The tentative title of this project is: Teaching Adults through Children’s Literature. Long term, I’m interested in writing an autoethnography that blends experiences I’ve had in my Composition classroom, conversations I’ve had (accidentally and on purpose) with departmental heads and bosses, and composition rhetoric studies to support the use of postcolonial theory and now, children’s literature in the writing classroom. I’m not in the headspace yet to tell you how postcolonial theory/literature and children’s literature will intersect with one another, but I imagine it will, especially considering how “othered” both fields are in literary studies as a whole.
This particular project is a sliver of that, yet I think still able to exist independently. It has many parts, some of which I hope to complete by the end of this term, some of which I’ll need to work on after implementing my syllabus in a classroom.
What I’ve shared with you are drafts of three parts: 1) The context: I have imagined an email exchange with a chair and a lecturer who I affectionately name Y. Y is able to share their decision to incorporate Children’s Literature into the English 121-English Composition II classroom. Given Y’s familiarity with the Pathways program, public college bureaucracy, and English departments’ altruistic albeit violent desire to other, Y comes prepared with course objectives, methodologies, reading lists, and an annotated syllabus. The tone is purposefully cynical, but do let me know if you feel that takes away from your understanding of the project. 2) The Value statement pre implementation of syllabus: It’s REALLY unfinished, so please rip it to shreds. 3) The syllabus: It’s mostly fleshed out, but there are a couple of readings that I am missing. I’m also interested in possibly using children’s lit/YA lit that is open access—any tips on that would be most appreciated.
Additionally, I have three major goals for this project:
- Bug the shit out of academics: Because, why not? I’m reading Kynard’s Vernacular Insurrections and I’m finding there’s power in hybridity. There’s also value in messing with form and expectations. Rather than position my argument as a defense, what happens if it’s a part of a conversation free from power dynamics, academic gestures of politeness, and language that often hides meaning instead of creates it. So yes, I would never think to talk to my chair in the way I do here, but I think that’s the point.
- Use course objectives as a way to substantiate the value of Children’s literature in developing literacy: Fun and games aside, I have to eventually get down to business if I want this course to run. That means, I have to take each course objective listed on the ENG 121 syllabus and argue how Children and YA literature will assist me in meeting these objectives. I sort of start to do this with my scenario bits and I do it on the syllabus as well. It’s not fully fleshed out yet though.
- Design a syllabus that I would implement in the Fall 2018 semester: I’ve got to have a syllabus, or else nobody giving me not one course for not one student. Facts.
Finally, I left a table of contents in there so you can see where I’m hoping to take this project long-term, feedback on the table of contents is also welcomed.
I so appreciate any time you put into my project and am looking forward to all of the insight you’ll provide.