Teaching

I have held various academic and language teaching positions at the Oxford English Faculty English, at St Edmund Hall, Oriel, Worcester and St Anne’s Colleges, Oxford as Graduate Tutor, and Junior Year Abroad Tutor for ASE Bath and fixed term professor for Emory University’s Oxford campus  (you can view a concise summary of these positions on my CV). I have also acted as undergraduate dissertation supervisor for St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and worked as summer school tutor for secondary school students for Oxbridge Academic.

My teaching interests cover nearly all periods of English Literature, and focus particularly  in 19th and 20th century English and German literature. I have taught classes and modules history and cultural studies, but also cross-period, interdisciplinary and comparative literature classes. I have designed courses on all levels, from undergraduate modules to summer and prep school classes and MA seminars, set and marked exams and essays, and further acted as (co-)supervisor for undergraduate and masters-level dissertations.

My focus areas are:

  • Victorian Literature,  ‘The Long Nineteenth Century’ & The Fin De Siècle
  • Twentieth Century Fiction & incl. Pre-/Inter-/Post-War Fiction
  • Literature, Science and Religion
  • The Literary Fantastic – Fantasy & Science Fiction (from antiquity to the present)
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • Gothic Literature
  • Madness and Mental Illness in Literature
  • Fiction & Place
  • Postmodern Adaptation
  • Comparative Literature
  • Visual Culture – Art & Illustration, Film, Graphic Novels, Video Games

I like my classes to be interactive, and if/when possible, I aim to relate text to context and thus supplement classes with walks, museum visits, guest lectures  etc. Thus, modules and classes I taught have been supplemented by visits to Oxford’s Natural History Museum and Botanic Gardens, Christ Church, Magdalen and Brasenose Colleges and their respective chapels (the portals to Narnia, Wonderland and Lyra’s Oxford), C.s. Lewis’s house, ‘The Kilns’, and the examination of original source material, combining text with context.

Below, I will provide, firstly, some examples of classes, workshops and modules I have taught, and secondly, a list of key areas I am able to teach.


Sample Modules, Classes and Tutorials:


Modules:

  • Children’s Literature (Visiting Students Program, St Anne’s College, Oxford; Hilary Term 2014, Trinity Term 2015):

The structure of this 8 week module is organised chronologically, as well as thematically. It spans the development of children’s literature from it’s emergence in the mid-nineteenth century, through works as Lewis Carroll’s Alice novels and MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin, to modern cinema blockbusters such as The Hunger Games. The thematic components of the module thus investigated ‘The Emergence of Children’s Literature in the Nineteenth Century’, ‘Nature, Animals and Fairy-Tales’, ‘Morals and Children’s Literature’, ‘Nonsense’, ‘Fantasy’, ‘Utopia and Dystopia’, ‘The Teen Social Problem Novel’, ‘Children’s Literature and Film’. Students were thus encouraged to think about children’s literature and its historical context, but also how the texts draw on, modify and playfully undermine narrative patterns and symbolism, their sources and adaptation throughout the ages.

Investigating, for example, aspects of Morality on Children’s Fiction, students examined the use of allegory in John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), and its Victorian re-incarnation in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist; or: The Parish Boy’s Progress (1838). After juxtaposing poems of Christian and Victorian Morality to their parodies, in Isaac Watts’s ‘Against Idleness and Mischief’ and Lewis Carroll’s ‘How does the Little Crocodile’, they moved on to Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), producing astonishing new insights. Having followed the long journey of the everyman Charlie Bucket and his allegorical opponents, the Oompa Loompa’s songs of Morality and Punishment suddenly didn’t seem at all so different from Christian and Mr Worldly-Wiseman, Hillaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales (1907), and their modern counterparts in Mitchell Symons’s Happily Never After (2013).

Students were examined 50% through tutorial essays. As the topic is however itself is a diverse one, students had the opportunity to explore a range of related subjects, such as illustration and film adaptation, through class presentations, abstract and review writing, and could practice Creative Writing in the Dystopian Fiction component.

In Trinity Term 2015 this module was extended by a Visual Culture component, in which the focus will be directed at illustrations and film, but also their more modern forms such as graphic novels and video games. Thus the development of children’s fiction, its tropes and traditions off the page towards interactive storytelling will be investigated, and the ways in which this understands and enhances, but possibly also limits narration.

 

Tutorials:

  • Virginia Woolf & Modernism (Prelims Paper 4,  Michaelmas Term 2013, St Anne’s College, Oxford)

In this set of tutorials students explored modernism and the female writer on the examples of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse (1927) and A Room of One’s Own (1929). They discussed introspective narrative modes, investigating the female vs the androgynous mind of the writer in the works of Woolf. Through tutorial essays the group explored aspects of art & reality and the shifting role of literary symbolism, moving from Victorian to Modern to Postmodern Fiction. In class we drew comparisons to the works of the Brontës and Thomas Hardy, on the Victorian end, and Samuel Beckett and Tom Stoppard on the Modernist and Postmodernist end of the Spectrum, and even Bioshock Infinite to fathom the boundaries of modernity, asking questions such as “What makes Woolf’s literary introspection different from Alice in Wonderland or Slaughterhouse Five?”


Key Areas:*


 

Literature and Science (1800-present day):

Evolution; Geology; Mathematics in fiction; Literature and Medicine, Illness and  (Near-) Death Narratives; the Sciences of the Mind, vision, perception & reality; Pre-Freduian Psychology & Dream- Narratives; Möbius, Klein, Poincaré: Speculative Science; ‘Scientific’ Spiritualism and Transcendentalism; Automatons & ‘Intelligent Machines’, Medical Humanities

Literature and Religion:

Apocalyptic Fiction; The Pilgrim’s Progress through the Ages; Literature; Religion and the Fantastic; Science and Religion in Nineteenth Century Fantastic Fiction

The Literary Fantastic

The Dream-Narrative; Fantasy & Science Fiction; Neo-Victoriana; Folklore and Mythology; Utopia & Dystopia; Other Worlds; Fantastic Food and Drink; The Ghost Story; Time Travel & The Fourth Dimension, Death-Narratives, Sensation Fiction, Gothic Literature

Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz & Alice’s and Dorothy’s Afterlives; “Wonderland”- fiction; The Fairy Tale; Anthorpomorphism; Nonsense Literature; Nursery Rhymes; Children’s Literature and Illustration; Graphic Novels, films and video games

Fiction & Place 

Fantastic Oxford;  London Fiction; North and South: Literature of the Industrialisation; Imagined Spaces; Poetry and Place; Childhood and Space; Dresden in Fiction from Romanticism to Modernity (comparative literature)


* This list is neccessarily incomplete, and will be extended continuously

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