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Teaching Tools

Redesigned Courses

The Mellon Faculty Workshop provides strategies for faculty members to assist students in translating coursework to post-graduate pathways. Over the course of the workshop, faculty also look at ways to redevelop courses to better help students explore career pathways and other post-graduate opportunities by

  • Emphasizing skills such as critical thinking, critical reading, analysis, and teamwork.
  • Including departmental capstone courses with a focus on how to connect what they have learned to a future path 
  • Adding a “Career Trek” plan to visit sites in Atlanta or other U.S. cities where students can visit historic sites, places of cultural significance, and meet with successful professionals who have a background in the humanities.

The list below highlights the first 10 courses which were redesigned based on the faculty members’ experiences in the August 2019 workshop. Syllabi are available for review.

Helpful Links

Tea for Teaching is a podcast featuring a series of varied discussions on the best practices for both teaching and learning.

Reflective Writing is the focus of this helpful resource from the University of Portsmouth. It provides useful tips to better guide students develop stronger reflective writing skills.

This course addresses the history and ethics of the collecting and display of indigenous arts of North and Central America, including ancient artistic traditions. We will study selected episodes from the late 19th century to the present, considering both the colonial or imperial origins of museums and more recent museum practices. We also will explore the intertwined histories of private and institutional collecting of indigenous arts of the Americas and consider the legality and ethics of this collecting, as well as histories of repatriation. Furthermore, we will examine collaborative practices in which contemporary artists, curators, and activists critique, contextualize, or transform historic collections and displays. Syllabus

History of the use of visual images in Western culture. Study of tools necessary to read images, including still and moving images, performance, and display. Syllabus

A survey of ancient Rome, from its origins in legend and myth to late antiquity, as seen through its principal literary texts in their historical and cultural context. Syllabus

"Shakespeare and the Law" integrates the study of Shakespeare with legal theories of punishment. The course will include trips to a Georgia State Prison where students discuss Shakespeare's plays with men who are incarcerated.

A seminar on the U.S.-Mexico border, with an emphasis on writing. We study literary works (short stories, poems, novels, essays, testimonies) and artistic practices (film, photography, documentary, site-specific art, performance art) that grapple with conditions of work and conditions of life characteristic of the region: migration, movement, hybridity, violence, low-cost manufacture, precarious labor, inequality, nomadism, etc. Syllabus

Literary Editing & Publishing is an experimental course developed with support from the Mellon Foundation’s Humanities Pathways initiative. Daniel has designed it so that it offers participants the chance to do collaborate creatively in ways he witnessed as an editor of literary journals for the past 35 years (New CollAge Magazine, Partisan Review, Harvard Review, Exposé Magazine, and Berfrois). Syllabus 

This seminar will introduce students to the historical trajectory of debates central to literary studies today (the value of literature; the significance of art in the world; theories of taste, art, and technological developments) through thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Adorno, Derrida, Butler, etc. In general, we are preparing to answer the following questions: What do we do when we read literature? What are our underlying assumptions about the text, criticism, and the role of art in the world? The goal of this course is to prepare you to write about literature with a clear methodology and purpose.  Syllabus

The objective of this class is to assess illness narratives as genre, archive, and form of self-care. The perspective will be both historical (from early modern anatomy to contemporary cancer culture, from Montaigne to Agnès Varda) and intersectional (touching on issues of gender, disability, and health activism). Taught in English with the possibility to complete written assignments in French. Syllabus

This class will look at the relatively new and growing field of environmental philosophy. We will discuss environmental thought broadly construed, which includes the natural environment, animals, food, sustainability, and a host of social and political concerns regarding human and nonhuman relationships. We will consider how environmental philosophy challenges traditional philosophical frameworks (especially in regard to metaphysics and ethics), and we will question the merits and limitations of philosophizing about the nonhuman world. We will also consider the practical side of these issues: How can our actions affect change in contemporary human and nonhuman relationships? As ethical beings, are we obliged to alter our actions to consider the nonhuman world in our day-to-day lives and future careers?  Syllabus

This course offers a history of how Latin America and the Caribbean were shaped by musical practices in the midst of several waves of globalization. It covers colonial, modern, and current musical trends that illuminate large cultural, economic, demographic, and ideological aspects of this region. Students will learn about both famous and obliterated histories of folk, classical, and urban music, diasporic styles, entertainment corporations, markets, technology, state policies, pedagogy, cinema, musicology, nationalism, and music diplomacy. “Musical practices” are approached here in their material, economic, public policy, aesthetic discourses, identity, and political forms.


An emphasis is set on music as labor. Based on the Mellon Foundation project at Emory on “Work and the Professions,” specific readings and a guest speaker will deal directly with the ways in which music constitutes a professional field—of local, national, and global dimensions—with multiple forms of work. The course provides a historical framework to music students, opens a window to music and musical sources to students in history and the social sciences, and illuminates labor and professional realities of music. Syllabus