Monday, October 26, 2015

Courses in Spring

It's advising season here in the northwoods, so our master undergrad adviser sent out the list of topical course descriptions.  (We've organized many of our courses as "umbrellas" by geography and broad period.)

It would be fun to look back ten years and see how we write courses to follow our developing interests and trends.

Ten years ago, we'd likely have had one transnational course.  This spring we'll have three very different ones, focused on different areas within transnational studies. 

We have a couple courses on a small geographic area, following a faculty member's interest.  The courses are different (film, novels), and both sound interesting, if not my cup of tea.

We've got one very traditional white men write novels and short stories in the 19th and 20th century US, sort of course.  Ten years ago we would have had two, probably.  But one of the faculty folks has since retired.

One of my colleagues is teaching a course on "nature" that sounds really cool and fun.

Still, ten years ago and today, we had and have similar looking women's lit courses, post-colonial courses at the introductory level.  We still have Shakespeare.  And there's a course on early modern race, which I hope turns out to be interesting, since I have a vested interest!

I have to admit that it's fun to see my colleagues' courses, and to follow their developing interests. 

When I was on the market, one of the practice questions I most enjoyed was the "what's your dream course" question.  I consider myself very lucky that I get to teach these sorts of courses, to develop and change and use my teaching to help that development.  It's one of the best things about my job.

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