At Romantic Circles, we've spent the past year thinking about how we might rework the Pedagogies site into something that is really dynamic and usable. Phrases like "Web 2.0" "interactive classroom" or "digital literacy" get tossed around almost too frequently these days, but when discussing how best to reenvision Pedagogies, we found ourselves returning to the idea of the digital, interactive "Commons." As some of you might know, this is the name of the e-journal portion of the Pedagogies site, and we do have some great volumes of essays on specific pedagogical issues in the works. But what about an online common: people moseying through with (virtual) book-filled satchels, their minds meandering between research ideas and recent class discussions, briefly stopping to talk shop about a particular author, topic, or situation, feeling connected and maybe re-energized to return to all the work tasks a week encompasses.
Teaching Romanticism ("TR") was designed with the hopes that many of the brief discussions had on NASSR-l or at conference dinner tables would be granted a larger space and thoughtful audience through which to percolate. Often discussion of teaching methods, materials, or problems become opaque, abstract, or seem less pressing than other things on our plate, and so we temporarily put them at the bottom of our To Do list. As a still-newbie Professor at a liberal arts college (Mount Holyoke) with an intense student population (en masse all-night study session/sleepovers in the library--be there or be square!), I admittedly have a certain obligation to my teaching. Yet what happens when, even momentarily, we envision our praxis, our ideas, and our literary theories through the lens of pedagogy? Does pedagogy need to have a greater or different role in our thinking, and if so how?
Under the guidance of Deidre Lynch, we have assembled a handful of scholars with a variety of interests, prerogatives, and experience. We hope you'll all pop-in occasionally with a comment or question. Or just lurk through some of the discussions. With the help of our bloggers, maybe making it through the semester will become a little easier if not virtually enjoyable.