Multicultural and Transnational Literatures

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CFP from MELUS: Articles about multi-ethnic pedagogies

MELUS Call for Papers for Special Issue

Teaching Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States: Pedagogy in Anxious Times

Guest Editors: Cristina Stanciu and Anastasia Lin

The 2005 MELUS special issue “Pedagogy, Praxis, and Politics” raised a number of questions about the theoretical implications of pedagogical practices in the multi-ethnic literature classroom. From the state of the field in the academy, debates over the canon, to challenges teachers face in various institutional and political contexts, the essays called into question the assumption that pedagogical praxis is divorced from theory. Building on this foundational special issue on pedagogy, as well as recent MELUS panels, roundtables, and conversations on critical pedagogy, this special issue extends these conversations over the last decade to address theoretical, historical, and practical concerns in the teaching of U.S. multi-ethnic literatures.

In the last ten years, which we might call “anxious times,” many of these concerns have continued to resonate and amplify. In a country where racial and ethnic demographics are changing constantly, where programs like “Mexican American Studies” and “Ethnic Studies” continue to come under institutional and community scrutiny, where growing movements such as “Black Lives Matter,” immigration reform groups, and indigenous activists continue to challenge assumptions about a “post-racial” U.S., we live—and teach—in anxious times. At the same time, more than ever before, technology is now shaping important conversations about race, ethnicity, nationality, or indigeneity both inside and outside the academy. We are seeking essays for a MELUS special issue on Pedagogy in Anxious Times (anticipated publication date 2017) that address, but are not limited to, the following questions and topics:

How has the state of the field changed over the last decade and how do our pedagogical practices reflect this change? How do we negotiate praxis with the theoretical investments of our respective fields or sub-fields?
How does geography/region influence approaches to multi-ethnic literature? (National, international, and transnational approaches are welcome.)
Has our approach to teaching the conflicts changed in the age of Obama/in post-Ferguson United States? How do we bring contemporary historical events into the classroom to bear on conversations about race, ethnicity, class, or gender?
How do we negotiate the opportunity and anxieties multi-ethnic literature produces in the classroom, especially as we relate it to our historical moment? How does pedagogy meet political action or social reform?
Do contemporary technologies or curricular innovations improve our pedagogical practices? How does DH (Digital Humanities) influence our approaches to teaching multi-ethnic literature? What are the immediate advantages of negotiating anxiety in the classroom through new technologies?
In what ways do service-learning, undergraduate research and/or learning communities challenge or add to more traditional approaches to multi-ethnic pedagogy in order to foster citizenship beyond the classroom?
How do institutional contexts influence our pedagogy? How do we negotiate student (and sometimes community) resistance?
What challenges do we as teachers continue to face in the classroom, and what new challenges does our own historical moment create?
How does identity (of students, of teachers, or both) shape pedagogical practices, particularly in anxious times?

The editors welcome both theoretical essays and essays that explore pedagogical strategies and praxis. They should be between 5,000 and 9,000 words, including notes and works cited, prepared according to the MLA Style Manual 7th edition. Please do not include the author’s name anywhere in the manuscript. Essays under review at other journals or previously published in any form will not be considered for publication in MELUS. Please also include a 250-word abstract with your submission. All submissions will go through MELUS’s normal refereeing process.

Please submit completed essays to the MELUS online manuscript system: by January 10, 2016. Please also indicate in the “custom questions” section of the submission that you are responding to the CFP for the Pedagogy in Anxious Times special issue. For questions about the issue, please contact Cristina Stanciu ( or Anastasia Lin (

Multicultural Mirrors

Coming up @ECU…
Multicultural Mirrors Meet and Greet
The annual meet and greet event will be held in the Croatan Green Room on September 9, 2015 from 6:00p.m. to 7:30p.m. Faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend this informal networking event “to celebrate the diverse members of ECU’s class of 2019.” Refreshments will be served and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center requests you to RSVP to no later than September 1, 2015.

Position Announcement

From: Elizabeth Moose, Dean, NC School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, NC, USA
Date: 23 June 2015

The NCSSM faculty position listed below will be posted tomorrow morning (Wednesday, June 24) and will be listed–at least initially–for five days (until June 30, 5 PM). We are naturally eager for potential candidates to apply as soon as possible.



