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Teachin' Books

Education Podcasts

A podcast all about the ways people teach, learn, and work with literature -- aaaand all sorts of other texts, like video games, theatrical performances, Dungeons and Dragons, and more! Host Jessica McDonald talks about how she teaches with literature and interviews folks from traditional and non-traditional educational contexts to find out what they're doing these days with literary and cultural texts.

A podcast all about the ways people teach, learn, and work with literature -- aaaand all sorts of other texts, like video games, theatrical performances, Dungeons and Dragons, and more! Host Jessica McDonald talks about how she teaches with literature and interviews folks from traditional and non-traditional educational contexts to find out what they're doing these days with literary and cultural texts.

Location:

Canada

Description:

A podcast all about the ways people teach, learn, and work with literature -- aaaand all sorts of other texts, like video games, theatrical performances, Dungeons and Dragons, and more! Host Jessica McDonald talks about how she teaches with literature and interviews folks from traditional and non-traditional educational contexts to find out what they're doing these days with literary and cultural texts.

Language:

English


Episodes

2.9 Kate Beaton's Ducks

3/15/2022
Today's episode involves our first ever comic on Teachin' Books! I'm excited to share with you how I teach Kate Beaton's webcomic Ducks, which you should definitely read right now, if you haven't already. Topics of the episode include: confronting environmental and social justice through literature, i.e. through visual and textual analysis; teaching within and around public narratives about Fort McMurray; reading text alongside paratext; and celebrating the effectiveness of a discussion...

Duration:00:28:41

2.8 Interview with Namrata Mitra / Teaching Postcolonial Literatures

2/22/2022
On today's episode, I'm chattin' with the fabulous Namrata Mitra, who is an Associate Professor at Iona College in the Department of English. Her research areas are feminist philosophy, queer theory, and postcolonial studies. We talk about Namrata's Postcolonial Literatures courses, and we discuss a wide range of teaching-related topics, such as: how students' material conditions shape their learning, and in turn should shape our teaching; uncertainty as pedagogical method and practice,...

Duration:01:09:49

2.7 Changin' Times

2/1/2022
Wow, things have chaaaanged and are still a-changin'! Teachin' and learnin' things, that is. On this first solo episode of 2022, I talk about how I've come face-to-face, in the last few weeks of full-time teaching, with how teaching and learning has changed in the year and a half+ that I was away from teaching for my full-time postdoctoral fellowship. Topics include: uncertainty and flexibility; questioning attendance and participation practices; deciding not to assign any late deductions...

Duration:00:28:35

2.6 Interview with Brent Ryan Bellamy, Moritz Ingwersen, and Rachel Webb Jekanowski / Teaching about Oil through Arts, Film, and Literature

1/11/2022
In this first episode of 2022 (!!!), I'm delighted to be joined by Brent Ryan Bellamy, Moritz Ingwersen, and Rachel Webb Jekanowski, co-instructors of a course on "North American Petrocultures," taught collaboratively and online through TU Dresden in Germany. The core of this episode: How do you talk about oil in a Humanities classroom? What can studying arts and literature teach us about oil, energy, and environmental justice? How can we imagine different futures through the skills and...

Duration:01:08:46

Holiday special! - Feeling My Way through Walmart

12/21/2021
This year's Holiday Special episode (whoop whoooop!) is an audio essay I produced for the Future Horizons summer project series. The series was organized by the fabulous Sarah Roger and Paul Barrett, and my essay was produced with generous support and feedback from Myra Bloom. The audio essay is "Feeling My Way through Walmart," and it spans my experiences from growing up in a Walmart, to my time working in retail, navigating the company in present day, and researching Walmart and other...

Duration:00:46:49

2.5 Interview with Karrie Auger and Nancy Van Styvendale / Inspired Minds: All Nations Creative Writing Program and Gregory Scofield's "Heart Food"

12/7/2021
I'm so pleased to share today's interview with you, featuring Karrie Auger and Nancy Van Styvendale, all about the Inspired Minds: All Nations Creative Writing Program, which is facilitated in prisons in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In addition to talking about how they've approached Gregory Scofield's poem "Heart Food" in Inspired Minds classes, Karrie and Nancy get into: relationship as the core of Inspired Minds and their facilitation of creative writing classes; the material conditions of...

