REMINDER: Bridging the Gap? Digital Media in the Literature Classroom (essay collection)

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Cameron McFarlane and Kristin Lucas, Nipissing University
contact email: 

Bridging the Gap? Digital Media in the Literature Classroom (essay collection)


Feb. 1, 2017: 300-500 word proposals and brief cv/biographical statement


Cameron McFarlane:

Kristin Lucas:

English Studies, Nipissing University, Canada


Recent critical focus on media and technology maps efforts to create a dynamic classroom that at its best enriches the teaching and learning of literature at the university. But the long-standing interest in media as a means to reach students and enhance delivery also points to an absence in current scholarship, which has not been attentive to that same media as content in the literature classroom.

To remedy this absence, we seek to bring together a series of essays that merge pedagogical practice with a critical consideration of the question: What is the role of media other than the printed text in the literature classroom? When we have students take a virtual tour of The Globe Theatre, watch a clip from The Tudors, make a vid in response to The Lord of The Rings, listen to a podcast, or blog about a text, what is the goal?  One of the most common analogies, even when it is not used expressly, suggests that such media serves as a kind of bridge that helps students to connect with a text. But while the bridge analogy is common and compelling, it is also potentially misleading.  What is the nature of a bridge (film, video game, television series, digital environment) that turns us, at least temporarily, away from our first destination, the text?  To what extent does the bridge not simply enable engagement but delimit and determine the terms of that engagement?  Does the bridge cease to be a bridge once we acknowledge its status as content? How do we know the bridge has been successful, and students are engaged with the text?

Cognizant of the earliest lessons of Media Studies—one can’t separate form and content, media and message—this edited collection will provide a practical and critical consideration of the role of media in literature courses and classrooms. We solicit proposals for chapters that analyze the place of media in teaching a broad range of literatures, from the Classical era to the 21st century.  We are particularly interested in considerations of teaching pre-20th-century literatures and in examinations of the disciplinary and pedagogical implications of media in the literature classroom.


Suggested topics include (but are not limited to):


•digital media in the undergraduate literature class


•digital media in the graduate literature seminar


•digitizing the Ancient World and teaching Classical literature


•media-based medievalism and teaching medieval literature


•gaming/LARP/ARG in the literature or philosophies of literature classroom


•the pedagogical and creative-intellectual value of virtual environments to teach theatre


•digital media and teaching literature and the environment/animal studies/Anthropocene


•digital media as a bridge to connect students to pre-1800 literatures. Does it mitigate or  distort historical distance?


•the role of digital media in teaching contemporary literatures


•assignments and evaluations incorporating digital media


•digital media that comes into our classes “through the back door”  e.g. SparkNotes, Wikipedia, enotes, etc.


•digital media and the expectations regarding course delivery and program structure


•reconciling the sense of speed and immediacy associated with digital media and the inevitable slowness of reading and studying literature


•the place of digital media in teaching literatures in languages other than English


•cognitive science and media-based learning



The volume will be submitted to West Virginia University Press’s Teaching and Learning in Higher Education series.


Please send abstracts of 300-500 words, and a brief cv or biographical statement to Cameron McFarlane ( and Kristin Lucas ( by February 1, 2017. We will respond to all proposals by the end of February, 2017. Invited chapters of approximately 5000 words will be due by the end of July, 2017.