The Black Box and the Purpose of Freshman English

I tell my students on the first day of class when we go over the syllabus that it will not be the most stimulating conversation they have ever had. And

(A)broadside

Idly poking a crouton cube westward across a salad plate, the Candidate tells us the importance of attending college in an international setting.  I stare at the flaccid Earl Grey

Paint cans, tattoos, and Internet napalm

On the first day of class, my freshman English students generally encounter one of two things: the paint can or the Bugs Bunny cartoon. In the paint can scenario, I

Literary Bicentenary: Charles Dickens

English Matters began with a 300th-birthday tribute to Samuel Johnson in 2009, and makes its belated-phoenix reappearance today to mark the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens on Tuesday 7 February.

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