This essay, by Rob Nixon in the Chronicle of Higher Education, prompted a few thoughts on my own interest in teaching nonfiction in literature courses. http://chronicle.com/article/Literature-for-Real/64453/.
I happen to enjoy mixing it up with nonfiction in my literature courses. My two favorite courses, which are part of our Asian Studies Program, are Asian American Literature and Modern Indian Literature. Because I am teaching students largely unseasoned in the actual experiences of Asian Americans or with only a vague understanding of the history of India, nonfiction and documentary materials become a vital spine to these courses. And geeky history minor that I was in college, I just can’t resist injecting historical context into my literature courses—theory, post modernism be damned. Continue reading