Teaching Portfolio

 

  • Employment
  • Teaching Statement
  • Course List
  • Proposals
  • Sample Assignments

Associate Professor

Georgia College & State University
2013 - present
semester system, 4/3 load (course release for undergraduate literature program coordination)

Assistant Professor

Georgia College & State University
2008 - 2013
semester system, 4/3 load (course release for graduate student coordination)

Visiting Assistant Professor

Grand Valley State University
2006 - 2008
semester system, 4/4 load

Visiting Assistant Professor

University of Louisville
2003 - 2006
semester system, 4/3 load (course release for research)

Graduate Teaching Associate

The Ohio State University
1997 - 2003
quarter system, 1/1/1 load (instructor of record for all courses)

My primary goal in teaching is to create an encounter between student and literature, between student and world, between student and idea. I help my students open themselves up to literature, to build a habit of reading that engages in active dialogue with the ideas and the possibilities of mind that the work affords. In order for them to understand what the text is saying and thus formulate their response, they must have the tools to analyze the work and interpret its meaning. These tools include formal and thematic examination, making connections among works, and, most importantly, articulating and composing their own written responses to the work at hand.

 

The first step I take with my students is simply the practice of reading, and reading actively. In composition and critical theory classes, I generally assign two essays per class. How are students to write about ideas if they don't read about ideas; how are students to learn literary theory if they don't actually read primary texts in the field? In literature classes, I typically assign a book per week or week and a half—a novel, a book of poetry, a play. How are students to learn an author's world view by reading excerpts? I use discussion boards in which students post article summaries or literature responses before class; and then I ask them to informally present their ideas at the start of class. The responses not only compel students to become comfortable with the basics of the plot but also encourage them to analyze the work on their own and thereby broach issues for class discussion. The public forum obliges them to think deeply, critically, and responsibly about their response; and the written aspect allays the anxieties of those students uncomfortable with speaking in class, not to mention that it gives those anxious students a tangible document to refer to during class discussion.

 

My in-class teaching style employs group activities and class discussion in order to exemplify my dialogic approach to reading literature. I generally start a session in a survey course with a short lecture on the period and then ask my students to respond to an essay or two depicting the basic tenets of the period. When I teach a book over the course of two or three meetings, I devote the first day to initial student response like emotion and taste and understanding of the book's plot and style; on subsequent days, discussion moves to critical evaluation of literary theme and authorial world view, aesthetics and literary movement. The first day encourages students of all abilities to participate while the second day gives the exemplary undergraduates and the graduate students a space to engage the work on their own terms. If a text is particularly difficult or over brimming with ideas, I will create an in class group activity to break it down into small, meaningful parts that students can understand on their own so we as a class can put the text back together as a thematic whole on the next day of discussion. Another benefit of in class activities for undergraduate/graduate split level courses is that graduate students can be put in groups with each other and have time to discuss the work with other graduate students. Formal analysis leads to thematic discussion of the work.

 

The initial forays into analysis afforded by discussion board responses, in class activities, and class discussion set the stage for independent thinking in formal papers. In regular composition courses, I often assign essays that promote rigorous analysis about cultural issues discussed in class; I teach Honors composition as a great ideas course. After students practice arguing their own ideas, I add another element to the mix: research. In lower division courses, I assign group annotated bibliography assignments that require both website and presentation components in order to put into responsible practice the habits of analysis and interpretation taught in the course. Groups read a work of literature, research it, and teach it to the class. Annotated bibliographies encourage students to practice reading and evaluating critical sources; and they lead to a final paper, which I emphasize should foreground students ideas and use the research as support. After my students complete such a project with the help of their peers, I find that they are much better able to enter into a longer critical project independently. I encourage my students to pick a topic or author they still have questions about and would like to think more about; they can even compare and contrast it with a work outside the class reading list.

 

Making connections among texts constitutes the final step of my students' dialogue with literature. My final exams require students to compare and contrast the world views of the works authors regarding particular themes. My favorite exam question challenges my students to determine the thematic arc that runs through a preponderance of the works discussed. This encourages the students to think about and summarize the course for themselves. More importantly, in the setting of the final exam, it allows them to punctuate a conversation begun with and about literature at the beginning of the term. For each of my students, my courses commence with the simple notion of active reading and conclude with a dialogue between the self and a work of literature. My professorial philosophy is to teach my students a rigorous method of self- and literary inquiry.

