Thursday, June 20, 2013

Exciting Fall 2013 Offering: Service-Learning with PEN/Faulkner

An exciting opportunity for interested students!

This fall, GW English will continue our partnership with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, specifically its "Writers in Schools" program. Writers in Schools has been running in DC for more than 20 yeas. It pairs writers with English (high school) classrooms, providing support to teachers and students and facilitating visits by writers to schools. Teachers, students, and writers all love the program.

Last fall, we offered an inaugural section of ENGL 3810: Topics in Literature: Service-Learning with PEN/Faulkner. The course will be offered Tuesdays and Thursday at 9:30-10:45 although we expect that once it gets off the ground it will meet at GW once weekly (either Tuesday or Thursday).

A group of 4 to 6 students will work with PEN/Faulkner to develop high-school curriculum materials for contemporary literary works. Students will devote between 6-12 hours per week to developing these materials, both individually and as a team meeting with PEN/Faulkner representatives. At the same time, students will meet weekly at GW to engage in learning that will complement and enrich their PEN/Faulkner work.


We cannot offer this course in the fall unless we have a commitment from 4 students. The course description and contact information is offered below!

ENGL 3810 Service-Learning with PEN/Faulkner Fall 2013
Emma Snyder
Elizabeth Pittman

Course Description


The Service-Learning Course with PEN/Faulkner will continue a successful collaboration between George Washington’s English department and the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in the Fall 2013 semester. The theme for this year’s course will be, “Executing the Humanities: Literature in the Time of STEM.” This is a one-of-a-kind course that will provide you with the unique opportunity to work closely with a prestigious award-granting literary foundation located in Washington, D.C. This course will take you beyond the “walls” of George Washington to consider the roles of reading, writing, and in particular, teaching contemporary literature in today’s society. As English majors we learn early to value literature, especially the classics. Throughout the class we will interrogate that valuation in light of the larger philosophical ideas and cultural values that motivate our education system, whether it is the public education system, private schools, or charter schools. We will consider how the skills and methodologies that English majors use to interpret literature are translated to other aspects of our lives, especially with regards to concepts of “profession” and “achievement”. For example, students will be introduced to strategies used when reading literature for instruction. We will ask fundamental questions about the “value” of a Liberal Arts education and how the English major is changing as the way that we access literature increasingly becomes more varied.

In order to be admitted to the course, you must send a brief email of introduction and intent to Emma Snyder, Executive Director of PEN/Faulkner, esnyder@penfaulkner.org, and to the instructor, Elizabeth Pittman, epttiman@gwu.edu. A letter of introduction to the course will follow.

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