We spent a few days in New York City, June 21 - 25.
[Related: AALCI in NYC at the Schomburg]
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Monday, June 18, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018
|Student discusses abstract with Joycelyn Moody|
The individual meetings that each of the Fellows, Joycelyn Moody, founder of AALCI, and I have are always one of the highlights of our summer program. Year after year, the Fellows present their abstracts to Moody in preparation for the closing public poster sessions. The sessions give the students an opportunity to discuss their projects (with someone other than just me) and respond to questions from a senior scholar in the fields of African American literary studies and African American Studies.
I really wish more universities took this kind of approach of a small meeting session, as opposed to the way that we typically have senior project set up. In many cases I've witnessed for an English department senior project, students will read their research papers for maybe 5 to 8 minutes each on a panel. Usually, there's time for only a few questions for the entire panel.
By contrast, in our 30-minute sessions with AALCI, Moody asks no less than 10 questions. Her questions are often about audience, content, research approaches and alternatives, and potential outcomes. She regularly asks the students why they are really undertaking the projects.
|Student and Moody begin to discuss the project abstract|
Note that these questions are taking place at the beginning of the process at the moment where students can make major changes or really solidify their reason for showing interest in a topic. The tone of the meetings encourages the students to devote crucial energy and significant attention to the setup, approach, and process. That's different than when students are prompted to primarily think about the final senior presentation.
We could make a case for increased attention to meetings with students on research projects. Rather than a one-on-one meeting during office hours, how about a situation where students meet with two o more professors? Instead of considerable attention at the end or at the culminating conference, how about more attention at the outset?
• AALCI 2018
• Joycelyn Moody and the Coltrane Quartet
• A courtside seat with Joycelyn Moody
• The Interlocutor, the Ghost Hunter: Joycelyn Moody