|Present||English Faculty, Illinois Math and Science Academy|
Honors and Awards
- Winner of the 2017 Tillie Olsen Short Story Award
- Literary Explorations I: Composition, Rhetoric, and Early American Literature
- Literary Explorations II: Composition, Rhetoric, and Modern American Literature
- IMSATube: Nonfiction Film History, Theory, and Production
- The Idea of the Individual
Publications & Research (4)
Teaching Tolkien: Language, Scholarship, and Creativity Faculty Publications & Research (2015)
Why Tolkien? Let us start with the obvious—if cynical—question, almost certain to come from a skeptical administrator or colleague: why would any serious, self-respecting English teacher want to teach an author whose work is about ...
The Novel of Sentiment in a Short Story: Reflections on Teaching “Theresa” Faculty Publications & Research (2015)
I introduced “Theresa” in between units on “The Age of Reason” and “American Romanticism.” Thus it was foregrounded by works like Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and Phyllis Wheatley’s “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” and ...
Tolkien and Gifted Students: Blending Creative and Critical Thinking Faculty Publications & Research (2015)
In “The American Scholar,” Emerson warns against letting books become tyrants. As education “reformers,” political forces, and other special interests continue to pull modern teachers in so many different pedagogical directions, Emerson’s warning is increasingly ...
Before PTSD: Combat Trauma in the Civil War Short Stories of Kate Chopin Faculty Publications & Research (2014)
“The Civil War,” writes Robert Penn Warren, “is, for the American imagination, the single greatest event of our history” (3). Indeed, it has been estimated that the American imagination has been inspired to the tune ...
Short Stories (8)
Rhetoric and Composition (3)
19th Century American Rhetoric: Figures, Techniques, and Informational Texts Rhetoric Unit (2013)
Ward Farnsworth writes in his 2011Classical English Rhetoric “figures sound splendid when used to say things worth saying,” and nineteenth century Americans, it seems, had many things worth saying. The nineteenth century was a high-water ...
Claims and Enthymemes: The Rudiments of Argument Writing Bootcamp Unit (2011)
In Rhetoric, Aristotle called the enthymeme the syllogism of persuasion. More recently, philosopher Stephen Toulmin used a similar structure to form “practical arguments” in his Model of Argument in The Uses of Argument (1958). Essentially, ...
American Literature (6)
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois: Guiding Students to Historical Context Other Voices (2015)
Seldom have two vastly different visions been expressed as clearly and as elegantly as in Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Exposition Address (1895) and W.E.B. Du Bois’s “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others” (from The ...
Thoughts on African American Literature From the IMSA English Department Faculty Roundtable (2015)
This document is the product of an online collaborative discussion inspired by Black History Month that took place between members of the IMSA English team during the first week of February in 2015. In this ...
Connecting Literature and History: Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby Museum Project The Great Gatsby Unit (2013)
Despite mixed reviews at the time of its 1925 publication, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has come to be one of the most widely taught American books and has become a popular candidate for ...
Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil”: Group Activities and Interpretations The Short Story (2013)
Although the better-known The Scarlet Letter (1850) still draws more attention from many high school English teachers, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s darkly enigmatic short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” (1836) touches on similar themes and provides readers ...
Thoreau’s Walden: Experiential Learning and a Transcendental Walk Early American Literature (before 1900) (2012)
Many English classes struggle with Thoreau’s dense and often ponderous prose in Walden. Classes often become mired in his text and its romantic ideals of seclusion and self-reliance. This activity rips the words of Walden ...