Notes if I ever offer an Elizabethan Literature Course again…

  1. Students need the history, yes… But they don’t understand it if I don’t do close readings of the texts. Pare down the texts and show how the texts relate to the brute facts of history in a more concrete manner
    1. My task is different than their task. I am giving them the history so they can understand what it is they are reading. Their task is to synthesize that with literary analysis and create an argument that shows what the texts are doing.
  2. Explain feminism off the top. They don’t get it in any way other than “Hooray for women”, which is obviously impoverished and doesn’t go to show the ways in which women were increasingly policed over the period.
  3. Keep the connections to today.
  4. They really liked:
    1. Isabella Whitney
    2. Anne Askew
    3. Mary Queen of Scots
    4. Eliz I
    5. Juan Luis Vives
  5. They don’t seem to dig
    1. Utopia
  6. They get really confused about HOW to make an argument based on uniting history and text. I have to show them HOW to do it.
  7. If I have as heavy a focus on education, I have to theorize education
    1. As a subversive/conservative activity
    2. POSTMAN
  8. Ditto for theatre. Both subversive and conservative. If the only kind of theatre people like is crazy shit with glow sticks and pig’s blood, that’s fine, but there’s more to theatre than just that.
  9. Let them know that there is a generic difference between teaching and writing
    1. If I offer a paper at a conf or if I submit it to a journal, I don’t have the same tone as I do in class. Don’t mimic my classroom tone, mimic the tone of the papers you are reading in research.
  10. Also, make sure they don’t call women “females” – unless someone is wearing a fedora and are part of an MRA because then it helps the rest of us to identify that person as a douche.

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