I teach a wide variety of courses, from surveys in world and British literature to genre courses on the novel and on the short story to graduate courses on poetry and special-topics courses in food blogging, Edwardian literature, adventure fiction, the Brontës, the Bloomsbury Group, and Sherlock Holmes. My signature courses are Mapping the Literature of London, which integrates podcasting and mapmaking software, and the second British Literature survey, which includes the web publishing of student-coded digital editions of literature.
My teaching uses a cultural studies approach to present the texts we read as fully engaging with and participating in a constellation of political, economic, technological, and social milieux. Our close attention to stylistic choices, reflecting my personal obsession with grammar and diction, reveal the rhetorical affordances of technique. If not always consciously understanding it as such, my students learn to follow Fredric Jameson’s dictum to always historicize as we compare course texts to the contemporary, typically mediated utterances that comprise a good deal of their naturally occurring reading. That comparison works not so much by direct comparison of sentences than by analogizing the relationships each text cultivates with its milieux. How does media representation of celebrity gossip recapitulate circulations of Maggie Tulliver’s reputation in George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss? How do social media responses to geopolitical crises refuse the pointed illegibilities of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land?
I have been incorporating student-created digital content, such as course wikis, Twitter feeds, interactive maps, and digital editions, since I began teaching in 2005. Digital humanities methods are as crucial for familiarizing challenging or “foreign” texts—a side mirror making them appear closer than they are—as they are for defamiliarizing them. Charting, mapping, and counting texts turns them from linguistic data (which students feel they understand all too quickly) into a more alien form, making assumptions and generalizations less easy to sustain. In my classroom, as students learn to manipulate textual data, they learn how literature resembles other disciplines (particularly the methodologies of the STEM fields) and how it does not.
- Survey of Western Literature to 1600
- Survey of World Literature from 1600
- The Novel to Jane Austen
- Survey of British Literature from 1800
- 19th Century British Novel
- The 20th Century Hotel Novel
- Soldiers, Spies, and Bureaucrats: Adventure Fiction of the British Empire
- Jane Eyre, Then and Now
- The Brontës: Love and Hate in Yorkshire
- Sherlock Holmes: Canon and Curiosities
- Transatlantic Modern Literature, 1900-1950
- Modern British Fiction, 1900-1945
- Modern Irish Literature
- The Edwardians, Then and Now
- Virginia Woolf
- Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group
- Mapping London Through Literature
- Oceanic Literature and Theory
- Introduction to Critical Reading
- Reading Fiction
- The American Short Story
- Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition
- Social Media as Composition
- Honors Composition: The Rhetoric of Food Blogging
- Freshman Seminar
- Michaela Baca, Summer 2018, “Creating a Repository to Teach Book History Using Digital Editions.”
- Georgia Love, Summer 2018, “The British Novel to 1870.”
- Philip John Hathaway, Spring 2017, “Introduction to the Digital Humanities.”
- Britanee Smith, Spring 2017. “Open Modernisms Digitization Project.”
- Taylor Nutt, Spring 2016. “British Poetry of the First World War.”
- Bibliography (Introduction to Research Methods), Spring 2019.
- Transatlantic Modernist Poetry, Spring 2018.