Course Sites Syllabi Assignments

English 1101 English Composition composition course, essay oriented

Fall 2008

Fall 2008

Fall 2009

Fall 2009

Fall 2009 (Honors)

Fall 2009 (Honors)

Maymester 2010

Maymester 2010

Fall 2010 (Honors)

Fall 2010 (Honors)

Fall 2011 (Honors)

Fall 2011 (Honors)

Fall 2012 (Honors)

Fall 2012 (Honors)

English 1102 English Composition IIcomposition course, literature oriented

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Spring 2012

Spring 2012

Fall 2013 (Honors)

Fall 2013 (Honors)

Fall 2016

Fall 2016

English 2110 World Literature

world literature course

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

English 2130 American Literature

survey course

Fall 2016

Fall 2016

English 2200 Writing about Literature

gateway course for English majors

Fall 2008

Fall 2008

Spring 2009

Spring 2009

Fall 2015

Fall 2015

English 3900 Critical Approaches to Literature

theory survey course

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Spring 2012

Spring 2012

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

Spring 2016

Spring 2016

English 4110/5110 Literary Criticism
theory specific course

Spring 2009

Spring 2009

Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Fall 2015

Fall 2015

English 4440/5440 Modern Drama

genre course

Spring 2010

Spring 2010

Fall 2011

Fall 2011

Spring 2016

Spring 2016

English 4446/5446 Modern Poetry
genre course

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

English 4665/5665 American Literature from 1920 to the Present

period course

Fall 2010

Fall 2010

Spring 2012

Spring 2012

Fall 2012

Fall 2012

Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Fall 2016

Fall 2016

English 4850/5850 Special Topics: Single Author
single author course

Fall 2011
Don DeLillo

Fall 2011

English 4950/5950 Special Topics
special topics course

Fall 2012
Film

Fall 2012

Fall 2015
Film

Fall 2015

English 4970 Thesis

BA Thesis Capstone project

 

 

English 4980 Study Abroad

Capstone project

 

 

English 6685 Graduate Seminar in Critical Approaches to Literature
graduate course

Fall 2009
Postmodern Novel

 

English 6690 Variable Topics
graduate course

Spring 2014
Postmodern American Poetry

 

English 6970 Thesis
MA thesis

 

 

English 6971 MFA Thesis
MFA thesis

 

 

Georgia College First Year 1000 Critical Thinking

first-year seminar

Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Spring 2015

Spring 2015

Spring 2016
SciFi and Philosophy

Spring 2016



English 205 Literatures in English
introduction to literature course

Fall 2006
obsessive love

Fall 2006

 

Winter 2007
obsessive love

Winter 2007

 

Fall 2007
postmodern detective fiction

Fall 2007

English 225 American Literature I: to 1860

survey course

Winter 2007

Winter 2007

English 226 American Literature II: from 1860

survey course

Fall 2006

Fall 2006

Winter 2007

Winter 2007

Fall 2007

Fall 2007

English 335 Literature of American Minorities

minority literature course

Fall 2006
coming of age

Fall 2006

 

Winter 2008
coming of age

Winter 2008

 

English 386 Literary Responses to Death and Dying

theme course

Winter 2007

Winter 2007

English 399 Independent Studies

independent studies course

 

 

Liberal Studies 310 Creativity

liberal studies course

Winter 2008

Winter 2008

Liberal Studies 314 Life Journey

liberal studies course

Fall 2007

Fall 2007

English 101 Introduction to College

Writing
composition course

Fall 2005
American myths

Fall 2005

 

English 102 Intermediate College Writing

composition course, research oriented

Spring 2004

Spring 2004

Spring 2005

Spring 2005

Spring 2006
pop culture

Spring 2006

 

English 310 Writing about Literature

gateway course for English majors

Fall 2003
dreams

Fall 2003

 

Fall 2004
coming of age

Fall 2004

 

Spring 2005
existentialism

Spring 2005

 

