Fall 2018 Teaching

ENG-W 210: “Fake News,” Public Life, & the Politics of Information in the Digital Age

Tuesdays & Thursdays 10 to 11:15am


Based on the strong student response I received from the initial offering of ENG-W 210: Literacy and Public Life in Fall 2017, which focused on so-called “fake news,” problematic information, and digital information literacy, I developed a “2.0” version of this course for Fall 2018. Much of the course theme and design will stay the same–students will, for example, explore problematic information and digital polarization and their potential effects on political discourse and public life–but this iteration of the course will focus more explicitly on changes to our information ecology in the last decade or so.

The guiding question of this course remains the same: What does an educated person need to know in order to usefully distinguish and interpret information and news, opinion and fact in the digital age? As we are often reminded, we now inhabit an increasingly complex and confusing hyper-fast media landscape, where traditional forms of journalism and reporting have been radically reshaped and in some cases supplanted by emerging forms of digital media. This course will give you the tools to engage intelligently in the major issues of our time; to analyze media of all kinds; to parse out the subtle distinctions between various kinds of problematic information; and to find credible, carefully-researched, and accurate journalism, news, and opinion on a variety of topics.


Pariser, Eli. The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read How We Think. (Penguin, 2011)

Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. (Vintage, 1992)

ENG-L 495: Senior Seminar in English

Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30am to 12:45pm


What’s the use of an English degree? Here’s an even better question, perhaps: how many times have you been asked this question? What was your response?

This course will provide you with the tools and the space to construct your own response to this question. To that end, our semester will take a somewhat eclectic itinerary through several different sites. The first part of the semester (Unit I) will be devoted to exploring the relatively short history of English as a discipline and as a department or program on most (if not all) university campuses in the US. In addition to studying the institutional foundations of modern English departments, we will also examine the conceptual and ideological underpinnings of the kinds of interpretive work performed in the name of contemporary scholarship in English (Unit II).

The second half of the semester (Unit III) will rely on the insights we glean from this historical, institutional, and conceptual overview of English studies to help you develop a practical and strategic response to our semester’s guiding question—what can I do with this degree? Working closely with me and a faculty advisor of your choice, the semester will culminate in your own creative or scholarly project.

ENG-W 311: Writing Fiction

Mondays 4 to 6:30pm


Course information coming soon.

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