Saturday, July 05, 2008

Austen Rethunk

Laura posts news of an intriguing initiative:
This coming semester, in collaboration with a certain Land Baron around here, I will be trying out the use of group course blogs in teaching English. Not so novel perhaps, course blogs have been done before, but it's new for us and (we think) for our faculty, and we're planning to use the blogs in ways that have integrity - ie not using them as just another new-fangled place to park some text...This semester it is an experiment, and participation in it is voluntary and not assessed. I'm doing all I can think of to make sure it's taken up and is a worthwhile exercise. Next year I plan to make it mandatory.

The blog topic is non-academic appropriations of and responses to Jane Austen - Jane Austen in 'popular culture', the Austen industry, fandoms, mailing lists, LJ communities Austen spinoffs and sequels, fanfic, Austen coopted into marketing irrelevant products, Austen memes, Austen tourism - anything of that nature. I want students to find themselves things to write about and to write about them interestingly, knowledgeably, critically, and fairly.
The blog, Rethinking Jane Austen, is here.

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