In which I blog about teaching college courses and researching American Haredi children’s literature. And sometimes medieval British literature or medieval Ashkenazic literature and childhood.
This semester has been so weird. And yet, it’s been amazing. I sat at my desk in my home office … Continue reading The Worst of Times, the Best of Times
Thanks to an amazing series of serendipitous events, I am under contract with Ben Yehuda Press and am soliciting essays … Continue reading Call for Papers: Artifacts of Orthodox Jewish Childhood
Over the past few days on Twitter, there’s been a lot of talk about reassessing and re-evaluating methods used in … Continue reading Online Teaching: A New Semester, A New Plan
On October 29, 2020, over 60 people tuned in from all over the world to participate in “On the Margins … Continue reading From Scandal to Emotional Vulnerability: The Trajectory of OTD Memoirs and Fiction
A week ago, I posted the instructions for moving online that I sent to my students. (Was it really only … Continue reading Teaching in the Time of Corona: Look, Ma! No Plans!
When CUNY shut down for a week, my class was at the tail end of reading and discussing Benjamin Alire … Continue reading Online YA Class: Day 1 (Setting Things Up + The Inexplicable Logic of My Life)
This past week has been a flurry of more global, more intense collegiality than I’ve ever witnessed. It comes as … Continue reading Online Teaching During a Pandemic: Two Syllabi
On Friday, March 6, 2020, I presented a paper at NeMLA in Boston. It was a fantastic experience. This was … Continue reading Sharing Spaces, Shaping Identities: American Haredi Children’s Literature
English 301: British Literature, Origins to 1660 Last semester, I tried something new with my early Brit Lit survey class. … Continue reading Spring 2020: English 301 & English 336
Once again this semester, I’m teaching composition at a new campus. Ah, the life of an adjunct! This time I … Continue reading Going Maverick: Writing Textbooks and Superheroes
In my composition class this week, my students read an essay by Gabriela Moro, “Minority Student Clubs: Segregation or Integration?” … Continue reading Lessons in Club Creation: A Group Activity
“I was able to construct my syllabus and assignments so that the ‘talking about the book’ portion directly teaches about essay-writing.”
There’s just about a week left before classes start. I’m teaching two classes this semester: a survey of medieval and … Continue reading The Fun Begins: Fall 2019 Syllabi
Kristi Fleetwood and I are organizing a session at NeMLA 2020. Below is the CFP for our session. NeMLA’s 51st … Continue reading CFP: Sharing Spaces in Children’s and Young Adult Literature
It’s the end of the semester, and I’m waiting for final papers to come in so I can do some … Continue reading Revising Syllabi and Assignments: Picture Books
This past weekend, I attended and participated in the wonder that is ICMS Kalamazoo. Thousands of medievalists descended on the … Continue reading Textual and Emotional Complexities for a (formerly-Orthodox) Jewish Medievalist
When I teach literature, my focus is on enabling students to make strong arguments about the literature and writing strong … Continue reading Using PowerPoint Projects to Teach Essay Skills
Way back in 2015, what feels like a lifetime ago, I wrote a seminar paper titled “Affective Use of First … Continue reading Grief and Glory: Use of Hebrew Crusades Chronicles and Piyuttim to Deter Adolescent Conversion
It stands to reason that the traits praised by educators are the ones they see as the goal of education.
My own report cards from elementary school provide an interesting window into this question.
I am overjoyed to announce that I am part of a brand-new project, The Bais Yaakov Project. The website is still … Continue reading Announcing: The Bais Yaakov Project!
Sherman Alexie’s essay “The Joy of Reading and Writing: Superman and Me” includes a paragraph about paragraphs: I still remember … Continue reading Comics as a Tool for Summarizing and Understanding Essays
When I was offered a course on Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature at Lehman College for the fall semester, I … Continue reading Syllabus Creation: A Nightmare Within a Dream
Yesterday was the first day of class for my two composition sections at College of Staten Island. Both sections meet … Continue reading Release and Relief on the First Day of Class
I recently helped a friend who was struggling in her undergraduate classes. Her writing is excellent; she’s brilliant. But her … Continue reading A Little Organization Goes a Long Way
As the summer begins to wind down for me (what, it just started? ah well, it’s almost over too), I’m … Continue reading Setting the Bar Low: Teaching Students to Draft
At a Kalamazoo ICMS roundtable titled “Teaching Violence and Trauma in the Premodern Classroom (A Roundtable),” the question arose: How … Continue reading Literary Hindsight: Teaching Medieval Love and Violence
This is a pretty cut-and-dry account of a lesson I planned and how it went. I’m sharing because 1) I’m … Continue reading Race and Religion in The King of Tars: An Undergraduate Lesson
In my first few semesters of teaching Freshman Composition, I wanted to assign papers that weren’t just boring, fill-in-the-requirements topics. … Continue reading Narrow vs. Broad Writing Prompts [or] Full-Class vs. Individual Writing Instruction
My class is usually really lively and loud. We dive into texts and argue about interpretations, and I allow (and … Continue reading Pacing in a Literature Class: A Bit of Luck
I presented this paper at the Pearl Kibre Medieval Society’s conference on “Pre-Modernisms” at the CUNY Graduate Center in October … Continue reading Fighting the Past: Medieval Dragons in Children’s and YA Literature
The dissertation I’m working on now examines medieval literary texts for methods of education, in an attempt to define various … Continue reading Forced Standpoint as Pedagogical Tool
Syllabus prep led me to two versions of the song “Little Red Riding Hood,” by Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs, … Continue reading Little Big Girl: Feminism & Adolescence in "Little Red Riding Hood" Song
This is a revised version of the paper I presented at MLA 2016. It was part of a panel titled … Continue reading Convergence of the Ashkenazic and Sephardic in a Medieval Hebrew-Italian Arthurian Romance
“Minstrels get about and so do students”: The Role of Emotional Attachment and Historical Accuracy in the Impact of Young Adult Fiction
This is a revised version of a paper I delivered at the 2015 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo. … Continue reading “Minstrels get about and so do students”: The Role of Emotional Attachment and Historical Accuracy in the Impact of Young Adult Fiction
[This was written as an assignment for the class “Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Reflections on Theory and Method” with … Continue reading Of Ghosts and Inferi: "Second Generation Memory" and Orthodox Children's Holocaust Literature
As I read the section in Morte Darthur titled “The Poisoned Apple” in Book VII, The Book of Sir Launcelot … Continue reading Remember Me: Memorializing Complex Events on Tombstones in Malory
The story of Balin in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur is littered with moments when Balin seems to watch in horror as events … Continue reading Human Agency and Responsibility in Malory's "Balin or the Knight with the Two Swords"
(I am just beginning to read Malory now but want to write as I read, and not only when I … Continue reading Malory's Merlin: Shadows of the Druids in Arthur's Christian Court
My previous post “Can Sex Be Just Sex? Pleasure and Trauma in YA” was a result of my frustration that when … Continue reading Love and Sex: Synonymous in YA Literature?
The evil twin as a trope in literature is fairly straightforward: A character is extremely virtuous and good, but a … Continue reading My Evil Twin and Me: When the Doppelganger is the Better One
Melinda’s focused and determined attempt to create a perfect tree in art class throughout Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak is obviously … Continue reading Tree of Knowledge: Language, Voice, and Differance
Sex in Young Adult literature – always a contentious topic. Any discussion of trends in the development of YA will … Continue reading Can Sex Be Just Sex? Pleasure and Trauma in YA
As I worked on my final paper for this semester’s class on Animals and Ecology in the Middle Ages, I … Continue reading On Being and Essence (De Ente et Essentia)