I teach classes in English Literature and Interdisciplinary Studies and in both areas of study, I encourage students to become aware of how the stories we tell—whether through fiction, non-fiction, visual, or aural media, both in print and online—shape the world we live in. At a time when we encounter multiple and diverse stories—those which can be challenging, complex, and contradictory—we need the skills of both the storyteller and the reader to know ourselves and others.
English Literature courses at the BISC are courses that provide students with an opportunity to investigate stories and their telling. We can consider the long and varied history of how different genres and historical periods provide us with some of the storytelling methods we still use today. We can look at how stories are told in popular, political, and social contexts across a range of different sized environments and for many and multiple motives and effects. The BISC is a great place to begin thinking about stories in this way: the diversity of voices in the classroom and the chance BISC students have to engage directly with the primary source materials of storytelling mean that such investigations can and do have a transformative effect.
Experiential Learning is a key component of my personal pedagogy and that of the institution. Experiential Learning Opportunities (ELOs) provide students with an chance to apply the knowledge they acquire in the lecture hall and seminar room. Nothing makes a discussion of Shakespeare’s Richard III concrete and memorable like attending a world-class production of the play at a London theatre. Nothing makes visible the way popular novels like Hearts and Minds (2009) and The Lie of the Land (2017) work as literature and popular culture like a seminar led by the novels’ author, Amanda Craig. ELOs encourage students to take terms and concepts discussed in a classroom and use them in their own critical evaluation of stories and storytelling on the page, the screen, and the stage.
I like teaching at the BISC because of the lasting community and the sense of a collective learning endeavour: that instructors can research and write alongside their students, and share conversations about such work, makes the BISC environment a supportive and unique one.
My recent publications span the scholarly and the popular. I have recently published essays on undergraduate pedagogy and digital culture in Digital Humanities Quarterly (11.3) and on the newspaper business and the history of finance and investment in Victorian Periodicals Review (49.4). I also have an essay about Isabelle Huppert included in the third volume of the zine Fuck What You Love.