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Teaching in the Modern Media World

Author: Paige Risser

The idea “began with a cup of coffee and a vacant stare in a strip–mall store in Mishawaka, Indiana,” writes Jim Collins in the introduction to his new book Bring on the Books for Everybody: How Literary Culture Became Popular Culture.

Collins, a concurrent professor of English and film, television, and theatre—and winner of the College of Arts and Letters’ 2010 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award—remembers sitting in a suburban Barnes and Noble, drinking a Starbucks latte, and listening as his daughters argued about which Harry Potter movie was really the best. It occurred to him he was surrounded by incongruities in that cafe: a nearby couple talked about Oprah’s Book Club, while two teenagers complained about having to read A Separate Peace and wondered why their English teacher wouldn’t let them talk about something interesting like the movies Shakespeare in Love or William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.…

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