MLA 2012 in Seattle

It is official friends! I will be presenting at MLA 2012. For those of you who are interested, I am including the panel information and my abstract:

What Works? Integrating Literature and Culture

Innovative strategies for integrating literary and cultural studies in English and Foreign Language lower division and continuing education courses. Roundtable with George Louis Scheper ( and Stacey Donohue (


My students are often blissfully unaware of the power of their words and potency of the mediums through which they communicate. I have designed a composition course that aims expose my students to the riots and revolutions that have drastically changed our world throughout the last quarter century, and invite them to analyze the rhetoric and situation conveyed through the use of new media. I model this work with Anna Deavere Smith’s one-women play Twilight Los Angeles,1992 which brings forth questions of dialect, authenticity, and representation. Students weigh the book, movie, and news coverage with first hand accounts of the story and the critical responses of scholars such as Cornel West. The next phase of my interdisciplinary assignment sequence asks students to examine the 2009 Iran elections, using social media outlets as their primary research material. Students must first narrow their thesis to a particular perspective: an individual “Tweeter” or blogger, a specific reporter or photographer, an American or Iranian politician, etc. and examine the motivations and desired outcomes from this point of view. Part of the essay must focus on the use of technology in politics by showing how the individual used technology to influence the riots. Ultimately, students create final projects by investigating a riot or revolution of their choice, using both traditional and digital research methods to create annotated bibliographies, research papers and multimedia presentations. The research project leads to discoveries about the nature of freedom in our current political climate and the power of social media. The creation process helps them develop critical skills that enhances their academic and professional practices as they move forward in their careers. For this panel I plan to present examples of these final projects and discuss the value of their findings.

Since I have almost a year to prepare for this presentation, I would really like feedback. Please feel free to post comments, but more importantly I would like my followers to offer ideas and further reading for me to explore before MLA in January. Thank you so much! Hope to see you in Seattle!