Category: Literature

“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

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Ethnic American Literature Syllabus

Every semester, I post my syllabi here. This fall semester the class may look a little different, but the main goals remain. I’m teaching an ethnic American literature class this fall, and the texts that I have chosen to teach this semester come, as usual, from partly my own desire to expand my own knowledge and understanding of different ethnicities, nationalities, and cultures. As … Read More Ethnic American Literature Syllabus

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History and Education in Alice Walker’s “The Third Life of Grange Copeland”

Today, I’m going to finish the discussion I began last week on history and the ways that we construct meaning. In the last post, I looked at Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). For this post, I will focus on one more scene from Gaines’ novel then move on to look at a section from Alice Walker’s The Third Life … Read More History and Education in Alice Walker’s “The Third Life of Grange Copeland”

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“Miss Jane is not in them”: Voices in Historical Narratives

Over the past couple of posts, I have written about the role of history and literature in countering prevailing myths about the past and the present. Today, I want to continue that discussion by looking at a couple of scene from Ernest J. Gaines’ The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1971). On Thursday, I will finish this series by looking at a section from … Read More “Miss Jane is not in them”: Voices in Historical Narratives

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Dirt in Lillian E. Smith’s “Strange Fruit”

Lillian E. Smith’s Strange Fruit (1944) has been on my shelf for a few years now. Right now, it sits back in the United States, untouched and locked away in a box in a storage room. When I purchased it, at a book sale, it was one of those books that I had heard about and that looked relevant to my research. I bought … Read More Dirt in Lillian E. Smith’s “Strange Fruit”