Author Archives: Andrea Kaston Tange

What if Those Books are “not for us”?

This past semester, an extremely bright student in my senior seminar recounted a story of how her high school debate team, which was very successful, found itself towards the end of the season facing debates against kids from swank private … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Yes, but what will you DO with that English major?”

Towards the end of this spring’s Senior Seminar, we took up this question. I had given the class a 2013 column by Michael Bérubé to read as a jumping off point, with this as perhaps its most pointed bit: After all, who … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Chastising Professor

Earlier today, I read a mini-rant by a professor I don’t know, who was fuming over students who don’t do their homework. She wrote that, having been educated to PhD level herself at the University of Hard-Assery, she didn’t tolerate … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Darwin and Eliot and History*

My very smart academic friend, Sam Cohen, recently wrote at length about the difficulties of planning a course based on a particular historical moment in terms of the philosophical problems of making fiction stand for history. At least, that’s how … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Of Academic Idealism

I want my students to be brilliant. I want them to make observations I haven’t thought of, and write sentences that make me smile just because they are so articulate, and draw connections that illuminate literary history. And in between … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In defense of making students study things they don’t always want to

I will be the first to admit that the student-as-consumer model of education that is touted by some university administrators drives me batty. This is not to suggest that I think that the needs and goals of students ought to … Continue reading

Posted in Reading and Writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pencils in the Lunchroom

As my students are composing literacy autobiographies, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own early relationships to reading, writing, books, poetry, words. I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t read, though obviously there was one. This may be … Continue reading

Posted in Reading and Writing | Tagged , | 3 Comments


For the first time, I have asked my Senior Seminar students to use a blogging platform for part of their course requirements. I have always relied on a portfolio of response papers for their more informal engagement with the ideas … Continue reading

Posted in Senior Seminar | Tagged , , | 1 Comment