As a practitioner of Comp Lit, the hats I’ve worn in the classroom are varied, and have become more diverse since I completed my PhD. While my literature teaching has centered on modern literature from Latin American and United States, I’ve had the pleasure and the challenge of teaching everything from 10th Century Arabic poetry to postmodern English drama. Additionally, I have also taught writing composition at all levels, from introductory courses to research-oriented writing to upper-level business writing.
Rhetoric and Composition Courses:
ENGL 101: Writing 1: The Writing Process, Maryville, Spring 2015, Fall 2016.
ENGL 1900: Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research, SLU, Fall 2016.
ENGL 4000: Business & Professional Writing
EAP 4930: GRE Prep
CompLit 384: Painting with Words: Exploring Poetry and Image, Rutgers, Spring 2013.
I was responsible for creating, designing, and teaching this seminar-style course, which focused on the shaping role that visual art played for poetry throughout the 20th Century. This class investigated poetry from across the globe that interprets, imitates, or even becomes visual art. Course material consisted of two components: the theoretical, which ranged from 17th-Century theories of ekphrasis to contemporary criticism of digital media; and the poetic, beginning with late Romanticism and ending with digital poetry. The class was writing-intensive, with two 7-9 page papers and a number of shorter writing assignments. It also incorporated creative exercises, like readings of original work and an in-class surrealist poetry game. The class also featured online components, including digital poetry sites, an activity using the Modernist Journals Project and an interactive course web site:
Our course website: http://rutgerscomplit384.wordpress.com/
CompLit 135: Introduction to Short Fiction, Rutgers, Fall 2012.
I was responsible for all aspects of this introductory-level class. This included choosing themes, creating a syllabus, leading workshops on expository writing, and designing over thirty lectures and discussion plans. Through frequent in-class writing activities, a variety of assigned essays, and periodic workshops, my first priority in this class was to help students improve their written work. Low-stakes production, one-on-one consultation, and limited peer editing complimented students’ graded work. While the course focused mostly on canonical short fiction, my emphasis on close reading within social and historical context was aimed at encouraging students to think of the material as constantly changing with each reading–as dynamic rather than static. For example, in discussing D.H. Lawrence’s “Odour of Chrysanthemums,” I had students compare our current edition with two alternate editions.
CompLit 135: Introduction to Short Fiction (online), Summer 2014.
This shortened version of my Intro to Short Fiction course was taught as a 5-week online summer class, and bore the title “Folklore, Fairytales, and Far-Away Lands: Readings in the Short Story.” This class focused on the importance of the fantastic for the development of the short story form, from Pu Songling’s Strange Tales and the 1001 Nights to postmodern fiction from Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino.
CompLit 201: Literature Across Borders, “Being Human,” Spring 2012.
This class used a range of world literature to introduce students to a historically and culturally diverse range of ideas about what it means to be human. As a teaching assistant, I was responsible for grading student material, teaching workshops on the basics of expository writing, and leading my class of twenty-five students through discussion of material that had been introduced in our weekly lectures delivered by various core and affiliate faculty in Comparative Literature. As a 200-level course in comparative literature, this class aimed to develop students’ skills at cultural and historical comparison. For example in a workshop that I would adapt for use in higher-level courses, I guided students through the difficult process of creating a comparative thesis statement.
CompLit 101: Introduction to World Literature, Fall 2011.
As a teaching assistant, I was responsible for grading student material, teaching workshops on the basics of expository writing, and leading my class of nine students through discussion of material that had been introduced in our weekly lectures delivered by Professor Richard Serrano. This writing-intensive class was designed as a broad introduction to the idea of literary genre, and was divided into three sections: poetry, drama, and narrative. Students encountered classics from a wide range of literary traditions, from Korean and Arabic poetry to Russian drama and the Argentinian novel.
Spanish 131, Intermediate Spanish Language 1, Fall 2013.
As a teaching assistant, I am responsible for designing lesson plans, tutoring students during office hours, proctoring exams, and grading student work. This intermediate course is production-centered, with most class time given to monitored conversation in pairs and in small groups. To supplement material provided by our textbook, I use technology to allow students to encounter and to employ target language in a real-world context: debating short articles from El país.com; discussing songs by artists like Andrés Calamaro; or watching clips on YouTube from around the Spanish speaking world. The web not only provides a wealth of language learning opportunities, but also a means for students to encounter such resources on their own. Often this material proves difficult, but my lesson plans for language classes utilize scaffolding through varied small-group activities, from basic vocabulary review using games like charades to guided debates about campus life, cultural difference, and language learning itself.
Spanish 102, Beginning Spanish Language II (online), Spring 2014, Fall 2014.
In this course, which I taught during the Spring semester, I was responsible for designing lesson plans (via VoiceThread.com), tutoring students during office hours (Skype), proctoring exams (eCollege), and grading student work (Pearson MySpanishLab). This course is intended as introduction to a range of grammatical tenses and as intensive preparation for intermediate-level grammar courses.