recent Experiences

Update: The things I discuss in the post may not be feasible for every classroom due to students not having these forms of technology. I would not incorporate these techniques into my classroom if I felt like it would alienate some students because they did not have access to cellphones, tablets, or laptops. This semester, I noticed that in every class (three) each student had some form … Read More Embracing Cellphones in the Classroom: My Recent Experiences

John A. Williams’s "Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light"

Over the summer John A. Williams passed away. Last week, I picked up his novel Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light (1969), a work that resonates some 45 years after its initial publication because of the topics it tackles. Taking place in 1973, the narrative focuses. mainly on Eugene Browning, and African American middle-aged male who works for the Institute for Racial Justice (IRJ). At … Read More John A. Williams’s "Sons of Darkness, Sons of Light"