Yin and Yang in the English Classroom: Literary Criticism and Pedagogy of Popular Texts (15 January 2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Cynthia A. Leenerts
contact email: 

Yin and Yang in the English Classroom:
Literary Criticism and Pedagogy of Popular Texts

Contributions are invited for a collection of literary criticism and pedagogical strategies on any aspect of popular-culture texts. The burgeoning interest in popular culture in the academic environment provides a watershed moment to examine and evaluate a wide spectrum of critical approaches and practical uses of books, films, music, comics, television, radio, and electronic media. Our book uniquely brings together two major areas of academic study—criticism and pedagogy—to create a unified source for learning about popular texts and ways to teach them in university and secondary classrooms.

Bearing in mind that "education" literally means "drawing out," how can we bring in what students read or watch outside the classroom in a meaningful and productive way? How can we link these "outside" texts to literary endeavors that excite students? What are some new options for teaching canonical and non-canonical texts? How can showing a film be more than a time-filler? How can we encourage students to develop more productive ways of critical thinking about literature? How can we take what "they like" and sneakily still achieve what "we want" in academia?

Our book comes in two parts. We welcome essays that would either address the literary criticism of a compelling popular text OR would present a creative approach to teaching one or more texts. In other words, please provide an abstract that clearly fits either the literary-criticism section or the creative-pedagogy section of the book.

What follows is a suggestive, but not an exhaustive, list of topics:

Feminist, Postcolonial, Cultural Studies, Historical Contexts, Queer Studies, and more concerning:
*Graphic Novels
*Young Adult Literature
*Detective/Mystery Fiction
*Romance Novels
*Science Fiction
*Popular Film (i.e., Film Noir, Vampire Sagas, Bollywood)

Using Film in the Classroom
Incorporating the Graphic Novel as Literature
Facebook Groups and Social Media as Pedagogy
YouTube and Hulu as Instructional Tools
Television as Text
The Lost Art of Radio Refound
Songs as Poetry

Please send abstracts of 500 words by email to Sandra Eckard of East Stroudsburg University at seckard@po-box.esu.edu AND Cynthia Leenerts, also of East Stroudsburg University, at cleenerts@po-box.esu.edu by 15 January 2012. Queries are welcome. Preference will be given to abstracts written in accessible language for multiple audiences that may include literary critics, middle and high school English teachers, and university professors.