Teaching

Spring 2014

CC-licensed image "Love ya!" via Flickr user idea ablaze.
CC-licensed image “Love ya!” via Flickr user idea ablaze.

ENG 101: Expository Writing

“Plagiarism: A Love Story”

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

For more info and to see the course website, visit http://scholarblogs.emory.edu/love story.

About this course:

  • Introduced students to affect theory through the lens of their own emotions and beliefs about plagiarism and originality.
  • Students designed their own capstone project for this course in conversation with the instructor, encouraging them to identify and implement their own learning goals.

Spring 2011

Image: “Day 36 – Daydreaming” CC-licensed by Flickr user PictureWendy


IDS201-WR

Interdisciplinary Problems:

Psychoanalysis and Creative Writing

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

“We laymen have always been intensely curious to know [ . . . ] from what sources that strange being, the creative writer, draws his material, and how he manages to make such an impression on us with it and to arouse in us emotions of which, perhaps, we had not even thought ourselves capable.” Sigmund Freud opens his 1908 essay, “On Creative Writers and Daydreaming” with these words. Through an engagement with writing theory and practice, we will seek to understand creative inspiration through the technique of psychoanalysis. Where do writers get their ideas? What does a creative work reveal about a writer’s inner life? In addition to Freud’s essay, we will read the work of creative writers who write about their own process — including Steven King, Annie Dillard, and Roald Dahl. Students will complete prose writing, creative writing, and critical writing assignments in this course. This course is designed to complement the IDS Writing Labs.

Selected Readings:

About this course:

  • Every student in the course completed a prose essay and a short story in addition to a ten-page critical paper. During the course of the semester, several students used the prose assignment to draft personal statements that won them competitive summer internships.
  • Through a unique partnership with the Lucy Daniels Foundation, this course utilized research materials related to the experience of creative writers undergoing psychoanalysis. The students in this class were the first undergraduates to be granted access to material from this long-term research project.
  • This course was planned to coincide with Emory’s “Creativity Through the Life Cycle” conference, an international conference bringing together psychoanalysts, psychologists, and theorists to discuss creativity at all stages of human development. Students had the opportunity to attend a keynote talk by Lucy Daniels.

 

Spring 2010

IDS201-WR

Interdisciplinary Problems:

Character Studies

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

In this course we will explore the concept of character, as a literary and dramatic construct and as a reflection of personal identity. Our investigation of character will be grounded through engagement with case studies of famous individuals — including Helen Keller, Margaret Garner and Harry Houdini. We will also investigate theories of originality and selfhood through the lives of our characters, as well as the psychology of personality and the psychoanalysis of possible/split selves. Several weeks will be devoted to “contemporary characters,” including celebrities and recent fictional characters. This course will be particularly appropriate for any student with an interest in psychology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, history, literature, women’s studies or theatre studies.

Selected Readings:

About this course:

  • The Wordle at the top of the page is assembled based on “key words” chosen by students during the course. Students chose a central word related to each reading and brought the OED definition with them to class. Explaining the rationale behind key words helped students to focus our discussion of each article. A few students per day presented their word, and the Wordle helped us to see trends from throughout the semester. The size of the words in the Wordle is determined by their frequency.
  • For the final research project in this course, each student researched their own “character” — exploring the history of a real-life person alongside their fictional and/or popular representation. Characters that the students chose to explore included Anne Frank, Dracula, Kay Redfield Jamison, Anthony Kiedis, and Jane Austen.
  • During our unit on Harry Houdini, we attempted a magic trick as a class!