Pedagogy Roundtable Proposal: Teaching Twain—Beyond Huckleberry Finn, for the 25th Annual American Literature Association Confer
_The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_ is, without a doubt, an indispensable novel in the study of American literature and culture, but its very hypercanonization, as Jonathan Arac observed over 20 years ago, mucks things up. And this hypercanonization is probably continuing to muck things up. The novel still holds a firm place in the post-secondary canon and high school canons and in high schools is often taught, as Jennifer Gaye, a community school teacher in Naples, Florida, observes in the most recent Mark Twain Annual, within departmental or district frameworks that "work to make everything 'come out alright' in the end," and "gloss over" significant ambiguities, in service, I would suggest, of making the text demonstrate an authorized "nationalized literary narrative," as Arac might put it.
While I would never argue that we *not* teach _Huckleberry Finn_, the above seems a useful provocation: what other Twain texts do we teach (or might we teach) and in what contexts and to what ends?
I seek 5-7 roundtable participants to present on the teaching of Twain's less-often-taught works from the full range of his career and the broad variety of genres in which he worked. Depending on the number of panelists, presentations with last from 5-10 minutes. The goal of the roundtable will be to generate vigorous and useful discussion among panelists and the audience. Proposals should be particularly attuned to pedagogical challenges and goals. I would welcome proposals from teachers at all levels of instruction and from a wide variety of institutional settings.
To submit a proposal, send a title and an abstract of 150 - 250 words to Mike Duvall at email@example.com. Please also include, per ALA proposal guidelines, a brief bio describing yourself and your relevant work. The subject line should read "ALA Roundtable Proposal" The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2014.