• Literary Studies in Marginalized Spaces: the City College SEEK Program

    Literary Studies in Marginalized Spaces: the City College SEEK Program

    In the late 1960s, at the height of the era’s social movements, four of the twentieth century’s most important authors were teaching down the hall from one another at Harlem’s City College. Like the majority of educators today, Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, and Adrienne Rich were not teaching wealthy or even middle-class […] Read more…


  • The Pedagogical Legacy of bell hooks

    The Pedagogical Legacy of bell hooks

    On December 15, the Black feminist scholar, writer, and teacher bell hooks died at her home in Kentucky. She was 69. The author of more than 30 books on subjects from teaching to love to popular culture, hooks is best remembered for developing a feminist vision that insisted on the intersections of race, class, and […] Read more…


  • Collaborative Close Reading Online

    Collaborative Close Reading Online

    This blog explains how collaborative close reading can be done online. I recommend reading that post before this one. Since posting my collaborative close reading activity nearly two years ago, photographs of colorful, annotated excerpts have circulated on social media from classrooms all over the world. As professors have adapted this activity for different classroom contexts, I’ve […] Read more…


  • Interview: Feminism, Activism, and the Digital Humanities

    Interview: Feminism, Activism, and the Digital Humanities

    Interview by Rebekah Jo Aycock I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Danica Savonick over the phone on May 18, 2020. I am grateful for her time and energy towards this project and especially appreciate the opportunity to elevate her important insights about the transformative power and potential risks of using digital technologies in the classroom. As the pandemic ravages […] Read more…


  • Concluding a Course with a Collaborative Public Project: Keywords for Literary Studies

    Concluding a Course with a Collaborative Public Project: Keywords for Literary Studies

    This blog describes how I organized my Introduction to Multicultural Literature course around a collaborative, public final project. Rather than a traditional final paper, the course concludes with students co-authoring a digital glossary of Keywords for Literary Studies. What follows is a lightly edited version of my remarks for the Digital Pedagogy Roundtable at MLA […] Read more…


  • Podcast on Inclusive Teaching

    Podcast on Inclusive Teaching

    Episode 60 of Tea for Teaching podcast hosted by John Kane and Rebecca Mushtare. “Are your class conversations dominated by a small number of voices? In this episode, Dr. Danica Savonick joins us to discuss a variety of class activities that support an inclusive learning environment and promote equity in participation while increasing student learning.” […] Read more…


  • “We was girls together”: Toni Morrison and the Aesthetics of Female Friendship

    “We was girls together”: Toni Morrison and the Aesthetics of Female Friendship

    I first read Toni Morrison in a college literature class on “Experimental Lives.” In this course we traced the will to experiment across novels like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky and Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. At that time, many of us college students were living away from our parents […] Read more…


  • Teaching Public Writing in the Graduate Seminar

    Teaching Public Writing in the Graduate Seminar

    In Fall 2018, I attended an event at my college organized by my colleague Cori McKenzie on “Innovations in English Language Arts Teaching and Learning.” In this event, McKenzie’s graduate students presented their research projects in progress, on topics ranging from the importance of multimodal composition to teaching diverse books in the K-12 classroom. I […] Read more…


  • Teaching with an Index Card: The Benefits of Free, Open-Source Tools

    Teaching with an Index Card: The Benefits of Free, Open-Source Tools

    Every semester, thousands of faculty members create course websites on a learning-management system such as Blackboard or Canvas. Colleges purchase these platforms, which allow professors to post readings, send messages, and facilitate discussions among students. And yet these expensive, proprietary systems are rarely used outside of classrooms. Alternatively, teaching with free, open-source software, including the […] Read more…


  • Collaborative Close Reading

    Collaborative Close Reading

    Close reading – observing the stylistic details of a text in order to analyze an author’s use of language – is a skill taught in almost all college literature classes. Often, I describe this to students as collecting the data that we will eventually use as the evidence to support an interpretation of the text. […] Read more…


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