Voyant Tools for Basic Text Analysis

by Jessica Porter, Office of Educational Technology (eTech) Whether you teach literature, history, or another text-heavy course, your students may benefit from the use of digital tools that enable them to dig deeper into a text and visualize its patterns and trends. Voyant Tools offers a suite of web-based tools that allow you to upload texts and perform basic text mining functions. The most popular item in the

Students’ Opinions Instruction are In! Now What?

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Sometimes there is a considerable difference between a professor’s evaluation of a course and those of the students. The divergence can work in either direction. Perhaps a “terrible” experience for the professor was “absolutely brilliant” for the students. Let’s be honest, however: the opposite situation is difficult news.

A ‘Hipster’s’ Introduction to Religion

In “A ‘Hipster’s’ Introduction to the Study of Religion,” Nathan Loewen talks about his approach to teaching REL 100 and the academic study of religion: My class sessions are structured as active learning based critical inquiries into how public and scholarly discourses deploy grammar and terms to frame “religion,” where examples from the everyday interact with those

World Literature Class Awards Book Prize

Instructor: Emily Wittman Course: World Literature (EN 411) Audience: Undergraduates Making significant use of Web 2.0 technology, I run my English 411 course, a senior-level seminar in comparative & world literature, as a prize-granting panel, modeled loosely on the Nobel Prize committee. We read seven or eight critically acclaimed contemporary novels from across the globe,

Film Course Studies Religion in Popular Culture

Instructor: Matthew Bagger Course: REL 360: Popular Culture/Cultural Humanities Audience: Undergraduates Offered each semester, this one-credit hour course requires students to attend four monthly films along with either the Day Lecture or the Aronov Lecture, and then to write a small number of brief commentaries on these events/issues, some of which appear on the department’s blog. The fall

History Students Test Their Spear-Throwing Chops

by Juan Ponce-Vázquez, Department of History As someone who teaches courses on colonial Latin American history in Alabama, and previously in the rural northeast, I have not had many chances to bring history to life for my students. In the past, I have taken students to museums when a temporary exhibit came to a nearby

Teaching Grammar with Corpus Studies

Instructor: Dilin Liu Course: Structure and Usage (EN 424/524) Audience: Undergraduate and graduate students Structure and Usage is an advanced course on English grammar and usages, mainly using contemporary linguistic approaches, such as cognitive linguistics, corpus linguistics (i.e., the study of language using large-sized computer-searchable collections of language data), functional linguistics, and the lexicogrammar approach, which treats lexis

Faculty Spotlight: Jessica Kidd

What are your favorite teaching strategies?  My favorite teaching strategies are getting students to make something and then getting them to reflect on that process of making. When I teach freshman composition courses, I want students to write essays and then think back to how/why they made the choices they did to create those essays. After students

“On the Road” with Jeff Melton

Instructor: Jeff Melton Course: On the Road (AMS 412) Audience: Undergraduates Part cultural history, part literature/film survey, “On the Road” examines the enduring narrative that emerges when Americans take to the open road behind the wheel of a car. Car culture is arguably the most definitive characteristic of late-20th century American social structure, and the