Teaching

Philosophy

My primary mission as a teacher is to cultivate critical intelligence in my students. The relationship between literacy and thinking is inescapable, much in the way that reading and writing are ineluctably connected; therefore, the guidance my students receive in writing and literature classes is structured to imbue them with knowledge, arm them with practical techniques, and prepare them to logically confront and critique the varied issues that shape our world.

In the classroom, I engage students in an active exchange of views-a collaborative enterprise wherein the students (and I) generate, analyze, and revise ideas. I design my literature classes to produce critical readers, rather than people who have read a handful of works from a particular period or genre. I design my writing classes to produce motivated writers, rather than people who have written X number of words in the fulfillment of their educational requirements.

Because no human culture exists without language, intercultural and intracultural communication depends on written and verbal skills. Thus, the more skilled students are in the use and analysis of language, the more prepared they are to make unique and important contributions to their particular disciplines and humanity as a whole.

Areas of Specialization

20th Century American Literature

The primary thrust of my scholarship, although I’ve found that the multicultural awareness of the twentieth century and the steady dissolution of rigid boundaries between class, race, and nationality have increasingly made this and all categories difficult to maintain. This accounts for the broad diversity that many people have noted in my teaching and writing.

Creative Writing (Fiction, Screenwriting, and Poetry)

In addition to my scholarship, I have continued a love of creative writing born in my childhood. My favorite genres are the novel and the screenplay, but I have also written poetry, drama, and teleplays. Because of my ongoing publishing agenda, many of the universities where I have taught have invited me to teach creative writing courses in fiction, poetry, and screenwriting.

Film and Filmmaking

My interest and scholarship in film comes from two sources: my interest in the genre of the screenplay, and my interest in the twentieth century–the first century dominated by visual representation.

20th Century British Literature (Undergraduate Level)

My coverage of British literature spans approximately 200 years. I’ve taught 19th century British literature (from Blake to Yeats) and modern British literature, and I’ve published a book-length work on Virginia Woolf’s The Waves.

19th Century American Literature (Undergraduate Level)

Part of my comprehensive coverage of American Literature. In particular, my focus in the 19th century has been on the evolution of a distinctly American literature alongside the development of a national consciousness. This developing consciousness is, understandably, inseparable from European influence and judgement.
19th Century British Literature (Undergraduate Level)
See 20th Century British Literature

Early American Literature (Undergraduate Level)

One of my primary teaching responsibilities at the University of Alabama was to cover the emergence of American Literature from its implications in the literature of exploration through the end of the civil war and America’s entrance into the Gilded Age.

World Literature I (Undergraduate Level)

My philosophy on teaching early World Literature is to help students realize the immeasurable influence that the shift from oral tradition to writing has had on the development of human consciousness and world civilizations.

World Literature II (Undergraduate Level)

My focus for late world literature is on the last 200 years, beginning with Baudelaire and continuing through contemporary writers such as Achebe, Haruki Murakami, and Lorna Goodison. In addition to covering major authors, I have exercises designed to expose students to the literature of emerging countries with which they may not already be familiar.

Composition, Technical, Business, and Professional Writing

I’ve found that my diverse background (finance, music, and so on) has aided me immeasurably in the teaching of writing courses. The six years I spent as a financial consultant bring real-world experiences to my teaching of technical, business, and professional writing, and my ongoing scholarly publication allows me to impress upon students the invaluable advantages of a strong command of the written language.

Professional Appointments

Associate Professor of English (Aug. 2006-present), Department of English, Penn State University, Mont Alto. Graduate Faculty, Humanities, Penn State University, Harrisburg.

Assistant Professor of English (Aug. 2000-2006), Department of English, Penn State University, Mont Alto.

Assistant Professor of American Studies (July 1997-Aug. 2000), Humanities Department, State University of New York, Maritime.

Instructor of American and World Literature (Aug. 1996-June 1997), Department of English, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Instructor of English (Aug 1995-June1996), Department of English, University of South Florida, Tampa.

Teaching Assistant in English (1989-1995), Department of English, University of South Florida.

Adjunct Instructorships

Saint Leo University (1994-1998), Department of English, Instructor.

Hillsborough Community College (1992-1994), Department of English, Instructor.

Pasco Hernando Community College (1991-1992), Department of English, Instructor.

 

professor, writer, filmmaker, musician, and raconteur