Every semester, I discuss how American authors sought to carve out their space in a early-nineteenth century world that countered European cultural and artistic influence. As we read throughout the semester, we encounter numerous authors who either explicitly or indirectly address the question, “How do we construct a distinctly American literature?” For me, this topic arises from the outset of the semester due to … Read More Chronicling the Rise of A Distinctly American Literature in the Survey Course
At first, teaching Rosa, or American Genius and Education (1810) in an early American literature survey course seemed somewhat daunting. I frame my courses around conversations, typically beginning with David Walker and Thomas Jefferson then moving around through time and region back and forth from the colonial to the early nineteenth century. I do this to show students that even though these texts appear … Read More “Rosa” and The Formation of an American Literature
Last month, I published “Tumblr, Blogger, and Wikis in the Literature Classroom.” Today, I want to briefly discuss that post then share with you some of the products that students created in my literature survey courses. For the assignment, I gave each group (two students each) a term or historical event. Each group had to have three aspects to their presentation/Tumblr post.
I am always amazed at the similarities between texts in class. I pair texts together for a reason, but it is always satisfying when other similarities and points of discussion arise between paired texts. This happens all of the time, and when I taught Samson Occom (Mohegan) and William Apess (Pequod) last week, new aspects arose that strengthened reading the two authors, separated by … Read More Navigating Two Worlds: Samson Occom and William Apess