It’s still a week until June yet I’ve completed all syllabi for the fall. It’s the earliest ever that I’ve done, all the more surprising because I will have three different courses rather than the usual two preps. True, I’d taught them before: Great Books I for four times; Great Books V: Special Topics for the first time this past semester; and the first-year seminar (FYS) Asian Immigrants in America three years ago. However, I have overhauled the last two courses so much that they are virtually new ones. The biggest difference has to do with reading lists. While Great Books I remains largely the same, Great Books V sees a list of mostly new readings and the FYS has an entirely new list.Continue reading “A lot of fiction in my classes this fall”
Prompted by a faculty discussion over Great Books in the modern era, I drove home last night thinking about these two great novels together. I loved reading them, and so the best answer, at least for me, is, “The Brothers Karamazov and The Magic Mountain.” Still, it was a good exercise comparing them during my drive on the PCH and I-405.
For several reasons, I prefer small academic conferences over large ones. Still, it is good to go to a major annual conference once in a while, which was the case this past weekend at the Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC). “Major,” however, may be inaccurate. At about 300 attendants each year, the ACTC pales in comparison to the thousands who trek annually to the MLA (language & literature), AHA (history), AAR (religion), AAA (anthropology), ASA (American studies), AAS (Asian studies), AAAS (Asian American studies), ICMS (Medieval studies), AWP (writers and writing programs), and other alphabet-soup biggies in the humanities and social sciences. The AWP, for instance, typically has 2000 presenters and 12,000 attendees. (It is not a typo: twelve and three zeros.) The ACTC is decidedly small potatoes in number and scale. On the other hand, the relative smallness – let’s call it “medium-sized”- probably contributed nicely to my enjoyment of the event in Atlanta.