Duration:00:56:03

2.4 Interview with Shana MacDonald / Feminist Think Tank and Instagram Research, Activism, and Education

11/16/2021
Today's episode is all about the ways we teach, learn, and work with... Instagraaaaaaaaam! I'm so excited to share with you this conversation I had with Shana MacDonald, who is an Associate Professor in Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo and the current President of the Film Studies Association of Canada. On today's episode, Shana talks about her funded, collaborative, interdisciplinary research-creation project Feminist Think Tank, @aesthetic.resistance on Instagram, and we...

Duration:00:58:00

2.3 Emily Dickinson's "A narrow Fellow in the Grass"

11/2/2021
If you enjoy thinking, learning, and hearing about the nuts and bolts of classroom practice, this one's for you! In today's episode, I talk about three methods / exercises / approaches I've used to teach Emily Dickinson's poem "A narrow Fellow in the Grass." And I get downright detailed, y'all: close-reading, concept-mapping, riddle poems, assembling textual evidence, and practicing poem annotation. And: hear my breadmaker bangin' up a storm in the background -- whoops! Listen in and let...

Duration:00:31:19

2.2 Interview with Megan Solberg and Ian Moy / Part Two of Giggles and Screams, AKA: A Conversation with Veteran Teaching Assistants

10/19/2021
Listen in to part TWO of my conversation with expert TAs and all-around excellent humans Megan Solberg and Ian Moy, Ph.D. candidates in English at the University of Saskatchewan who have lots of wisdom to share about navigating the unique context of team-teaching environments. In this second and final part of our conversation, we cover: student-TA dynamics, including setting boundaries and handling challenging situations; dealing with difficult or controversial course content as a TA; and...

Duration:00:58:26

2.1 Interview with Megan Solberg and Ian Moy / Giggles and Screams, AKA: A Conversation with Veteran Teaching Assistants

10/5/2021
Teachin' Books is back for Season Twoooooo, and I'm excited, y'all! ...especially because this first episode is part of a special two-part series to kick off Season Two, and it features a couple of my dearest friends, Megan Solberg and Ian Moy, Ph.D. candidates at the University of Saskatchewan who have a combined variety of experiences as Teaching Assistants. In Part One of this two-parter on Teaching Assistantships, we talk about: protecting your mental health as a TA; working in good...

Duration:01:04:28

1.23 Failure in/and Teaching

6/22/2021
Today I'm talkin' FAILURE. With contributions from friends, colleagues, listeners who shared their stories and thoughts about failure, as well as my own experiences and ideas, this episode gets into: the "meta" experience of failing to read enough about failure to do an episode on it; learning in theory versus learning through practice; sharing failures with students as "parting gifts," as icebreakers, as a lesson in self-reflexivity, as a practice of vulnerability, of transparency, or just...

Duration:00:35:43

1.22 Louise Halfe - Sky Dancer's Blue Marrow and "Body Politics"

6/8/2021
On today's solo episode of Teachin' Books, I'm talking about the work of acclaimed poet Louise Bernice Halfe, whose Cree name is Sky Dancer. In particular, I'm talking about an excerpt from Blue Marrow and a short poem called "Body Politics" from Bear Bones & Feathers. For the former: I get into the topic of prairie poetry, prairie literature, and prairie identity, complicated as these formations are, and for the latter, I discuss gender, "womanhood," and "real" versus "artificial"...

Duration:00:33:39

1.21 Interview with Lucy Hinnie / Teaching Shakespeare: Comedy and History

5/18/2021
We're back to teachin' Shakespeeeeeare today! This episode features an interview with my lovely friend and brilliant human Dr. Lucy Hinnie! Lucy is currently Wikimedian-in-Residence at the British Library, and is completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Saskatchewan. In the course of our convo about the second-year Shakespeare: Comedy and History class that Lucy taught in 2020, we get into: how to demystify Shakespeare for those who are intimidated by his work; attending...

