CFP: [Professional] Rethinking the Survey Course - NEMLA (9/15/07; 4/10-13/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Robin DeRosa
contact email: 

Rethinking the Survey Course

Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, Buffalo, NY
April 10-13, 2008

This panel seeks to rethink the “survey course,” a ubiquitous courseâ€"or,
in most cases, series of coursesâ€"in college-level English degree
programs. The traditional survey program requires four courses: two in
American lit and two in British lit; these courses are almost always
organized chronologically, and often take anthologies such as the Norton
or the Heath as their primary or sole texts. As more English programs
seek to interrogate rather than simply reinscribe canonicity, how can
survey courses shift to meet the changing politics and pedagogies of
today’s English departments? Questions to consider may include: are
survey courses worthwhile? how can we teach literary history and
periodization without sacrificing depth or blindly reinscribing the canon?
should British and American surveys be handled in parallel courses, or are
these geographic fields distinct enough to warrant differing survey forms?
should global literatures (other than American or British) be part of a
survey program? at what level of a degree program should survey courses be
required? what innovative approaches and ideas do instructors have for
rethinking the survey course? Papers with a balance of theoretical
discussion and practical possibilities will be especially welcome.

Abstracts due elctronically by September 15, 2007 to Robin DeRosa at For more information on NEMLA, visit

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Received on Wed Aug 01 2007 - 15:22:58 EDT