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Approaches to Teaching Sand’s Indiana

This volume on Sand’s Indiana is greatly needed not only because the novel is widely taught but also because it could be taught better—and this volume provides exciting new insight for teaching it.

— Annabelle Rea, Occidental College

Indiana, George Sand’s first solo novel, opens with the eponymous heroine brooding and bored in her husband’s French countryside estate, far from her native Île Bourbon (now Réunion). Written in 1832, the novel appeared during a period of French history marked by revolution and regime change, civil unrest and labor concerns, and slave revolts and the abolitionist movement, when women faced rigid social constraints and had limited rights within the institution of marriage. With this politically charged history serving as a backdrop for the novel, Sand brings together Romanticism, realism, and the idealism that would characterize her work, presenting what was deemed by her contemporaries a faithful and candid representation of nineteenth-century France.

This volume gathers pedagogical essays that will enhance the teaching of Indiana and contribute to students’ understanding and appreciation of the novel. The first part gives an overview of editions and translations of the novel and recommends useful background readings. Contributors to the second part present various approaches to the novel, focusing on four themes: modes of literary narration, gender and feminism, slavery and colonialism, and historical and political upheaval. Each essay offers a fresh perspective on Indiana, suited not only to courses on French Romanticism and realism but also to interdisciplinary discussions of French colonial history or law.

Volume editors

David A. Powell
Pratima Prasad


James Smith Allen, Christopher Bains, Carolyn Vellenga Berman, Kathrine Bonin, John T. Booker, Aimée Boutin, Patrick M. Bray, Peter Dayan, Molly Krueger Enz, Nigel Harkness, Doris Kadish, Véronique Machelidon, Shira Malkin, Françoise Massardier-Kenney, Margaret E. McColley, Isabelle Hoog Naginski, Allan H. Pasco, Lynn Penrod, Lauren Pinzka, Charles J. Stivale, Margaret Waller

viii & 219 pp.
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9781603292108 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603292092 (cloth)

This volume is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats. Visit the MLA bookstore for more information.

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Approaches to Teaching the Novels of Henry Fielding

The works of Henry Fielding, though written nearly three hundred years ago, retain their sense of comedy and innovation in the face of tradition, and they easily engage the twenty-first-century student with many aspects of eighteenth-century life: travel, inns, masquerades, political and religious factions, the ’45, prisons and the legal system, gender ideals and realities, social class.

Part 1 of this volume, “Materials,” discusses the available editions of Joseph Andrews, Tom Jones, ShamelaJonathan Wild, and Amelia; suggests useful critical and contextual works for teaching them; and recommends helpful audiovisual and electronic resources. The essays of part 2, “Approaches,” demonstrate that many of the methods and models used for one novel—the romance tradition, Fielding’s legal and journalistic writing, his techniques as a playwright, the ideas of Machiavelli—can be adapted to others.

Volume editors

Jennifer Preston Wilson
Elizabeth Kraft


Stephen C. Behrendt, Scott Black, Pamela S. Bromberg, Jill Campbell, Leigh G. Dillard, J. A. Downie, James Evans, Carl Fisher, Joshua Grasso, George E. Haggerty, Anthony J. Hassall, Nicholas Hudson, Regina Janes, Christopher D. Johnson, Eric Leuschner, Nancy A. Mace, Brian McCrea, Lisa Maruca, Adam Potkay, Manushag N. Powell, Chloe Wigston Smith, Rivka Swenson, Earla Wilputte

ix & 236 pp.
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9781603292245 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603292238 (cloth)

This volume is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats. Visit the MLA bookstore for more information.

Review of Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Mansfield Park

The June 2015 issue of Sensibilities published a review of the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching Austen’s Mansfield Park, edited by Marcia McClintock Folsom and John Wiltshire.

Tony Voss writes:

These essays together call continually on our imagination. I am struck particularly how often they refer to the true responsibilities of teaching.

You can read the full review in Sensibilities ([June 2015]: 79–85).

Purchase this book at the MLA bookstore (members get 30% off all titles).

