Democracy demands an engaged and civil electorate, and I believe it is the central job of teachers to prepare students to be creative and curious thinkers who are willing to interrogate their own assumptions. The practice of reading and writing can provide students with tools they need to navigate the world they have inherited.
I have been teaching students of all ages for nearly a decade. I have corralled preschoolers on science field trips and led discussions on Dickens in upper-division college courses. The one constant goal of my teaching practice is to close the gap between my students and their subject. Literature should broaden our sense of the present moment and help us feel the weight of history on our lives. In this sense, a course on British Romanticism is useful because so many questions and anxieties from that period remain unresolved. This focus on immediacy is sensitive to the challenges that face our discipline because these are the same challenges that threaten our civic life.
[Links to some course pages coming soon]