Welcome to My Classroom – 2013

Robert-Lapp-212x217Welcome to ENGL 2301, Literary Periods, 1800-Present: ‘Nature’ in Four Times
Robert Lapp, Mount Allison University
Thursday, June 20, 11:00 am to 12:00 noon
Location: TBA

This session will welcome participants to the first day of a second-year class in literary history. Students still expect first day to be “syllabus” day—when you get a course syllabus and a set of assignments and are sent away to buy your textbooks. But I think of the first class as a way of setting the tone for the rest of the term: like the overture to a musical, it should be an captivating sampler of all that’s to come. So after briefly pointing where the information we’ll need for the course is posted online, I launch into an interactive presentation of four short works that illustrate the different ways “Nature” is imagined in British culture from 1800 to the present. Using performance as a technique to capture attention, I begin by reciting a Romantic-era poem by Wordsworth, then hand out a hard copy (along with the other short works for the day) on pages with space for notes. Then we engage in a quick “review”-discussion about how we go about “reading” a poem for its elements of both theme and style. Then I perform a Victorian poem by Tennyson, after which we “pair’n’share” to develop more perspectives on our handouts, and so on through some lines from T. S. Eliot’s Modernist Waste Land to a video clip of Monty Python’s postmodern “Parrot sketch.” In less than 50 minutes, we’ll have experienced a vivid glimpse of four different literary periods, and of how “Nature” is a surprisingly relative concept!

Conference program entry

murray2Welcome to My Classroom: Why Shakespeare’s Globe Theare Matters
Shannon Murray, University of Prince Edward Island
Friday, June 21, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Location: TBA

Most people know that Shakespeare wrote soem of his plays with the Globe Theatre in mind, but so what? How can theatrical space — and this space in particular — alter the experience of a play or shape its meaning? In this unit, we’ll look at the structure of the first and the new Globe, experience the difference between the proscenium arch and a Renaissance public theatre, and discuss parallels to the contemporary university classroom.

Conference program entry

G_LoppnowStudents: Welcome to my Class, Scientists: Welcome to the World!
Glen Loppnow, University of Alberta
Friday, June 21, 3:30 to 4:30 pm

Pollution. Violence. Cancer. Global warming. Poverty. These are just a few of the difficult problems plaguing humankind. Perhaps part of the reason such problems haven’t been solved is that we don’t encourage broad thinking in current educational systems. Would a program of 12 years of Peace Studies instead of English or Pollution Science instead of Chemistry erode disciplinary barriers to solutions, provide greater empathy, and yield a healthier society or end in greater ignorance and impotence in solving these problems? This presentation will engage participants in the first class of “Science Citizenship”, a project-based, novel community service learning course for Science students at the University of Alberta. This science-appropriate model for community service learning builds community, leads to a more sustainable Earth, is scaleable to large class size, and incorporates holistic education. The course also emphasizes higher-order learning skills, such as teamwork and communication, and makes the students the teachers.

Conference program entry