Clinical Professor of Liberal Studies; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs & Educational Technology Liaison; Liberal Studies
Ph.D., Columbia University, English (Modern British)
Areas of Interest: Edwardian Culture; Global Studies; Educational Technology
Course(s) Taught: Cultural Foundations I, II, & III; Modernity and Mass Culture,
NEH Digital Humanities Level II Start-Up Grant (Principal Investigator), August 2008
LS Academic Service Award, Spring 2006
Academic Service Award, Spring 2005
Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2002
After 25 years in teaching, I thought I knew my stuff. Since assuming the responsibilities of Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs in 2007, however, I have come to see that I was like an artist who painted only bowls of fruit. I had mastered a particular style of teaching - I trained students in textual analysis, and I was good at it - but it confined my vision of the full potential of higher education. Working with the superb instructors in our program has expanded my perspective on the art of teaching, making me appreciate the need for an eclecticism that embraces many ways of developing the ability to think.
As I have become more involved with the overall shape of our curriculum, I have also come to believe that a great deal of a student's education goes on outside and across classes. Teachers are less like builders than gardeners; we do not construct an educated mind by welding books to interpretations and nailing observations to general ideas, but by tending a process with a life of its own that we can neither fully predict nor control.
This understanding drives my commitment to the potential of interactive technologies to transform teaching. The methods of higher education as they have co-developed with industrial society over the last 150 years bear a distressing resemblance to those of mass production. Students roll through four years on a kind of production line, taking fixed classes for fixed amounts of time on fixed days of the week; in each self-contained class, a specialist in one particular area teaches one sort of skill with little reference to anything outside the course's confines. No one follows the finished product from start to finish, but concentrates only on affixing some particular bolt. However, we are reaching a point when digital technology allows a student's education to extend beyond the limits of fixed schedules and self-contained classes, affording unprecedented opportunities for students to extend their learning outside and across classes. For me, this is the goal of college: to give students the ability to learn without instruction.
“Making the Ephemeral Virtual: Portfolios, Student Agency, and Collaborative Learning,” White Paper co-authored with Dr. Lucy Appert, for National Endowment for the Humanities Library of Funded Projects, Summer 2009: http://www.neh.gov/ODH/ResourceLibrary/LibraryofFundedProjects/tabid/111/Default.aspx
“Cyber-Structures and Their Discontents” in Techknowledgies: New Cultural Imaginaries in the Humanities, Arts, & TechnoSciences, ed. Mary Valentis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007).
Introduction and Notes, The Metamorphoses, Ovid (Barnes and Noble Classics,2005).
“Arnold Bennett’s Other Selves,” in Marketing the Author: Authorial Personae, Narrative Selves and Self-Fashioning, 1880-1930, ed. Marysa De Moor (MacMillan/Palgrave, 2004).
Introduction and Notes, The Odyssey, Homer (Barnes and Noble Classics, 2003).
Modernism, Modernity and Arnold Bennett (Bucknell University Press, 1997).