Monday, March 28, 2011

How about that?

While in London, the Press emailed me with readers' reports, two very good readers' reports. I've got a couple of weeks worth of revisions, but fingers crossed, and onto the editorial board in May.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Off to London!

My usual bloggy silence will be interrupted with a different sort of bloggy silence: I'm heading off to London fro Spring Break to do the second iteration of the London Theatre Tour, which some readers (both of you), may recall I blogged about last time in 2007.

Some highlights:
  • This time I have a PhD student doing an independent study and coming along, which will add a bit of peer-camaraderie to the mix.
  • While I'm not as excited about the plays that I was able to secure for my students, our existing schedule leaves a few evenings open for additional theatre, and I'm hoping to catch both Caryl Churchill's Fen and Blank and Jensen's documentary play The Exonerated.
  • The weather forecast currently has every single day forecast for sunny and low 50s. I'm packing an umbrella anyway.
In the meantime, I staying in the Lancaster Gate/Notting Hill Gate area, just north of Hyde Park. Any dining recommendations in the area are very very welcome. In the meantime, I'm off!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

True Stories: a Reading List

I'm teaching a 200-level Contemporary Literature course next semester, which I've taught 3 or 4 times already, and I'm thinking I want to switch it up a bit. Instead of roughly following a "greatest hits of postmodernism" kind of thing, I'm going with the theme "True Stories" focusing on literature of the last 50 years that focus on purportedly true stories that, in their execution, raise issues about the instabilities and the uses of the true, either in terms of life-writing or of history (or, frequently, the intersection of all those things). I haven't quite set my list yet, but I'm looking for other suggestions to add to the list as well. Some possibilities include:

  • David Foster Wallace's essay "E Unibus Pluram"
  • Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
  • Jeannette Winterson, Oranges are not the Only Fruit
  • Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
  • Doug Wright, I Am My Own Wife
  • Rita Dove, Museum
  • Suzan-Lori Parks, Venus
  • Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis
  • Tom Stoppard, Arcadia
  • Tim OBrien, The Things They Carried
  • Art Spiegelman, Maus
  • Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
  • Robin Soans, Talking to Terrorists
This list is already too big, and I have some ideas of which texts to cut, and why, but I'm looking for a great text to act as an exclamation point on the semester, a "good read" that raises interesting questions at a point in the semester when many of those questions have already been raised, and when students are also overwhelmed with end-of-the semester work.

So, my friends, if you have any advice on good texts to add to the list (particularly the very contemporary), or experience teaching any of these texts to a broad swath of students, from gen. ed. students to senior English majors, I'm all ears.