Pedagogies of Hope, Delight, Whimsy, and Joy

deadline for submissions: 
March 26, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
MLA 2024
contact email: 

Call for proposals for a rountable at MLA 2024 (Philadelphia)

This roundtable proposes that pedagogies that center hope, delight, whimsy, and joy are a necessary alternative to so-called “rigor”—and that they are as (or more) intellectually productive as the traditional grind. In our current moment, when much of the world feels so heavy, despair about global crises is an easy organizing principle for academic classes that seek to offer student the building blocks for making change. What if, though, one of the vital building blocks they also need is joy? Assuming a roundtable format that will be conducive to a wide range of examples and a generative discussion of new ideas, this CFP seeks proposals for short talks about concrete examples of pedagogical approaches, specific assignments, course-design principles, reading-list-rethinkings, and their outcomes. What have you found to be the benefits of incorporating whimsy into your classroom? How do you tackle the difficult but necessary topics of your courses while still centering hope or delight? This roundtable seeks participants from different literary/historical periods, types of institutions, and points in the career trajectory. Send abstracts of 300 words, plus brief identifying information (up to 250 words) about you and the kinds of courses you most often teach to Andrea Kaston Tange akastont AT macalester DOT edu by March 26.