In what follows, PhD candidate Jhoanna Infante details her experiences with the University’s Early Academic Outreach Program and shows another way that the English Department gets involved with the surrounding Bay Area community.
One afternoon last summer, I unexpectedly found myself behind a podium defending the U.S. War on Mexico of 1846, channeling President James K. Polk’s argument that Mexico instigated conflict by “invad[ing] our territory and shed[ding] American blood on American soil.” At the time, I was teaching a summer writing course for high school students, entitled Founding Words: Powerful Arguments in U.S. History. As part of an in-class debate designed to prepare the students for an upcoming essay, I had to muster all the zeal and evidence I could [...]
One of the ongoing ways in which some members of the English department involve themselves with the larger community of the Bay Area is, as we’ve already touched on here, through the Prison University Project. Below, graduate student Annie McClanahan continues her account of teaching at San Quentin by answering some “Frequently Asked Questions” about her experience. As the semester progresses, the blog will include a number of posts that describe the members of the departments’ involvement with the program in more detail.
What is the prison itself like?
It’s about as hard to generalize about the prison as it is to generalize about the students: for those who don’t know, San Quentin is located on one of the most beautiful pieces [...]
In what follows, fifth-year graduate student Matthew Sergi reflects on his experience “visiting” the Modern Language Association convention that recently took place in San Francisco. This is a somewhat condensed version of Matthew’s more colorful account which can be found on his own personal blog.
MLA members are the custodians of language, and language is at the heart of virtually all disciplines (at least the humanistic ones).– Rosemary Feal, MLA Executive Director
The thirty thousand scholars of language and literature who form the Modern Language Association convene annually in late December. In a different city every year, we critique each other’s research, compare notes on teaching and evaluate the current state of humanities education. We also hold preliminary interviews for the majority [...]
UC Berkeley is famous for inspiring its undergraduates to pursue advanced degrees in graduate school, and the English Department is no exception. Senior English major Ana Schwartz, one of the department’s very promising young scholars, spent this past summer participating in Yale University’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, where she was funded by the Leadership Alliance, a program that helps to prepare minorities who are under-represented in the academy for graduate school. A Mexican-American who grew up in Sonoma County and a transfer student to Berkeley, Ana reports that she was a bit dumb-founded by the gothic grandeur of a university like Yale (and she also reports that she was happy to return to the sunshine and tall trees of Berkeley’s [...]