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Thursday, October 18 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
197: Difficult Texts FILLING

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For the presenters on this panel, when we teach, we want to be challenged. Our goal is to include students in a joint effort to struggle through the complicated questions that sit at the heart of our disciplines -- US history, literature, anthropology, analyses of race, gender, class, and inequality, etc. Because of these goals, it is important for us to assign work that we find interesting -- work that addresses our concerns and the concerns of our students. We strongly believe that difficult texts can be taught at many registers. Simple texts - ones that are easily accessible and make familiar and straightforward arguments - certainly have their place in the college classroom, but often they function within a narrower range of registers. We find them less useful in our classroom.

We want to be engaged and curious and excited about the material we encounter with our students. We find that our enthusiasm is contagious. We often talk to colleagues about teaching difficult texts and concepts to community college students. Some are surprised when they learn that we are asking our students to read material that even we find challenging. Many are convinced that that is an exercise doomed to failure.

These presenters will share their thoughts about why teaching difficult texts in community college humanities classrooms helps to build dynamic and inclusive learning environments. Each of us will demonstrate the strategies that we have developed to scaffold student engagement, and will invite discussion from participants about their strategies for achieving similar goals.


Anthony Alessandrini

Professor, Kingsborough Community College
Preferred Gender Pronouns: anyBio: Tony Alessandrini is a professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, and also teaches in the Middle Eastern Studies program at the Graduate Center.

Libby Garland

Professor, Kingsborough Community College
Preferred Gender Pronouns: anyBio: Libby Garland is Associate Professor of History at Kingsborough Community College, where she teaches courses on U.S. immigration history, urban history, and the history of U.S. imperialism.

Karen Miller

Professor, LaGuardia CC
Preferred Gender Pronouns: any Bio: I am a professor at LaGuardia Community College where I teach history. Together, I read texts with my students that I find challenging and from which I am learning and enormous amount.

Andrea Morrell

Assistant Professor, Guttman Community College
Preferred Gender Pronouns: anyBio: Andrea Morrell is an anthropologist teaching classes in the first year program and in the Urban Studies program at Guttman Community College.

Thursday October 18, 2018 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT
GC, Room 197, Concourse Level 365 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA