Thursday, October 29, 2015

Syllabus Impossible

I've been agonizing over a revision to a course that I'm teaching this semester--a 100-level, Gen Ed, lecture-style course.

And this morning I realized what the problem is.

In revising the syllabus, I would like to change only two or so books, and somehow achieve a perfect balance of the following:

  • male and female authors
  • authors of different ethnicities (from all around the world--so including, e.g., African-American, African, Asian, Indian, white USAmerican, European, Latino/a, etc.)
  • authors writing in different national languages
  • authors writing from, or about, different religious perspectives or backgrounds--ideally including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, atheism, and Hinduism
All of this in no more than nine books, please!

Clearly, I have set myself an impossible task.

And so I release myself into imperfection.

Besides, I'll be teaching this course at least once a year forever. I can change it up.


What Now? said...

Ah yes -- I know this problem well. I like the idea of "releasing [yourself] into imperfection"! And please do post to let us know what books you wind up with eventually; that may help the rest of us in our own ongoing quests to achieve this impossible task.

heu mihi said...

I'd love to! Of course, if I do, I'm also opening myself up to suggestions--which would be great, and which I want, but which would also send me back to the drawing board.... But I just need to get over that! (And perhaps, for the sake of my thinly veiled pseudonymity, I'll post them on FB?)

Bardiac said...

Sounds like a great plan for a course, and impossible!

But you could try to include different authors/works in balance, changing a few in and out each semester!

heu mihi said...

Bardiac--I think that's what I'll do! It'll take the pressure off *and* keep just a little bit of the course fresh each semester (without overwhelming myself with new preps).

Bardiac said...

Is this an intro to lit sort of course, or a genre course, or?

heu mihi said...

It's an intro-level comp lit course--to put it in un-google-able terms, it's a two-word phrase meaning, roughly, "quasi-religious first-person-non-fiction-narratives." So sort of genre, but not genre like Poetry or Short Story or something.

Bardiac said...

Oh, that sounds fascinating!