October 2011

Mid-Semester Round-up

Though it may or may not technically be mid-semester where you are, here in the Valley we've just sailed through Fall Break, have had mid-semester reports requested, stared down a few stacks of papers, and the leaves are still pondering a color change. We thought it might be try a new format, a few recent posts on technology, pedagogy, and the classroom from around the interwebs. If you have another favorite post or site from the past month or so, please do pass it along.

Mark Sample on reading Frankenstein aloud. A practical guide and reflection on how reading prose aloud might help enhance classroom discussion and analysis.

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Biography in the Romantic Literature Classroom

I’ve just now had the chance to read Heather Jackson’s engaging essay “What’s Biography Got to Do With It?” in the June 2011 ERR (this was her plenary at the 2010 NASSR, a conference I sadly had to miss; from the papers in ERR, it looks like it was extraordinary!). I’d been meaning to get to this article since the issue arrived and I’m glad I finally did. Jackson looks back at the world of Romantic-era literary biography in order to think about why our own students (and the general public) often seem so stubbornly invested in talking about writers’ lives when we want them to talk about literary works, and she comes up with some provocative answers—for instance:

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