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Review of Teaching French Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation

The October 2015 issue of Modern Language Review published a review of the MLA’s Teaching French Women Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation, edited by Colette H. Winn.

Leanna Bridge Rezvani writes:

The variety of authors, genres, and perspectives included in the volume is remarkable. This work will facilitate course design, supplement existing units on sixteenth-century literature, and ultimately lead to new avenues of enquiry.

You can read the full review in Modern Language Review (110.4 [2015]: 1133–34).

Purchase this book at the MLA bookstore (members get 30% off all titles).

Approaches to Teaching Tolkien’s
The Lord of the Rings and Other Works


This work fills a major need. It will give graduate students and experienced professors alike the confidence to teach Tolkien and the ability to construct a meaningful and challenging course.

— Janet Brennan Croft, University of Oklahoma

A philologist and medieval scholar, J. R. R. Tolkien never intended to write immensely popular literature that would challenge traditional ideas about the nature of great literature and that was worthy of study in colleges across the world. He set out only to write a good story, the kind of story he and his friends would enjoy reading. In The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien created an entire world informed by his vast knowledge of mythology, languages, and medieval literature. In the 1960s, his books unexpectedly gained cult status with a new generation of young, countercultural readers. Today, the readership for Tolkien’s absorbing secondary world—filled with monsters, magic, adventure, sacrifice, and heroism—continues to grow.

Part 1 of this volume, “Materials,” introduces instructors to the rich array of resources available for teaching Tolkien, including editions and criticism of his fiction and scholarship, historical material on his life and times, audiovisual materials, and film adaptations of his fiction. The essays in part 2, “Approaches,” help instructors introduce students to critical debates around Tolkien’s work, its sources, its influence, and its connection to ecology, religion, and science. Contributors draw on interdisciplinary approaches to outline strategies for teaching Tolkien in a wide variety of classroom contexts.

Volume editor

Leslie A. Donovan


Cami D. Agan, Jane Chance, Christopher Cobb, Christopher Crane, Deidre Dawson, Michael D. C. Drout, Melissa Ridley Elmes, Nancy Enright, Justin Edward Everett, Liam Felsen, Dimitra Fimi, Verlyn Flieger, Judy Ann Ford, Craig Franson, James Gould, Ted Hazelgrove, Julia Simms Holderness, Keith W. Jensen, Yvette Kisor, Kristine Larsen, Thomas L. Martin, James McNelis, Philip Irving Mitchell, Shelley Rees, Robin Anne Reid, Sharin Schroeder, Anna Smol, Robin Chapman Stacey, Leslie Stratyner, Michael Tomko, James R. Vitullo, Brian Walter

Pages: xiv & 284 pp.
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781603292061 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603292054 (cloth)

This volume is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats. Visit the MLA bookstore for more information.

Teaching the Latin American Boom


The attention to the framing of the Boom makes this volume more than just a study of the Boom; it stretches to cover a great deal of territory, literarily speaking, of twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature. This is a very important addition to the series.

—Gwen Kirkpatrick, Georgetown University

In the decade from the early 1960s to the early 1970s, Latin American authors found themselves writing for a new audience in both Latin America and Spain and in an ideologically charged climate as the Cold War found another focus in the Cuban Revolution. The writers who emerged in this energized cultural moment—among others, Julio Cortázar (Argentina), Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuba), José Donoso (Chile), Carlos Fuentes (Mexico), Gabriel García Márquez (Colombia), Manuel Puig (Argentina), and Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)—experimented with narrative forms that sometimes bore a vexed relation to the changing political situations of Latin America.

This volume provides a wide range of options for teaching the complexities of the Boom, explores the influence of Boom works and authors, presents different frameworks for thinking about the Boom, proposes ways to approach it in the classroom, and provides resources for selecting materials for courses.

