I have taught widely in the areas of twentieth-century American and British literature, critical/cultural theory, Romantic literature, and writing skills at the University of Leeds, Birkbeck, University of London, and City University of Hong Kong. I also have extensive experience in the design and delivery of blended and distributed learning.
British Literature and Culture (taught @ City University of Hong Kong, 2013)
This course aims to introduce students to the history, thematic and cultural developments, and linguistic features of British literature. By providing an overview of emblematic writers and texts (fiction, poetry, drama, and non-fiction), it will allow students to discover the ways in which literary production both embodies and creates culture. The course will invite students to reflect on key aspects of literature and develop their ability to analyse these texts in context, applying critical terms with both rigor and creativity.
Literature in our Lives is an interdisciplinary course that will introduce students to the basic theory and practice of literary studies. Beginning with a theoretical introduction to a range of literary genres, students will explore the ways in which art and life imitate each other. Combining a thematic focus (questions of identity, class, history, language) with discussions of forms, the course will engage multiple texts, leading students to think and write critically about the texts and learn how to produce their own critical responses to them, based on their own lives and experiences.
Shakespeare: Introduction to Genius (taught @ City University of Hong Kong, 2013)
This course aims to help student gain insight into the genius of Shakespeare through a reading of some of his works and learning about his life and times. The course will provide students with the tools to understand and analyze Shakespeare’s language as well as to discuss larger themes in Shakespeare’s writing regarding timeless issues like love, jealousy, greed and death and how they can inform contemporary life. The course also provides training in watching performances of Shakespeare and evaluating them, incorporating the showing of film excerpts with reading and analyzing the texts.
The Twentieth-Century British Novel (taught @ Birkbeck, University of London, 2012)
This course examines works by some of the key British novelists of the twentieth century, from modernism to postmodernism, introducing students to the variety and complexity of twentieth-century writing; to the formal techniques and procedures used by twentieth-century novelists; to the linguistic issues relating to the texts; and to an awareness of the relationship between twentieth-century writing and its social and cultural context. We will make visits to current art exhibitions as they are available, as part of increasing our cultural awareness.
Prose: Reading and Interpretation (taught @ University of Leeds, 2008, 2009, 2010)
This module aims to lay a solid foundation for the study of English at university level through the analysis of a number of different prose texts. It explores the mechanics of prose writing and considers a range of critical and theoretical approaches to literature. By the end of the module, students will have developed as readers and as writers, with improved analytical skills, a greater understanding of critical tools and terminology, and an awareness of some of the conceptual issues raised by interpreting prose in English. Topics to be examined will include: genre; narrative form; writing and subjectivity; race and nation; literature and politics; gender difference; and authorship.
Poetry: Reading and Interpretation (taught @ University of Leeds, 2009)
This module aims to give students the confidence to read and enjoy poetry. Through poems representative of a range of genres and of periods, you will be introduced to some of the critical skills and terminologies required for close reading: a close and sensitive analysis of poetry through considering the technical features of verse in English (line, stanza, rhyme, rhythm, metre) and how these aspects of form interact with content. The module will also provide an opportunity to explore a range of useful critical and theoretical approaches to poetry.
Twentieth-Century Literature in English (taught @ University of Leeds, 2009)
This module offers students the opportunity to study an exciting and challenging range of fictional texts from across the twentieth century and from different parts of the English-speaking world. The set texts will introduce students to some of the key literary movements and styles of the period. These literary developments will be located in relation to dynamic changes in the cultural, social and political make-up of the modern world. On completion of this module, students will have studied closely a range of different fictional techniques and will have explored how twentieth-century writers respond to their broader critical, cultural and historical contexts.
Literature of the Romantic Period (taught @ University of Leeds, 2010)
This module introduces students to the exciting variety of literature produced during the Romantic period (1789-1832), including poetry, fiction, and non-fictional prose. It will address some of the key literary concepts and issues of the period such as the imagination, the sublime, the organic, and the role of the artist in society. The module also situates this body of writing in relation to some of the major political debates of the period, including issues of revolution, ideology, gender, and national identity. Students will be able to explore a mixture of canonical Romantic texts and works by less familiar authors of the period.
Modern Literature (taught @ University of Leeds, 2009)
The aim of this core module is to introduce students to the modern literature of the first half the twentieth century. Modern literature is distinguished by its revolutionary nature in terms of the writer‘s commitment to re- evaluating and developing literary form and genre, in terms of its proximity to World War I and revolutions in Ireland and across Europe, and in terms of new conceptions of the self as these were developed through psychoanalysis and other social and cultural changes preceding and following the First World War and into the 1930s. You will study English and some Irish early twentieth-century prose fiction and poetry and these works will be discussed in relation to some contemporary critical writings on the module‘s key themes: modernism and modernity, self and sexuality and war and revolution.
Studying and Researching English (instructional designer; launched @ University of Leeds, 2010)
Studying and Researching English is an interactive online module which explores the essential skills you will need as you begin and progress through your studies in the School of English. In addition to addressing important topics such as good writing and argumentation, finding suitable academic resources, and scholarly presentation, the module provides an introduction to the discipline-specific skills you will need to develop throughout your degree.