In a futuristic scenario, electronic environments and media might be used to foster a sense of connectivity and intellectual community in a literature seminar. "Cultural Turns" is both the title of the seminar and the justification for it: culture's turn from printed to electronic communication opens up new possibilities for contemporary cultural theory, pedagogy, and intellectual exchange. The course has been designed as an introduction to contemporary theory and pedagogy and focuses on those issues that will be encountered by teachers entering a profession increasingly under pressure to respond to the general public about curricular issues. The seminar proceeds in four main phases: (1) conferring in an open forum using e-mail as a stage on which to perform "conversational jazz"; (2) clustering collaboratively around a problem in a more intense and personally committed conversation; (3) retelling of the problem (for instance, the role of the teacher's authority in the classroom) as a personal narrative; and (4) producing a cycle of correspondence constituting a collection of research notes toward the resolution of the mutually perceived problem. If the wish is for more caring, collaborative, and dialogic educational environments, the available media should be used to construct the kind of virtual classrooms that are necessary. (SAM)
Downing, D.B. & Sosnoski, J.J. Professing Literature in 2015.