Cultural Studies in the English Classroom

Front Cover
James A. Berlin, Michael Vivion
Boynton/Cook Heinemann, 1992 - Education - 326 pages

Many students are taught composition and literature as two unrelated disciplines. What's more, language-as it is often conceived of and presented within our educational institutions-is regarded as the privileged domain of those with the cultural keys, only available to students when in the presence of the keyholders.

Cultural Studies in the English Classroomopens up ways of teaching and devising programs which place the students' cultural experiences at the center of language production and consumption. It is the first book of its kind to provide concrete models of cultural studies programs and classrooms for high school and college teachers who would like to try this approach and are looking for effective examples.

The text opens with a jargon-free definition of cultural studies, describing its potential as an innovative method for teaching English and developing programs. Specific classroom approaches to teaching literature and composition are provided throughout, including ideas for discussion, writing assignments, even classroom organization. Teachers who have tried these approaches write about the successes and failures they've had in the classroom.

Readers of Cultural Studiesare invited to replicate the courses and programs presented as is, or adapt the general principles and theory contained within the text to create versions best-suited to their teaching environment. The book's discussion of institutional politics will be useful to administrators and department chairs looking to modify their own programs.

For anyone interested in understanding the nature of cultural studies and the impact it's having on English teaching, Cultural Studies in the English Classroomis a ground-breaking text. There are no other books in the field which provide models of actual practices and functioning programs within cultural studies.

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About the author (1992)

JAMES A. BERLIN began his teaching career in elementary schools in Flint and Detroit, Michigan. After earning a Ph.D. in Victorian literature at the University of Michigan, he became an assistant professor of composition at Wichita State University. While there, he also served as first Director of the Kansas Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project. He next taught at the University of Cincinnati, where he was Director of Freshman English. Since 1987, he has been Professor of English at Purdue University.MICHAEL VIVION taught high school for three years in California and one year in an urban high school in Milwaukee. He has taught composition at six different universities, directed composition at the university of Missouri at Kansas City, founded the Greater Kansas City Writing Project, and served as the Director of Region VI of the National Writing Project. In 1990 he worked with language development teachers at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. With his wife, Sarah J. Morgan, he co-authored The Writers Circle and Houghton Mifflin English 9-12. Recently elected at the Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Education, he is currently Associate Professor of English at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

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