Volume editors
Lucille Kerr
Alejandro Herrero-Olaizola

Bruno Bosteels, César Braga-Pinto, Debra Castillo, Sara Castro-Klarén, Román de la Campa, Laura Demaría, Roberto Ignacio Díaz, David William Foster, Naomi Lindstrom, María Eugenia Mudrovcic, María Cristina Pons, Dierdra Reber, María Helena Rueda, Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado, Marcy Schwartz, Judith A. Weiss, Gareth Williams

Pages: viii & 300 pp.
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781603291927 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603291910 (cloth)

This volume is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats. Visit the MLA bookstore for more information.


Approaches to Teaching Cervantes’s Don Quixote, second edition

Cervantes2ndEdThe new edition reflects an updating of the critical scholarship on Don Quixote and introduces new ideas based on advances in media and on the interests of the twenty-first-century student. The breadth of imaginative approaches is truly valuable.

—William H. Clamurro, Emporia State University

This second edition of Approaches to Teaching Cervantes’s Don Quixote highlights dramatic changes in pedagogy and scholarship in the last thirty years: today, critics and teachers acknowledge that subject position, cultural identity, and political motivations afford multiple perspectives on the novel, and they examine both literary and sociohistorical contextualization with fresh eyes.

Part 1, “Materials,” contains information about editions of Don Quixote, a history and review of the English translations, and a survey of critical studies and Internet resources. In part 2, “Approaches,” essays cover such topics as the Moors of Spain in Cervantes’s time; using film and fine art to teach his novel; and how to incorporate psychoanalytic theory, satire, science and technology, gender, role-playing, and other topics and techniques in a range of twenty-first-century classroom settings.

Volume editors
James A. Parr
Lisa Vollendorf

David A. Boruchoff, Bruce R. Burningham, Joan F. Cammarata, David Castillo, William Childers, Frederick A. de Armas, Sidney Donnell, Salvador J. Fajardo, Edward H. Friedman, Barbara Fuchs, Carmen García de la Rasilla, Gregory Kaplan, Howard Mancing, Patricia W. Manning, Christian Michener, Rogelio Miñana, Barbara Mujica, Susan Paun de García, Cory Reed, Barbara Simerka, Matthew D. Stroud, Jonathan Thacker, Luis Verano, Christopher Weimer, William Worden

Pages: x & 262 pp.
Published: 2015
ISBN: 978-1-60329-188-0 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-60329-187-3 (hardcover)

This volume is available in paperback and hardcover formats. Visit the MLA bookstore for more information.


Teaching Early Modern English Literature from the Archives

Cover of Teaching Early Modern English Literature from the Archives

The volume brilliantly combines the visionary and the pragmatic and is a gold mine of great ideas about how to engage students in the production of knowledge. It is a remarkably timely project.

–Michael Schoenfeldt, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

The availability of digital editions of early modern works brings a wealth of exciting archival and primary source materials into the classroom. But electronic archives can be overwhelming and hard to use, for teachers and students alike, and digitization can distort or omit information about texts.Teaching Early Modern English Literature from the Archives places traditional and electronic archives in conversation, outlines practical methods for incorporating them into the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, and addresses the theoretical issues involved in studying them. The volume discusses a range of physical and virtual archives from 1473 to 1700 that are useful in the teaching of early modern literature—both major sources and rich collections that are less known (including affordable or free options for those with limited institutional resources).

Although the volume focuses on English literature and culture, essays discuss a wide range of comparative approaches involving Latin, French, Spanish, German, and early American texts and explain how to incorporate visual materials, ballads, domestic treatises, atlases, music, and historical documents into the teaching of literature.

Volume editors
Heidi Brayman Hackel
Ian Frederick Moulton

Jennifer Bowers, Sheila Cavanagh, Simone Chess, Angelica Duran, Joshua Eckhardt, Jeremy Ehrlich, Patrick M. Erben, Patricia Fumerton, Tassie Gniady, Peter C. Herman, W. Scott Howard, Janelle Jenstad, Peggy Keeran, Erin Kelly, Rebecca Laroche, Zachary Lesser, Shawn Martin, Kris McAbee, Laura McGrane, Irene Middleton, Joseph M. Ortiz, Katherine Rowe, Marjorie Rubright, Arnold Sanders, Gitanjali Shahani, Evelyn Tribble, Phillip John Usher, Sarah Werner, Heather Wolfe, Georgianna Ziegler

Pages: xii & 274 pp.
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781603291569 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603291552 (cloth)

This volume is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats. Visit the MLA bookstore for more information.

