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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).

Teaching Volume on Modernist Women’s Writing in English in Development on the Commons

We are excited to announce that the volume “Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English,” edited by Janine Utell, is being developed on a site in MLA Commons. Visit the site to find the call for essay proposals, a detailed description of the project, and a growing repository of pedagogical and scholarly resources.

Utell hopes that the site will “build not only an audience but a network of teacher-scholars with similar interests who can use the opportunity of working on this book in this space as a way to grow relationships with each other….” We look forward to your participation in helping make this site an active venue for creating this volume, fostering community ties, and exchanging ideas, resources, and news about the subject of modernist women’s writing in English.

If you are interested in the development of book projects on MLA Commons, please click here for more information.

Call for Essay Proposals for Volume on Teaching Young Adult Literature

Proposals are invited for a volume entitled Teaching Young Adult Literature, to be edited by Karen Coats, Mike Cadden, and Roberta Seelinger Trites. This volume in the MLA series Options for Teaching aims to bring together a variety of articles describing innovative and successful approaches to designing and teaching stand-alone young adult (YA) literature courses at the postsecondary level, as well as incorporating young adult texts into other undergraduate and graduate courses relevant to MLA members and faculty members in education and library science.

This volume will be a resource for teachers, both new and experienced, of YA texts. It will provide suggestions for supplementary materials and pedagogical activities for a variety of student audiences in many college settings. Abstracts that use specific YA texts as examples to demonstrate how to teach genres in YA literature (e.g., graphic narrative, historical fiction, the verse novel) are welcome, as are abstracts that focus on themes, topics, methods, and problems in teaching YA literature.

Your abstract should clarify your intended topic; setting; its relevance to the subject of YA literature pedagogy; the texts, genres, or theories you expect to explore; and the value of your intended topic to a broad range of instructors and students. Please note that any quotations from student papers will require written permission from the students. Contributors to a volume must be members of the MLA from the time that their contribution is submitted in the final, approved manuscript to publication.

If you are interested in contributing an essay of 2,000–3,000 words, please submit an abstract of 350–500 words to Karen Coats ( by 1 November 2015.

Call for Essay Proposals for Volume on Anglophone South Asian Women’s Writing

We invite proposals for a volume in the MLA Options for Teaching series entitled Teaching Anglophone South Asian Women’s Writing, edited by Deepika Bahri and Filippo Menozzi.

This volume seeks meaningful responses to the following questions: What do we teach when we teach South Asian women’s writing? How do we teach it in a variety of contexts? How is our pedagogy changing in response to new developments: digital contexts, emergent genres, changes in the publishing industry, and growing anxiety about the underrepresentation of nonanglophone writing? Click Detailed Description for more information about the proposed volume.

Send 300-word proposals for essays of 3,000–3,500 words to Proposals should include the name(s) of the writer(s) proposed for discussion and the argumentative thrust of the proposed article. Proposals will be revised and reviewed on the project Web site as the volume is shaped interactively. The final deadline for proposals is 1 August 2015, but we will close the call for proposals earlier if we receive an overwhelming number of responses. Please send any initial queries to

Call for Essay Proposals for Volume on Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English

Essay proposals are invited for a volume entitled Teaching Modernist Women’s Writing in English, to appear in the Options for Teaching series published by the Modern Language Association. The purpose of the volume is to meet the needs of instructors seeking pedagogical strategies for teaching modernist women’s writing in English and the ways in which women were vital creators and participants in the works and networks of modernism. The volume aims to capture the multiplicity of artistic, political, and social networks of which women writers were a part, crossing gender, class, and national boundaries, and to share ways to teach these connections and concepts from a wide range of contributors who work from different critical orientations and in different types of institutions and classroom settings. The volume will include material relevant for specialists and generalists who are teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as in alternative classroom and institutional situations. The teaching resources to be shared will include current scholarship, readings, and digital tools.

Essays responding to four general areas through the lens of pedagogical theory and practice are sought: teaching modernism or modernist studies, thematic concerns, genre or form, and theoretical or methodological approaches. Contributions might cover topics related to issues and definitions in modernist studies, particularly as relevant to the study of women writers. These essays might focus on contexts and conceptual questions important to modernism and highlight the importance of women writers therein. Some essays might take up the teaching of a specific theme (e.g., trauma, colonialism, globalization, race, class, sexuality) or topic (e.g., suffrage, war, empire, socialism, communism, fascism, the workplace, little magazines, the literary marketplace). Other essays might look at the ways women writers used particular forms and genres (fiction, documentary, journalism, life writing, poetry, pamphlets or manifestos, “the middlebrow,” genre fiction, working-class writing, film, drama); these might consider teaching the tension between tradition and the avant-garde or the noteworthy contributions that women made to the avant-garde. Finally, essays might describe and exemplify teaching informed by particular critical or methodological approaches, such as theoretical perspectives (postcolonial studies, queer studies, narrative theory), interdisciplinary work (art, music, dance, science, technology) or intertextuality, the digital humanities, and the teaching of writing or multimodal pedagogy. A balance is sought among writers from the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as writers working in English from other regions of the world (e.g., the Caribbean, India).

Proposals should mention and define specific terms, concepts, techniques, and classroom contexts as appropriate. They should describe the intended topic, particularly the pedagogical approach taken to teaching modernist women’s writing, including methodology, evidence, theoretical or critical framework, and significance for those teaching in the field. The proposal should indicate the value of the intended topic to a broad range of instructors and should maintain a clear focus on teaching. Please note that any quotations from student papers will require written permission from the students.

Proposals of 500 words (for potential completed essays of 3,000–3,500 words) should be sent to Janine Utell ( by 1 December 2015.


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.

Call for Essay Proposals for Volume on Teaching the Harlem Renaissance

Proposals are invited for a volume in the MLA’s Options for Teaching series entitled Teaching the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Venetria K. Patton. The volume aims to bring together original essays exploring the diversity of debates and discussions about the period as well as novel pedagogical strategies. It will include essays representing both innovative and traditional approaches from contributors who participate in different fields, institutions, and classroom contexts. It will be a resource for veteran and novice instructors teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and across a variety of disciplinary locations. In addition to the essays, a resource section on current scholarship and reference material will be included.

Proposed essays should fit under one of these broad headings: “Background for Teaching the Harlem Renaissance”; “Critical Concerns in Teaching the Harlem Renaissance”; and “Authors, Works, and Genres.” The first section will explore historical contexts and debates in the field and might include essays addressing nomenclature, modernism, gender and sexuality, the New Woman, African American periodicals and newspapers, white patronage, and transnationalism. The second section will include essays regarding classroom contexts such as disciplinary location, institution, and course level, as well as essays presenting particular approaches and methodologies. Potential topics might include but are not limited to teaching the Harlem Renaissance with digital humanities, blues and jazz, and visual art; a variety of theoretical approaches are welcome. Essays in the third section, addressing specific authors, works, and genres, should consider well-known figures of the period as well as lesser-known figures and texts. Possible authors to consider include but are not limited to Jessie Redmon Fauset, Angelina Weld Grimké, Langston Hughes, Helene Johnson, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Willis Richardson, among others. As part of the Options for Teaching series, every essay should make explicit how it will apply to the needs of teachers and students.

If you are interested in contributing an essay of 3,000–3,500 words, please send an abstract of 350–500 words to Venetria K. Patton, Purdue University (, by 1 August 2015.

Please note that any quotations from student papers will require written permission from the students.

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).