CLASSIFICATION/TITLE: Instructor of Humanities

DEPARTMENT/OFFICE: Department of Humanities


POSTING DATE: June 24, 2015

CLOSING DATE: June 30, 2015, 5 p.m.

Salary commensurate with education and experience
10-Month Position
1.0 FTE

Minimum Requirements: Master’s degree in African Studies, American Studies, Global History, or Comparative Literature with ability to teach African Studies and American Studies. Expertise in Middle Eastern Studies and Global History is a plus. Applicants should have a minimum of three years’ successful teaching experience at a college, university, or a college-preparatory school. Experience in university writing programs is a plus.

Description of Work: Founded in 1980, NCSSM is a state-supported residential and online high school for students who have demonstrated exceptional talent or interest in science, mathematics, and technology. Since the School’s inception, the humanities have been an integral part of an NCSSM education. NCSSM’s Program in the Humanities includes college-level interdisciplinary courses as well as a variety of sophisticated electives. The center of our program is an American Studies course, the core experience for all juniors. American Studies doubles as the base of the NCSSM Writing Program, which emphasizes writing in context. The Department of Humanities features a content-rich curriculum that is designed to foster critical thinking and writing-as-reasoning.

This is a full-time, ten-month appointment in the Department of Humanities, with full benefits through the State of North Carolina. The position reports to NCSSM’s Dean of Humanities.

Major duties for this position include the following: teaching African Studies and team-teaching American Studies in NCSSM’s residential program, with the possibility in future years of teaching courses on North Africa and the Middle East. Humanities Faculty are responsible for developing and teaching innovative and engaging humanities curricula, with a focus on interdisciplinary studies, in NCSSM’s residential and/or highly interactive online and video-conferencing programs. Faculty should thus plan on playing an enthusiastic role in ongoing, collegial conversations about ideas, goals, pedagogical methods, and authentic assessment, within a collaborative teaching and learning environment.

General Duties Include: Develop and communicate to students clear course objectives and goals; plan and develop an instructional program that helps students assimilate specific course content and skills; hold tutorial sessions as outlined by the department; regularly monitor and evaluate students’ progress, providing them with resources and feedback on their performance; structure and manage an environment conducive to learning; model for students responsibility to self and others; follow the School’s philosophy, policies, and procedures; serve as academic advisor to a small group of students (beginning in the second year of employment); serve as a Mini-Term sponsor; attend departmental, faculty, and staff meetings; serve on departmental, faculty, and school-based standing committees; write recommendations for as many as 15 students each year, as requested; participate in professional development and personal intellectual growth activities. Participate in one or more of the following activities: provide information, service, and expertise to other schools and organizations; assist students on special projects, independent and individual study, and seminar-based studies; participate in the admissions process by recruiting, selecting, and advising prospective students; participate in NCSSM alumni activities; provide assistance for school-sponsored programs and extracurricular activities.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: NCSSM is committed to an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the humanities. Applicants should have a wide-ranging knowledge of literature and its cultural and historical contexts, a passion for teaching and learning, and a love of ideas, combined with a willingness to act as a mentor and guide for students-both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. Applicants should have an interest in team-teaching as well as online teaching. Applicants should have a proven record of excellence and the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with all members of the NCSSM community. Applicants should be dedicated to continual growth, both as teachers and learners. Since NCSSM is both a residential and online high school, faculty and staff are expected to participate in the intellectual, cultural, emotional, and social growth of students-responsibilities that transcend a traditional high school or college teaching schedule. Applicants should thus have the commitment, energy, and stamina to participate actively in the multi-dimensional life of the NCSSM community.

How to Apply: Submit an electronic application via: Please create an account, search for the Instructor of Humanities vacancy, and complete/submit an online application.

A thesis on Sherman Alexie

I’m delighted to announce that Janie Bryan has successfully defended her thesis, “Antiseptic Humor: Using Comedy to Confront Realities and Refute Stereotypes in the Works of Sherman Alexie,” under the direction of Dr. Su-ching Huang.