Teaching

 

Academic Writing, University of Lethbridge, Academic Writing Department

In the Fall of 2016, I taught three sections of Academic Writing. Writing 1000 is designed to help students develop skills in academic reading, writing, and reasoning at the university level. Students in my class learn rhetorical strategies for summary, analysis, and persuasion, with particular emphasis placed on writing research papers. There is also a grammar unit, which addresses typical sentence-level and punctuation problems for students who write in academic contexts.

Required Readings:

Giltrow, Janet, et al., Academic Writing: an Introduction. 3rd ed.
Keith & Lundberg, The Essential Guide to Rhetoric.
Hacker & Sommers, A Canadian Writer’s Reference. 6th ed.
Strunk, W. & White, E. The Elements of Style
Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report

Survey of Children’s Literature, University of Lethbridge, English Department

In the Spring of 2016, I co-taught Survey of Children’s Literature with Elizabeth Galway. This 2000 level course examined a range of children’s literature from the early nineteenth century to the present day. We read early didactic literature, fairy tales, fantasy, realistic fiction, and adventure narratives, and considered some of the key theoretical approaches to the study of children’s literature. Topics included: the role of the adult in children’s literature; the importance of historical and cultural contexts; issues of class and race; the treatment of death; adventure narratives; the school story; and changing definitions of children and children’s literature.

Required Readings:

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terabithia
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Canadian Literature, 1867-1914, University of Lethbridge, English Department

This 3000 level course examined the development of literature in Anglophone Canada from Confederation in 1867, until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Close attention was paid to developing notions of Canadian identity and citizenship. Key themes included immigration, race, citizenship, national identity, regionalism, and gender. We questioned how Canadian Literature is affected and has been affected by the political, social, and cultural conditions of the nation and its citizens.

Required Readings:

Isabella Valancy Crawford, Winona: or, the Foster Sisters
James De Mille, The B.O.W.C: a Book for Boys
Stephen Leacock, Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside
A selection of poems from Carole Gerson & Gwendolyn Davies’ Canadian Poetry from the Beginnings Through the First World War

Canadian Contemporary Young Adult Fiction, University of Lethbridge, English Department

This 3000 level course focused on the characteristics of young adult literature. The course had two main aims: first, to approach the texts individually as works of literary art, and, second, to consider how these texts function as representations of Canadian young adult fiction. Our discussions were framed by questions such as: who are young adults? How can we define young adult fiction? In what ways can literature belong to children and/or young adults? Are definitions important?

Required Readings:

Fran Kimmel, The Shore Girl
Amy Bright, Swimmers
Richard Van Camp, The Lesser Blessed
Pam Porter, The Crazy Man
Tim Wynne-Jones, Blink and Caution
Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, This One Summer
Polly Horvath, One Year in Coal Harbour
Raziel Reid, When Everything Feels Like the Movies

Literature and the Environment, Trent University, English Department

This second-year lecture and seminar course took a historical and thematic approach to the study of the environment in literature. We studied examples of nature and environmental writing in a broad range of American, British, and Canadian texts through an ecocritical perspective. The aims of this course were to introduce students to the history, theory, and practice of environmental criticism. We focused on the key themes and debates that continue to define this literary field.

Required Readings:

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Greg Garrard, Ecocriticism
Barbara Gowdy, The White Bone
Don McKay, Strike/Slip
Susanna Moodie, Roughing it in the Bush
Eden Robinson, Monkey Beach
Henry David Thoreau, Walden; or, Life in the Woods

 

Undergraduate Supervision

Language, Communication, and Literacy, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

This foundation paper considered a range of issues associated with children’s development and learning, with particular emphasis on the way different social and cultural formations affect language acquisition, communication, and literacy practices in Britain and in parts of the developing world.

Children and Literature, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

This course engaged with broad critical questions and issues concerned the nature of children’s literature. We encountered a variety of critical approaches to the study of children’s literature—close reading, as well as literary, psychoanalytic, historical, semiotic, reader response and sociocultural theory. The emphasis throughout was on developing a discriminating sense of the kinds of pleasure that children’s literature affords the reader.

Selected Required Readings

L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
R.L. Stevenson, A Child’s Garden of Verses
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Edith Nesbit, Five Children and It
Philip Pullman, Northern Lights
Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
Shaun Tan, The Red Tree
Meg Rosoff, How I Live Now