English 311 American Literature I

survey course

Fall 2003

Fall 2003

Fall 2005

Fall 2005

English 312 American Literature II

survey course

Fall 2003

Fall 2003

Fall 2004

Fall 2004

Spring 2006

Spring 2006

English 319 American Literature from 1830 to 1865

period course

Fall 2004

Fall 2004

English 322 American Literature from 1960 to Present

period course

Spring 2004

Spring 2004

English 382 Contemporary Poetry in Engish

period and genre course

Fall 2005

Fall 2005

English 491 Interpretive Theory, The New Criticism to the Present

capstone theory course for English majors

Spring 2004

Spring 2004

Spring 2005

Spring 2005

Fall 2005

Fall 2005

Spring 2006

Spring 2006

English 501/502 Independent Study

Honors thesis

 

 

English 110 First-Year English Composition

first-year composition course

Autumn 1997

Autumn 1997

Winter 1998

Winter 1998

Spring 1998

Spring 1998

Summer 1998

Summer 1998

Summer 2000

Summer 2000

English 260 Introduction to Poetry

genre course

Autumn 2001

 

Winter 2002

 

Autumn 2002

 

English 261 Introduction to Fiction
genre course

Spring 2000
identity crises

Spring 2000

Summer 2001
fiction and reality

Summer 2001

Winter 2003
postmodern identity quests

Winter 2003

 

 

Spring 2003
repression

Spring 2003

 

English 263 Introduction to Film
genre course

Spring 2002
psychosis

Spring 2002

 

English 291 U.S. Literature: 1865 to Present

second course in two-course American literature survey sequence

Winter 2001

Winter 2001

English 367 The American Experience

second-level, research-oriented composition course for upperclassmen

Autumn 1998

culture wars

Autumn 1998

 

Winter 1999

culture wars

Winter 1999

 

Spring 1999
culture wars

Spring 1999

 

Autumn 1999
women writers

Autumn 1999

 

Winter 2000
women writers

Winter 2000

 

Autumn 2000
male psychosis

Autumn 2000

 

Spring 2001
family drama

Spring 2001

 

Undergraduate Courses

British Literature II Survey Course
second course in two-course British literature survey sequence

Post-Postmodernism?
period and genre course

Bret Easton Ellis
single author course

Graduate Courses

Twentieth-Century Poetry

poetry course

Existential Psychoanalysis

theory course

Degree Program

Literature Major

core curriculum and major requirements

Teaching Positions

Composition

tenure-line position in composition

Film and New Media

tenure-line position in film and new media

Papers

English 322 American Literature from 1960 to the Present (UofL, Spring 2004)

English 1102 English Composition I (Honors, GCSU, Fall 2009)

Liberal Studies 310 Creativity (GVSU, Winter 2008)

Exams

English 226 American Literature II: from 1860 (GVSU, Fall 2007)

English 491 Interpretive Theory, The New Criticism to the Present (UofL, Spring 2005)

English 4440 Modern Drama (GCSU, Spring 2010)

Group Projects

English 310 Writing about Literature (UofL, Fall 2004)

English 335 Literature of American Minorities (GVSU, Fall 2006)

English 2200 Writing about Literature (GCSU, Spring 2009)

Discussion Boards

English 319 American Literature from 1830 to 1865 (UofL,

Fall 2004)

English 322 American Literature from 1960 to the Present (UofL, Spring 2004)

English 3900 Critical Approaches to Literature (GCSU, Spring 2010)

Peer Response

English 205 Literatures in English (GVSU, Winter 2007)

English 310 Writing about Literature (UofL, Fall 2004)

English 1101 English Composition (GCSU, Maymester 2010)

Informal and Journal Writing

English 260 Introduction to Poetry (OSU, Fall 2002)

English 310 Writing about Literature (UofL, Fall 2003)

English 4110/5110 Literary Criticism (GCSU, Spring 2009)

Soundtracks

English 4110 Literary Criticism (GCSU, Fall 2010)

Liberal Studies 314 Life Journey (GVSU, Fall 2007)

Study Questions

English 226 American Literature II: from 1860 (GVSU, Fall 2006)

English 263 Introduction to Film (OSU, Spring 2002)

English 4110/5110 Literary Criticism (GCSU, Fall 2010)

In Class Group Activities

English 205 Literatures in English (GVSU, Winter 2007)

English 319 American Literature from 1830 to 1865 (UofL, Fall 2004)

English 1101H English Composition I (GCSU, Fall 2009)