Tuesday, June 26, 2018

AALCI in NYC 2018

We spent a few days in New York City, June 21 - 25.

[Related: AALCI in NYC at the Schomburg]

AALCI in NYC at the Schomburg

We spent a few days in New York City, June 21 - 25. A few shots from our time at the Schomburg.

AALCI 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Poster Presentation, 2018

Images from our poster presentation.

A project at different stages of development

I got a chance to document Ashley Hamilton's poster at different stages of its development.

AALCI 2018

Preparations for poster session

Here's a look at the Fellows working on their posters leading up to their presentations.

AALCI 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sketching out poster plans

We spent some time during Monday's session sketching out plans for our upcoming Poster Presentation session. The Fellows drew sketches of their posters, discussed the design and contents, and took questions.

AALCI 2018

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The case for increased attention to meetings with students

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