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.