1. Academic Blogging
One of the most rewarding parts of teaching for me is sharing my ideas with other teachers. This is can be limited, however, based on how many teachers we have access to. The scope of my network for pedagogy greatly expanded when I began writing more regularly online and blogging about pedagogy at Pedagogy and American Literary Studies (PALS). This workshop defines academic blogging, focuses on the aims of doing it, and gives insight into the actual writing process. It will be useful for people curious about the process and those experienced with writing online.
2. Teaching with Technology
This workshop is designed to help us think about how to construct assignments that have a digital or online component. I will discuss a few assignments that I have done with my students, such as having them make their own blogs, and a few other assignments that I am interested in but haven’t approached yet, such as having students construct websites for their final projects. We will have the opportunity to brainstorm assignments and work on drafts of potential assignments. One difficult part of non-traditional assignments is that they can be difficult to assess. We will also discuss assessment and fitting non-traditional assignments into course design/course goals.
3. Black Lives Matter Through a Civil Rights Lens
Many teachers of U.S. culture will want to address the recent upheaval in U.S. society and the Black Lives Matter movement that has been formed to address racist treatment from police and other institutions. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin to explain these issues to students. This workshop provides an entry to the Black Lives Matter movement by rooting it and the current situation in U.S. society in a historical context that addresses the history of protest in the United States and the legacy of activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. A historical perspective will help students understand this movement in the context of past race relations in the U.S. and will provide teachers with specific avenues to discuss racism in the U.S.
4. Women Writing War
Born through a revolution, the United States and its history is often told through our relationships with war. For example, the college-level American Literature historical survey of literature is most often divided into “Beginnings to 1865” and “1865 to Present.” 1865 is the date that the Civil War ended. While lots of Americans are taught to examine and critique war, the texts with which we are taught to do so are largely gendered. War writing is often treated as if it is solely the domain of men. This is patently untrue, and the goal of this workshop will be to critique this tendency and consider how to add more diverse voices into our American history lessons.