Monday, May 5, 2008

Teaching and Funding

In the previous post, I pasted my closing comments to the "Instituting Religion" conference from April 10, and my friend Jodi raised some issues in the relationship between funding (and academic advancement) and teaching, noting that as long as research is the primary means of advancement within academe that teaching will get the short end of the stick. She also raises several important issues of the relationship between pedagogy and theory (bringing theoretical savvy to teaching and practical teaching experience to theory), between research and teaching (bringing research into teaching and teaching issues into research), and speaking in general about the contingency of context for these issues (concerning the type of school, its funding structures, and so on).

Given all of these interrelationships, I thought it would be appropriate to announce to my blog-reading public my situation next year: I will be teaching Literature of the Humanities next year at Columbia, which, according to most people I have known who have taught it, is an intensive teaching load (at least for the first-year teachers in the program). Yet, this program will fund me to finish my dissertation (although the teaching load will put me behind my original research schedule). I am very excited for the opportunity to teach in Columbia's Core next year! I do hear that it is great teaching experience and a great overall experience. In fact, some of the people I have spoken to have said that the way they teach Lit Hum, forcing people to slow down and do very close readings of texts from Homer to Virginia Woolf, has forced them to reconsider their own reading practices for their dissertations--forcing them to be much more careful readers in their own fields based upon their situations in the classroom. I do hope to be able to bring insights from my own work (at least from a standpoint of reading practices or ways of organizing large blocks of texts) into conversation with the texts I'll be teaching. Since I work on the interrelationship between the Sabbath and the Sanctuary in ancient Jewish and Christian literature, I'm sure I'll be able to find a time/space bridge (via Bakhtin's Chronotope perhaps).


April DeConick said...

Congratulations Jared! I'm proud of you!

jodi said...

Congrats on Lit Hum!!!!!

Your Bakhtinian chronotope shout-out warmed my heart :-)

Liam said...

Congratulations, Jared. I taught LitHum this year. It's unbelievably time-consuming, but it's the best teaching experience you'll get at Columbia.