On your mark…get set…email?

One of my pet peeves as an educator is when instructors complain about students’ lack of email etiquette (though I know I have also been guilty of this in the past). Instead, like many other educators, I have stopped complaining about student emails, which are merely a product of unfamiliarity with the genre’s conventions. Just …

Read more

Reflections on the dissertation, one year in

This blog, a reflection on my dissertation project one year into the process, was originally produced as a talk for the 2016 Futures of American Studies Institute. It includes an overview of my dissertation (a snapshot of how I’m concurrently conceptualizing it, though it continues to evolve), some more specific work from the chapter on Audre …

Read more

Five Principles for a Dynamite Teaching Statement

Just because you have never written a statement of your teaching philosophy does not mean you do not have a philosophy. If you engage a group of learners who are your responsibility, then your behavior in designing their learning environment must follow from your philosophical orientation…. What you need to do is discover what [your …

Read more

American Literature, American Learning Interview with Danica Savonick, Cathy Davidson & Jade Davis

See a glimpse of the student-centered pedagogy that animates “American Literature and American Learning,” a new course offered by the Futures Initiative. Hear from Cathy N. Davidson, Distinguished Professor and Founding Director of the Futures Initiative; Danica Savonick, Doctoral Candidate in English and Graduate Fellow with the Futures Initiative; and Jade E. Davis, Associate Director …

Read more

Creating Spaces for Conversation: Three Strategies

In a recent blog post, Cathy N. Davidson wrote: “There are personal, cultural, learning, and social reasons people don’t speak up in class.  Students of color and women of all races, introverts, the non-conventional thinkers, those from poor previous educational backgrounds, returning or “nontraditional students,” and those from cultures where speaking out is considered rude …

Read more

Because nothing is sufficient, we must use everything

“Because nothing is sufficient, we must use everything,” Rebecca Fullan recently remarked, which is how I’ve come to understand the relationship between academia and activism. Since beginning my Ph.D. program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center, I’ve struggled with the relationship between academic institutions and the grassroots, community-based, activist work that takes place on …

Read more

Towards a Pedagogy of Equality

Recently, I was invited by the Futures Initiative and HASTAC to offer opening remarks for a year-long conversation, The University Worth Fighting For, a year-long project designed to tie student-centered, engaged practices in our classrooms to larger issues of institutional change, equality, race, gender, and all forms of social justice. Here is an excerpt from my …

Read more