Citing Louise Rosenblatt

I am writing an essay that celebrates the groundbreaking work of the late Robert Scholes (1929-2016), one of my favorite literary and pedagogical scholars, whose books, especially The Rise and Fall of English (1998) and The Crafty Reader (2001), influenced me a great deal during graduate school and continue to influence me to this day. But as […]

Race, Craft, and Creative Writing: A Conversation with David Mura

In the video below, I sit down with David Mura—teacher of creative writing and author of at least ten books of poetry, fiction, memoir, and craft criticism—to discuss his new book: A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity, and Narrative Craft in Writing. In both the book and our conversation, Mura speaks with insight, clarity, and grace on: […]

Democracy Is Worth a Good Argument: A Conversation with Patricia Roberts-Miller

In the video below, I chat with Patricia Roberts-Miller, PhD, about her recent book Demagoguery and Democracy. Although as a scholar of rhetoric or specifically “of train wrecks in public deliberation,” Roberts-Miller has written a number of academic tomes (and in fact has a scholarly version of this one forthcoming), she wrote this as a little […]

An Experiment in Deep Reading, by Shanoya Murphy

Corrigan’s Editorial Note: In my English Composition I course, I have started asking students to experiment with how they read, first reading a book (James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time) as they usually would, then rereading that same book while trying out my advice for how to read deeply, then writing a comparison and contrast essay […]

Choreographing Borges, by Kylei Strahan

Corrigan’s Editorial Note: My World Literature course asks students to find creative, meditative ways of working with texts from around the globe. In fall 2017, Kylei Strahan took Jorge Luis Borges’s “The Garden of Forking Path”—a fascinating, bizarre, deeply multicultural text, written by an Argentine writer, set in the UK, revolving around a location in France, […]

Photo of money by Marc Brakels (CC BY-NC-ND 2010)

Want a Job with that English Degree?

If you want to major in English, you might feel some pressure. Folks might warn you against it. Folks might tell you that you can’t get a job with an English degree, might advise you that a “practical” degree is the safe bet in a rough economy, might crack jokes about you working at Starbucks while writing a novel in your […]

World Literature in Watercolor, by Jamie Weston

Corrigan’s Editorial Notes: In my World Literature course, I invite students to practice reflective, meditative, contemplative ways of reading. The idea is to slow down, pay attention, and listen. A wide range of creative responses lend themselves to this work, including painting (which I’ve written about). The time spent painting in response to a text […]

What I Learned from My “Liberal” Arts Education, by Emilee Rosell

Corrigan’s Editorial Note: Emilee Rosell took her very first (English Composition II) and very last (World Literature) college classes with me as her professor. She’s now graduated with a BA in English. In this reflection essay, she looks back on what she learned in that last class, and throughout college. I cannot say how inspired and encouraged I […]

A White Person on White Privilege

My friend and former student Danielle Bonilla asked me for my take on “white privilege.” This phrase, which Peggy McIntosh famously unpacked in her 1989 essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,”  has received a lot of attention lately, positive and negative. In this post, with Danielle’s permission, here are her questions and my responses. What is your perspective on white privilege? “White privilege” is […]

Race & Justice: A Primer on Key Terms

“ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” —James Baldwin #‎Racism‬ – When your society divides people into “races” based on arbitrary factors like skin color or ancestry and ascribes different worth to the different groups ‪#‎Prejudice‬ – When you have negative thoughts or feelings toward people of another race or ethnicity […]

Visual Interpretations of Okada and Steinbeck, by Raeanne Watkins

Corrigan’s Editorial Note: In U.S. Literature in Spring 2015, Raeanne Watkins created the following images in response to John Okada’s No-No Boy and John Steinbeck’s The Pearl. Okada describes experiences of Japanese Americans after the WWII internment, while Steinbeck offers a parable, set in Mexico, about poverty and wealth. I find Ms. Watkins’ images striking on their […]

Sculpture Angel of the Waters by Emma Stebbins (1873); photo by Ahodges7 (2008).

The Postsecular and Literature

A review of scholarship. by Paul T. Corrigan 1. Introduction In late modernity and postmodernity, many aspects of traditional religion have become intellectually and morally untenable. Among the most pressing of these are the patriarchy, homophobia, and antisciencism that so often come with traditional religion. At the same time, however, many contemporary writers, religious and nonreligious, […]

Sculpture of Enée et Anchise by Pierre Lepautre (1697), Photo by Miniwark (2006)

Literature of Exile

Many people do not realize that Jesus was quoting directly from the Book of Leviticus when he said to love one’s neighbors as oneself. This context lends an important layer of meaning to his words. Often his saying is reduced to an encouragement to “be nice” to others. While not a bad admonish as far as it goes, that interpretation […]

Watercolor of Ephemera Vulgate, Katherine Plymley, 1805.

William Bartram Contemplates Ephemera

William Bartram—the naturalist who effectively missed the American Revolution because from 1774-1777 he left his home in Pennsylvania and traveled through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida—had a vast knowledge of ecology, including plants, animals, soil, landforms, and weather, which he demonstrates in his book on that expedition, commonly known simply as his Travels. If the glossary in the Library of […]