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Reflections on Teaching Mrs Dalloway in Iraqi Kurdistan: An Interview with Steven Barfield (Part 2)

6 December 2021

Alan Ali Saeed, Sulaimani University, and Steven Barfield, London South Bank University

In Part I of this interview, published in our October issue, Steven Barfield and Alan Ali Saeed discussed the students of Sulaimani University’s interactions with Mrs Dalloway and with modernism more broadly. In this second and final part of the interview, the pair discuss the wider contemporary resonances of identity in Mrs Dalloway with transcultural perspectives, and the pedagogical methods which inform this. Continue reading “Reflections on Teaching Mrs Dalloway in Iraqi Kurdistan: An Interview with Steven Barfield (Part 2)”

Reflections on Teaching Mrs Dalloway in Iraqi Kurdistan: An Interview with Steven Barfield (Part 1)

8 November 2021

Alan Ali Saeed, Sulaimani University, and Steven Barfield, London South Bank University

The following is the first of two parts of an interview between Steven Barfield and Alan Ali Saeed. Steven Barfield was a British academic for most of his career, teaching principally at the University of Westminster, London. More recently he has been an educational consultant and has taught, mentored, and advised throughout the middle east. He is a Visiting Research Fellow at London South Bank University. Alan Ali Saeed, the interviewer, lectures in Modern English Literature at Sulaimani University and Komar University of Science and Technology (KUST), Iraqi Kurdistan. In this part of the interview, the two discuss Steven’s experience of teaching Mrs Dalloway in Alan’s city in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the students’ interactions with the text and with modernism more broadly. Continue reading “Reflections on Teaching Mrs Dalloway in Iraqi Kurdistan: An Interview with Steven Barfield (Part 1)”

The Modernist Review #29

29 April 2021

Have you felt self-conscious lately? How very modernist of you. Perhaps it’s because (in the U.K. at least) we are beginning, very slowly, to adjust to a relaxing of the pandemic rules, and remind ourselves how to behave in social interactions, or wear something that isn’t loungewear. Or perhaps it’s because we are more self-aware of ourselves within our working space. No longer is ‘a room of one’s own’ a private domain but open to frequent outside scrutiny on Zoom or Teams. People we may not even know gaze into our homes and wonder at the wallpaper or the chaos or the occasional glimpse of a dog’s tail passing by, and few of us can or want to move to a new abode as often as Elizabeth von Arnim to find a tranquil personal space. The ubiquity of Zoom meetings forces us to look at ourselves within our working space, a dystopian parody of Ilse Bing’s photographic self-portrait – though we’re sure there are plenty of modernists who would have loved the memes about looking at oneself on Zoom, not to mention the solemnity of that yellow halo surrounding the speaker’s box. Continue reading “The Modernist Review #29”

Book Review: Annotating Modernism

26th February 2021

Julie Irigaray, The University of Huddersfield

Amanda Golden, Annotating Modernism: Marginalia and Pedagogy from Virginia Woolf to the Confessional Poets (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020)

‘Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.’  After a year when teachers have had to adapt to online teaching, this adage sounds particularly insensitive and inappropriate. In the case of Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, Anne Sexton, and Ted Hughes, one can say that those who do can also be teachers. Great poets do not automatically become great teachers, but Amanda Golden’s Annotating Modernism demonstrates how these four put a lot of effort into designing and delivering courses that would enable their students to achieve a better understanding of modernism, as well as the creative process itself.

Continue reading “Book Review: Annotating Modernism”

Book Review: The Sensuous Pedagogies of Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence

1st September 2020

Michael Black, University of Glasgow

Benjamin Hagen, The Sensuous Pedagogies of Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence (Clemson: Clemson University Press, 2020)

Benjamin Hagen’s study, that shows us what, as teachers, critics, and students, we can learn from ‘sensuous pedagogies’ in the writing of Virginia Woolf and D.H. Lawrence, is supplemented by assignments, the first of which immediately catches attention with its stimulating questions: ‘How do your favourite writers teach? How do they read? How do they love?’(14). Hagen’s argument in favour of a definition of pedagogy that partakes of ‘sensation, emotion, intensity, the body, as well as attachment and relation’ (8) adopts a theoretical approach supported by Deleuze, Eve Kosofky Sedgwick, and Sara Ahmed, to name a few. However, Hagen’s own questions and the open, supple approach taken to the practice of learning and teaching, may also suggest intellectual kinship with Sister Corita Kent and John Cage’s ‘Some rules for students and teachers’ (1967), a text that is both disciplined and accepting. Kent and Cage insist that education is personal and creative, since there is no ‘mistake’ or sense in which we ‘win’ or ‘fail’, but instead only the imperative to ‘make.’[1] Acceptance of personal limitations must be balanced with discipline: ‘The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something.’[2] My own first thoughts and desires, in response to Hagen’s first assignment, led me to go and look again at Corita Kent’s and Cage’s instructions. Hagen wants the ‘sensuous pedagogy’ outlined to be of value ‘beyond modernism’(7). Yet we would do well to remember that the modernist pedagogical instruction par excellence might come from Samuel Beckett: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’[3]

Continue reading “Book Review: The Sensuous Pedagogies of Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence”

Teaching Online Dialogue: Responses #3

We’re thrilled to continue our dialogue on online pedagogy with these two pieces. In our February issue, Lee Skallerup Bessette kicked off the dialogue with her piece ‘Teaching Online in Extraordinary Times,’ and the next week’s dialogue pieces, by Alexander Jones and Sean Michael Morris, reflected on the need for resilience and the paradoxical importance of knowing when to admit defeat. This week’s trio of responses, by Cai Lyons, Laura Biesiadecki and Paul Thifault, discuss specific pedagogical practices and tools that might make teaching in the upcoming weeks and months that bit more fruitful.

Continue reading “Teaching Online Dialogue: Responses #3”

Teaching Online Dialogue: Responses #2

We are delighted to share two further responses in our conversation on online pedagogies. In last month’s issue, Lee Skallerup Bessette kicked off the dialogue with her piece ‘Teaching Online in Extraordinary Times,’ and Naomi Milthorpe and Jessamy Perriam reflected on the importance of trying to make connections, and keeping pedagogy simple, in these testing times. These next two responses, by Alexander Jones and Sean Michael Morris, reflect on the need for resilience and the paradoxical importance of knowing when to admit defeat.

Continue reading “Teaching Online Dialogue: Responses #2”

The Modernist Review #18: Pedagogies

Over the past few weeks, academic Twitter has been ablaze with debates over the dos, don’ts and hows of pandemic teaching, ranging from the helpful (threads of tips and resources from zoom aficionados, encouragements to give up on unattainable perfection) to the very much not (debates on who has it harder, childless academics or academics with children). Frankly, it’s a mess. 

Continue reading “The Modernist Review #18: Pedagogies”

‘A Period of Intense and Feverish Activity’: Experimental Education in the Age of Modernism

Charlie Pullen, Queen Mary, University of London

If you were a child in the 1920s, and if your parents happened to be of means and a certain kind of bohemian persuasion, you might have ended up going to a school like Summerhill. Founded by A.S. Neill in 1921, Summerhill first opened its doors in Austria, before moving to England in 1923. Based at a redbrick farmhouse in rural Suffolk, where it remains today, Summerhill looks from the outside to be a charming, idyllic place for children to grow up.

Continue reading “‘A Period of Intense and Feverish Activity’: Experimental Education in the Age of Modernism”

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