Why go Digital?

For the past few years, I’ve felt a disconnect between how and what we teach English majors in the classroom and the reality of the contemporary professional workplace. Yes, I still believe in reading and writing literature, in close reading and analysis, in the value of research, and in the importance of excellent written and verbal communications skills. But the common research or term paper I’ve assigned for the past 15 years seemed more to prepare students to get PhDs in English than to prepare them to find employment in the marketplace. So, I thought, how can we keep our learning outcomes at the heart of what and how we teach and yet better prepare students to meet the developing needs of the market? Digital technology, social media, creativity, voice—all of these elements seem to key to successful careers using an English degree. We are the experts on reading and communication, and businesses now communicate more and more through the web—through interactive websites; through Google searches and marketing; through social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram; through video, podcasting, apps, games, etc. So I thought we could explore these technologies as means to exhibit and assess our learning about British Literature, Global Literature, Literary Theory and methodologies, about teaching, and about new modes of writing and reading. We read differently now, because of the internet. We write differently now, because of the internet. So why shouldn’t the English major and what we do be different now as well?

Hopefully, even though many of the assignments we will do are new, challenging, and even scary at times, you will look back and think that they prepared you for #whatyoucandowithanEnglishmajor in your future. You will learn TONS about British literature, culture, periods, authors, and concepts, but you will also learn several new skills and ways to communicate with an audience that will transfer directly onto your resume and future careers. You are a NEW generation of English major—be proud! 🙂tumblr_mc01fdslxt1qbkiyvo3_r1_250



As members of a public university, we will be sharing our ideas and projects in a public forum this semester. Your ideas, your writing, and your creativity are part of a larger web of scholarship and thinking about British Literature, the humanities, and digital technology. As such, we will be sharing our work on our course blog (psubritlit2) throughout the semester.

Technology in the Disciplines:

This course satisfies the general education Technology Connection component. In the modern world, technology has application to every academic discipline, and educated people must have an understanding of technology that will allow them to adapt to rapid technological change. Students take a three-credit Technology in the Disciplines (TECO) course specified as required for the major. This English course is taught within the discipline and will help students examine the role of technology within English fields and within a larger societal and cultural context. This TECO course will provide students with hands-on experience using current technologies; with a broad understanding of the concepts underlying current technology;; and with an understanding of forces, based in the need and values of our culture, that drive technological innovation.