Similar to Mark Redondo Villegas’s confession in The Digital Moves the Real, I was at first hesitant to include more technology in my classroom. It is not just that many instructors think students already spend too many hours on social media—as teachers we often find social media to serve as a distraction from our work more … Continue reading
As an historian of ‘black internationalism,’ I am constantly thinking of new ways to explain the type of work I do, especially to students who encounter the term for the first time. After reading Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah, I decided to revise my black internationalism syllabus (one of my ‘dream courses’). When the opportunity arises to teach it, I will … Continue reading
Political pranksters the Yes Men are among the most insightful activists of our time, and few films skewer the logic of America’s corporate culture better than their 2009 masterpiece, The Yes Men Fix the World. I show the film toward the end of my introductory US history classes, following lessons on the Reagan Revolution (via … Continue reading
On the first day of class I always tell my students to put away their laptops, cell phones, tablets… all “technology.” “We’re going back to caveman days. Your only tools for this class are paper and pencil,” I say sternly, almost scolding. The students in the front smirk as the clapping of closing laptops punctuate my mandate.
As many instructors will agree, electronic technology-usage in the classroom only serves to distract students, permitting them to gently unclasp fragile threads of their attention to the lecture as they check their Facebook statuses, Instagram posts, and Twitter comments.
But this summer in my Asian American Histories course, I did something quite different. I made Instagram a crucial part of their grade. Continue reading
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArnMS6dselE One of the most engaging facets of my own graduate career in American Studies, and in working as a cultural/urban geography professor, is when my students and I are involved in interdisciplinary projects that support community partners. All upper-level students in the geography program at my institution complete projects as part of the Columbus … Continue reading
Strategic Alliances and Strange Bedfellows: A Response to Edmundson’s Why Teach? I began teaching because I wanted to impact students’ lives through literature. Recently, that answer has not seemed to be enough. US higher education is in a state of crisis. The humanities are under siege. Through the rapid corporatization of academia, we are asked, compelled, … Continue reading
Transforming Not Them but Us: Response to Why Teach? by Stephen Brauer Mark Edmundson calls education “soul-making,” repeatedly employing religious rhetoric to impart the power of education to transform the individual who embraces it. While that’s terrific for those who see it on those terms, it is overly idealistic to imagine that most do or … Continue reading
After reading reviews of Mark Edmundson’s book, Why Teach?: In Defense of a Real Education (Bloomsbury, 2013), AMSJ’s editorial staff decided to begin a forum for our readers with four different critiques of the book. We were especially interested in discussing the seismic shifts going on in teaching the humanities in colleges and universities around the country. We selected four … Continue reading
In all of my courses—be it a writing seminar, a history survey, or an upper level discussion seminar—I try to incorporate as much of my own research, writing, and publication strategies into the classroom as possible. This makes it more fun for me and it conveys my enthusiasm for the topics, primary sources, and secondary … Continue reading
I teach a basic version of world-systems theory in a 100-level anthropology class. I go through the three labor sectors, extraction vs. heavy industry vs. financial services, colonialism and capital investment in infrastructure, travel control and citizenship, core-periphery relations, etc. Some students struggle to keep up. Some eyes glaze over. Later in the semester I’m … Continue reading