Duration:01:04:56

1.20 Interview with Khodi Dill / Spoken Word Poetry and “Grey,” Picture Books, and Education

5/4/2021
Teachin' Books is back with an exciting interview with Khodi Dill, who is author of the picture book Welcome to the Cypher (available for pre-order now!) and a Bahamian-Canadian writer, spoken word artist, and anti-racist educator living and working on Treaty 6 territory in Saskatoon. Check it out, y'all! :) Khodi and I chat about spoken word poetry (& its role in education and social justice); his poem "Grey" and how I've taught it in my undergraduate English classes; the publication of...

Duration:01:10:00

1.19 End-of-Term Tips

4/13/2021
How do you wrap up the term in a good way? What do you do in the final days of class, whether remote or in-person? What atmosphere do you try to create? This episode includes thoughts in response to those questions, featuring fantastic tips by Ashley Gagnon-Shaw, Jocelyne Vogt, and Catherine Nygren, as well as some ideas of my own. :) Hope you enjoy! on Harold Cardinal's "A Canadian What the Hell It's All About," episode on The Stanley Parable.Hedbanz gameone version of Marianne Moore's...

Duration:00:29:48

1.18 Interview with Wendy Roy / On Researching, Writing, and Publishing The Next Instalment

3/30/2021
Heeey y'all! On today's episode of Teachin' Books, we're talking about something a bit different: research, writing, and publishing as forms of teaching and learning. The episode features part of the book launch for The Next Instalment: Serials, Sequels, and Adaptations of Nellie L. McClung, L.M. Montgomery, and Mazo de la Roche, written by Dr. Wendy Roy, Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Saskatchewan. In the launch recording, Wendy reads from the book and answers...

Duration:01:02:47

1.17 Listener Q&A / Catch-Up Episode!

3/23/2021
Today's episode is a bit of a catch-up / breather: I'm answering a few listener questions and emails and, along the way, returning to some of the podcast's ongoing topics of interest. Topics like... statue activism, book clubs (I ask: why do some last and some don't?), recording the podcast, teaching challenging texts, and the often energizing circumstance of teaching students who think English is a whole bunch of bullshit. I hope you enjoy! Tonya Davidson's work1.1 Interview with Jade...

Duration:00:22:37

1.16 Interview with Jordan Bolay / Dungeons and Dragons

3/16/2021
It's heeeeeere! I'm so excited to share this Teachin' Books episode on Dungeons and Dragons, featuring Dr. Jordan Bolay, who is an instructor of English at Pearson College UWC. Even if you're not a DnD player, I think you'll like our chat! We get into: DnD as an experiential learning practice, and as a text to be studied in literature classes (plus, as a language-learning tool); games and play in the classroom; and roleplay as a method to teach issues around ethics, empathy, and ecological...

Duration:01:04:48

1.15 Robert Montgomery's Public Poetry Installations

3/9/2021
On today's episode, I'm talking about the public poetry installations of London-based poet and artist Robert Montgomery. I use Montgomery's work in my first-year undergrad poetry class to consider important dimensions of and questions brought up by public poetry, such as: how these poems blur the line between "art" and "the real world"; how materiality and physical position shapes meaning; where poetry belongs and who has access to it; what kind of art or poetry is "permitted" in public...

Duration:00:31:11

1.14 Interview with Rebekah Ludolph / Hiromi Goto's The Kappa Child

3/2/2021
Heeeeey y'all! We're back to talkin' about book clubs today as Ph.D. candidate Rebekah Ludolph shares her experience reading Hiromi Goto's novel The Kappa Child (2001) in a book club that encourages the goal of reading to learn. At the same time, Rebekah complicates the idea of reading for "social change" and draws from her doctoral research to discuss the nuances, limitations, and possibilities in the act of reading. Other topics of the episode include: types of readers and reading...

Duration:01:10:03