"Literature in the First Year Seminar" roundtable session

full name / name of organization: 
Amanda Greenwell / NeMLA 2016 Hartford, CT (March 17-20)
contact email: 

First Year Seminar courses provide a way for first year students to undertake the rigors of intellectual study in an environment supportive of the transition they undergo as they enter college. As such, First Year Seminars can be sources of tension, discovery, frustration, and connection. From the instructor's point of view, the experience of teaching a first year seminar can cause new understandings to emerge—understandings of disciplinary value, of first year students, of institutional culture, and of effective pedagogy.

This roundtable session will focus on that which "emerges" for the instructor when the study of literature (of any genre, in any way) is a key component of the academic content of the First Year Seminar. Its participants will share and reflect upon their experiences as instructors, paying particular attention to the cross-fertilization that occurs for them and/or for their students as they combine the reading of literature with the aims and realities of a First Year Seminar on their respective campuses.

Participants might address the following:

• To what extent does literature "work" in the First Year Seminar?
• In what ways does the use of literature in the FYS course empower or complicate our role as guides/advisors to students transitioning to college?
• What are key differences between teaching literature effectively in the FYS classroom and teaching literature effectively in the traditional English classroom, and why do they matter?
• What types of pitfalls can occur when using literature in the FYS classroom, and how might one avoid them or mitigate their effects?
• How does using literature in the FYS course affect first year students, who are encouraged to engage in metacognition and critical inquiry as they acculturate to the norms of an institution?
• How has teaching literature in the First Year Seminar setting impacted your pedagogical practice across courses?

To submit an abstract, please use the following link: http://www.cfplist.com//nemla/Home/S/15669. Note that abstracts must be submitted through this system in order to be considered. Feel free to contact me with questions: greenwellamm@gmail.com.

Deadline: September 30, 2015. Decision notification: early October.