Cover of Service Learning and Literary Studies in English

Service Learning and Literary Studies in English

Cover of Service Learning and Literary Studies in English

This is a groundbreaking anthology of new research and practice in the engaged humanities. Readers will find a rich intellectual debate on strategies for growing the public humanities and for renewing the contribution of literary studies to higher education’s mission to strengthen democracy and imbue students with a thoughtful commitment to civic engagement.

–Gregory Jay, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Service learning can help students develop a sense of civic responsibility, often while addressing pressing community needs. One goal of literary studies is to understand the ethical dimensions of the world, and thus service learning, by broadening the environments students consider, is well suited to the literature classroom. Whether through a public literacy project that demonstrates the relevance of literary study or community-based research that brings literary theory to life, student collaboration with community partners brings social awareness to the study of literary texts and helps students and teachers engage literature in new ways.

In their introduction, the volume editors trace the history of service learning in the United States, including the debate about literature’s role, and outline the best practices of the pedagogy. The essays that follow cover American, English, and world literature; creative nonfiction and memoir; literature-based writing; and cross-disciplinary studies. Contributors describe a wide variety of service-learning projects, including a course on the Harlem Renaissance in which students lead a community writing workshop, an English capstone seminar in which seniors design programs for public libraries, and a creative nonfiction course in which first-year students work with elderly community members to craft life narratives. The volume closes with a list of resources for practitioners and researchers in the field.

Volume editors
Laurie Grobman
Roberta Rosenberg

Diana C. Archibald, Robin J. Barrow, Ann Marie Fallon, Elizabeth K. Goodhue, Matthew C. Hansen, Scott Hicks, Jennifer Leeman, Kristina Lucenko, Claudia Monpere McIsaac, Elizabeth Parfitt, Lisa Rabin, Kathleen Béres Rogers, Ivy Schweitzer, Carol Tyx, Emily VanDette, Mary Vermillion, Joan Wagner, Sarah D. Wald

Pages: x & 284 pp.
Published: 2015
ISBN: 9781603292023 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781603292016 (cloth)

This volume is available in paperback, hardcover, and e-book formats. Visit the MLA bookstore for more information.

Speculum reviews Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower

gower_4cThe October 2014 issue of Speculum published a review of the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower, edited by R. F. Yeager and Brian W. Gastle.

Angela Jane Weisl writes:

Overall, this volume makes a fine case for Gower in the classroom. The editors have anticipated my questions, at least, and found compelling scholars to answer them. For anyone who wants to add Gower to their lineup at any level, or for those who already do but find themselves at a bit of a loss for how best to teach him, or for those who just want to try something new, this volume provides it. . . . Having read it, I believe that I will now attempt to add Gower in my British literature survey and perhaps include him in my medieval literature course as well, which attests to the value of this volume for those of us who want to expand our syllabi to include this most medieval author.

You can read the full review in Speculum (89.4 [2014]: 1211–12).

Purchase this book in the MLA bookstore (members get 30% off all titles).


Review of Approaches to Teaching The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber)


The February 2015 issue of the Journal of Asian Studies published a review of the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber), edited by Andrew Schonebaum and Tina Lu.

Zuyan Zhou writes:

As its title suggests, this volume is intended to introduce effective approaches to teaching the Chinese literary magnum opus, The Story of the Stone. . . . Despite being designed to appeal to novices, the book will engage advanced scholars as well, for some essays penned by scholars steeped in Redology probe to a depth that will also interest specialists in the field.

You can read the full review in the Journal of Asian Studies (74.1 [2015]: 207–08).

Purchase this book in the MLA bookstore (members get 30% off all titles).