Category: Literature


Rereading Lillian Smith’s “Strange Fruit” :Part I

Sometimes, a book, for whatever reason, does not grab you on the first read through. This was definitely the case with Lillian Smith’s Strange Fruit (1944). The first time I read Smith’s bestselling novel, I found it lacking, for a myriad of reasons. I think part of this feeling stemmed from all of the novels I have read, by Black authors, about interracial intimacy, … Read More Rereading Lillian Smith’s “Strange Fruit” :Part I


Multicultural American Literature Syllabus 2021

Over the past two years, I have taught three multicultural American literature courses, at various levels from sophomore to graduate. This fall, I am teaching my fourth, and I am doing things a little differently because it is an upper level course. As I constructed each of the previous courses, I purposefully thought about a wide variety of texts and assignments for students. I … Read More Multicultural American Literature Syllabus 2021


Multicultural American Literature and Pedagogy Syllabus

Every semester, I post the syllabi for the course I am teaching. This semester, I am teaching “Multicultural American Literature,” a graduate level course for education majors. It is an online, asynchronous course, so my approach differs from the face to face classes or online synchronous courses I teach. Since students in this course are education majors, I wanted to focus on things that … Read More Multicultural American Literature and Pedagogy Syllabus


The Unessay Project

Over the past few years, I have tried various new assignments in an attempt to move away, somewhat, from the traditional research essay. In my course “The City in American Literature: New Orleans, Chicago, and New York,” I had students create a collaborative Wiki that consisted of the following: a title page, notes, allusions or references, interactive map, questions about the text, a review … Read More The Unessay Project

“What if . . .?”: Questions About Education

The other day, Beth Loveland emailed me with her thoughts after she read Ashley McCall’s “What If We Radically Reimagined The New School Year?” As I read McCall’s article, I kept thinking about Lillian Smith and her comments to Mr. Hartley about education. McCall asks us, among a myriad of important questions, “What if we recognized that lifeā€”our day-to-day circumstances and our response to … Read More “What if . . .?”: Questions About Education