Kate Chopin, Pedagogy, and the Secondary Classroom—Problems and Possibilities
If you or someone you work with has taught or is considering teaching the work of Kate Chopin, the Kate Chopin International Society would like to hear from you and invite you to consider sharing your experiences with other teachers at the annual conference of the American Literature Association in Boston, MA, on May 21-24, 2009.
The novels and short stories of Kate Chopin--particularly “Desiree’s Baby,” “The Storm,” and “The Story of an Hour,” and her classic novel The Awakening—have become a fixture of American Literature, AP, and College level Introduction to Literature text books and courses across the country. Chopin’s sparse yet richly ironic narrative style, as well as the subject matter of her fiction (race and gender identity and women’s sexual and social autonomy in the late 19th-century), often present challenges to teachers and their students. But students’ and teachers’ encounters with Chopin’s work also frequently results in powerful new insights about our own assumptions about stories, society, and gender.
We seek proposals (especially from secondary classroom teachers, teacher-educators, post-secondary English faculty involved in teacher preparation, or even research collaborations of all three) which attempt to understand both Chopin’s work and literature pedagogy in the context of 21st century schools. We especially welcome papers that draw from a classroom research perspective to consider the interpretive discourse by and for secondary and post-secondary students when they encounter Chopin’s fiction. Papers might also take up general questions of what happens when students and Chopin meet (What specific challenges or obstacles have you encountered? How did you and your students navigate the tricky terrain of Chopin’s fiction? What discoveries did you make about Chopin, your students, and your own teaching?) , or pursue the pedagogical traces (or absences) in the fiction itself.
For more information and guidelines for submitting proposals contact John Staunton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kathleen Nigro (email@example.com). 250-word abstracts and brief bio of all presenters should be sent to us no later than January 9, 2009.
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