Category Archives: This Week In My Classes

This Week In My Classes: Mercy and Tenderness in “Lizzie Leigh”

Our reading for today in The Victorian ‘Woman Question’ was Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1850 short story “Lizzie Leigh.” We’re reading it at the end of a cluster of other works that deal with ‘fallen women,’ including Aurora Leigh, Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “Jenny,” Augusta Webster’s “A Castaway,” and Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” (which, we agreed, is certainly about women and sexual […]

Last Week In My Classes: Where’d They Go?

I’ve been feeling a bit downcast since Friday, because attendance absolutely plummeted in the tutorials for my Close Reading class and I can’t stop worrying about why — and wondering what to do about it. My particular cause for concern is that last week, as you might recall, we started working on Middlemarch. I brought all […]

This Week In My Classes: In the Thick of It All

First of all, where did this past week even go? It feels like just yesterday I was writing my previous post, in a flush of enthusiasm about Aurora Leigh, and now we’ve wrapped up our time with it in The Victorian ‘Woman Question.’ After Wednesday’s student presentation, we’ll be moving on, first to a pair of poems about ‘fallen women’ (Dante […]

This Week In My Classes: The Radicalism of Aurora Leigh

In my seminar on the Victorian ‘Woman Question,’ we started work last week on Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 1856 verse-novel Aurora Leigh. It’s usually kind of hard going for the students: although it does have many of the familiar features of a Victorian marriage plot novel, it also includes (among quite a bit of more miscellaneous material) […]

This Week In My Classes: A Rogues’ Gallery of Style

Over the past few weeks in Close Reading we have been working on disentangling specific elements of poetry and fiction in order to improve the precision of our analysis. We’ve focused, for instance, on tone and diction, on figurative language, on imagery, on symbolism, on rhythm, on point of view, on narrative voice, on characterization, and […]

This Week In My Classes: Back At It Again

I was struggling over what to write about in this post, which begins the 10th season of my blogging regularly about my teaching. What angle, what big idea, what topic, should I focus on? What do I have to say that’s new? I couldn’t seem to think of anything. And then I remembered that when I started […]

Next Week In My Classes: Back to School!

It happens so gradually at first: there’s a slight chill in the evening air, the sky is a little darker on my morning run, the leaves look just a little less green. Then a faint hum begins on campus: more people are in their offices, the sidewalks are a bit more crowded, signs of arrivals […]

This Week In (Planning) My Classes: High Impact Practices

I’ve been roughing out schedules for my 2016-17 courses — even the winter term ones, because before I can order books for them I need some idea of how the readings will fit in. As I consider how best to allocate class time, especially for my first-year class, I’ve also been thinking about a very […]

This Week In My Classes: Planning Ahead

Technically, this post should really be called “This Week For My Classes,” since of course I’m not actually teaching any right now. In between other projects, though (mostly finishing a small essayish review of Mary Balogh’s Only Beloved for the next issue of Open Letters — yes, that’s right, I am trying my hand at writing a little bit about […]

Weekend Catch-Up: Reading, Thinking, Watching

Where does the time go? It seems like I only just finished reading The Danish Girl, but here it’s almost a whole week later and I haven’t written another word here. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. In fact, in among the other business of the week (which included the department’s traditional “May marks meeting” […]

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