Seussology

I’m doing it again — teaching an entire course devoted to Dr. Seuss (the link in this sentence takes you to the current draft of the syllabus).  Art!  Politics!  Verse!  Nonsense!  Activism!  These are but some of the subjects we’ll explore in English 710: Dr. Seuss, a graduate-level course which begins on Wednesday. Aiming to…

Harry Potter’s Library

Nine years ago, I started teaching a course I called “Harry Potter’s Library: J.K. Rowling, Texts and Contexts.”  This coming fall, I’ll be teaching it for the seventh time (eighth, if you count the semester I taught two sections).  The course has been so popular that Kansas State University uses it in its promotional materials….

Back-to-School Special, Part I: Children’s Literature & Asymptotes

In my decade of teaching Children’s Literature at the university level, I’ve learned a lot.  But I never feel that I’ve learned quite enough to teach the grad class Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature.  I’m grateful that I’m teaching it now and not ten years ago, but it’s one of those courses that makes me…

Censoring Children’s Literature, Fall 2010

Sometimes, a new course draws on my expertise.  Other times, a new course is a chance for me to develop that expertise.  This class — “Censoring Children’s Literature” — is definitely the latter.  I have an interest in the subject, and I’ve tried to structure the syllabus around major issues concerning the regulation of what…

Literature for Adolescents, Fall 2010

With the fall term imminent (starts Monday), I’m posting a link to the latest iteration of my English 545: Literature for Adolescents. My goal is always “diversity” in many senses of that word.  We read books by writers of different backgrounds (African-American, Iranian, Chinese-American, Latino, Caucasian), genders, sexualities, classes — which are probably the categories most…