Sarah’s current and past collaborative projects affiliate with promising public humanities approaches. Grounded in sustained partnerships with diverse stakeholders, these programs have supported community building while creatively countering divisive trends in society today. Examples spotlighted below share information about initiatives where Sarah has served in a major leadership role.
Current Projects Sharing Resources Here
How can faculty members and students link their study of transatlantic culture in the long nineteenth century to generative trends in this burgeoning academic field? Sarah is collaborating with a number of teacher-scholars to explore this question through shared learning in seminar offerings and publication of both print and digital resources. Currently, Sarah is working with co-editors Andrew Taylor and Linda Hughes, as well as associate editors Heidi Hakimi-Hood and Adam Nemmers, on a new anthology of primary texts, Transatlantic Anglophone Literatures, 1776-1920, forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press in 2022. As a complement to (and extension of) that print resource, Sarah and a Digital Humanities team are expanding offerings in the Teaching Transatlanticism website’s digital anthology and using that website to foster network-building among students and educators interested in expanding and refining the vision for work in this growing field.
Humanities Texas Institutes for Schoolteachers
Sarah’s work with Humanities Texas has included directing two curriculum-focused programs for secondary literature schoolteachers delivered online via Zoom during the COVID pandemic: Teaching the American Literary Tradition in summer 2020 and an eight-session ZOOM workshop on teaching literature in spring semester 2021. In both those programs, besides facilitating an opening session with content drawn from her own teaching and scholarship, Sarah supported other presenters’ preparation and assisted in their session delivery.
The Bluest Eye Project
Under the primary leadership of Sarah’s English Department faculty colleague Dr. Stacie McCormick, this multi-faceted initiative honored the 50th anniversary of the publication of Toni Morrison’s first novel. Sarah and Stacie co-facilitated several events, such as an online symposium in fall 2020 and a TCU Alumni Book Club discussion of the novel in April 2021.
Collaborating with several graduate students and talented teachers from around the country, Sarah also co-sponsored a winter 2021 online sharing session focused on teaching the novel—a follow-up to a similar event in fall 2020.
The Bluest Eye Project’s website continues to provide resources to support reflections and research on Morrison and her writing. Visitors to the website can also view theatre students’ readings from the novel.
Examples of Past Projects with Ongoing Legacies/Activities
History of TCU’s Women and Gender Studies Program
In the fall of 2019, Sarah collaborated with Graduate Research Associate Meagan Solomon and students enrolled in the Feminist and Queer Inquiry course to prepare a publication honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of the launch of Women and Gender Studies (WGST) as an academic program at TCU. Team members interviewed leaders from across the years since the program’s early development and then wrote feature stories about the program and its leaders. Taken all together, the collection celebrates achievements (including overcoming major challenges) but also spotlights ways that WGST–at TCU and beyond–can continue to grow and mature in the future.
How can we foster intercultural skills among today’s university students? Today’s university undergraduates live in an increasingly globalized society, yet also regularly encounter negative messages about people with backgrounds different from their own. Thus, students need learning opportunities that help them develop sustained relationships with peers from around the world while they explore global issues together. GlobalEX, a co-curricular program for which Sarah has served as the founding faculty advisor, cultivates collaborative learning through a three-stage experience of EXplore, EXchange, and EXtend. GlobalEX draws on the benefit of having many international students attending US universities today and the eagerness of their counterparts from around the US to learn about diverse cultures while sharing knowledge about their own communities too.
MLA Committee on K-16 Alliances
How can we develop meaningful connections across all stages of learning about modern languages, writing, and literature? The Modern Language Association (MLA), a major academic professional organization for teacher-scholars in these fields, is committed to supporting initiatives to build such connections. Through its committee on K-16 Alliances (which Sarah chaired during 2017-20), the MLA is developing partnerships and programming to support teaching, learning, and informed advocacy around important educational issues today. One way to track the work of the MLA is to join the MLA Commons. To tap into resources created by the working group that led to formation of the K-16 committee, visit their archive in the commons.
Keeping and Creating American Communities (KCAC)
How can inquiry-based study of the places where we live enhance our capacities for interdisciplinary learning and active citizenship? Keeping and Creating American Communities, a multi-year program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Writing Project, nurtured the civic engagement abilities of teachers and their students in a range of classroom settings across northwest Georgia while providing models for adaptation in other regions. Using five thematic strands, KCAC first enabled teams of teachers to create new curriculum along with their students and then sponsored community events and programs to extend that new knowledge to diverse audiences. Teachers affiliated with the KCAC initiative published two books about their work: Writing America and Writing Our Communities.
Women’s Work in the Long Nineteenth Century
How can we draw on the power of visual culture to learn about American women’s work in the long nineteenth century? Beginning in the late 1990s and then moving into the early 2000s, Sarah collaborated with historian Ann Pullen to teach a series of courses on the differing kinds of “work” experiences among US women living in that prior era. Working along with their students, Ann and Sarah capitalized on funding from several sources to gather together and contextualize an archive of images depicting women’s labor. Arranged topically on a website, this collection of images explores themes ranging from women’s domestic labor across varying social classes to more radical attempts at political intervention, such as in the temperance movement. Undergraduate students enrolled in these courses helped create curricular materials that invite website visitors to do historically informed rhetorical analysis of images from this archive.