35 episodes

A podcast all about the ways people teach, learn, and work with literature -- aaaand all sorts of other texts, like video games, theatrical performances, Dungeons and Dragons, and more! Host Jessica McDonald talks about how she teaches with literature and interviews folks from traditional and non-traditional educational contexts to find out what they're doing these days with literary and cultural texts.

Teachin' Books Jessica McDonald

    • Education

A podcast all about the ways people teach, learn, and work with literature -- aaaand all sorts of other texts, like video games, theatrical performances, Dungeons and Dragons, and more! Host Jessica McDonald talks about how she teaches with literature and interviews folks from traditional and non-traditional educational contexts to find out what they're doing these days with literary and cultural texts.

    2.9 Kate Beaton's Ducks

    2.9 Kate Beaton's Ducks

    Today's episode involves our first ever comic on Teachin' Books! I'm excited to share with you  how I teach Kate Beaton's webcomic Ducks, which you should definitely read right now, if you haven't already.

    Topics of the episode include: confronting environmental and social justice through literature, i.e. through visual and textual analysis; teaching within and around public narratives about Fort McMurray; reading text alongside paratext; and celebrating the effectiveness of a discussion forum prompt that was actually successful (!!). Listen in and tell me what you think!
    Kate Beaton's Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands / original five-part series / Hark! A VagrantAritha van Herk's "There’s more to Fort McMurray than oil sands – It’s a real community"Anti-Racism on the Prairies: A Workbook for Canadian Settlers (with thanks, again, to SURJ #yxe for sharing this Call for Contributions)If you're interested in getting your hands on a Teachin' Books tidbits zine as part of my ongoing fundraiser to ensure I can keep providing honoraria for students and precariously or under-employed folks who come chat on the podcast, e-transfer to teachinbookspod@gmail.com or paypal.me/jambermcd or just drop me a line wherever you can find me :) The zines are pay-what-you-can, and I'll need your mailing address to get the zine to you.
    The podcast music is by Dyalla Swain and the graphics are by @muskrathands.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @TeachinBooksPod. You can also get in touch at teachinbookspod@gmail.com.  Please share the pod with someone you think might like it, and rate and review if you have the option to in your podcasting app! :)
     **The transcript for this episode, once available , will be here.**

    • 28 min
    2.8 Interview with Namrata Mitra / Teaching Postcolonial Literatures

    2.8 Interview with Namrata Mitra / Teaching Postcolonial Literatures

    On today's episode, I'm chattin' with the fabulous Namrata Mitra, who is an Associate Professor at Iona College in the Department of English. Her research areas are feminist philosophy, queer theory, and postcolonial studies. 

    We talk about Namrata's Postcolonial Literatures courses, and we discuss a wide range of teaching-related topics, such as: how students' material conditions shape their learning, and in turn should shape our teaching; uncertainty as pedagogical method and practice, plus its possibilities and limitations; learning outcomes/objectives and the questions they raise; the matter of WHAT vs HOW we read in a postcolonial lit context; and more!
    Dissonant Methods: Undoing Discipline in the Humanities Classroom (eds. Ada J. Jaarsma and Kit Dobson) includes Namrata's piece "Practising How We Read What We Read." Find out more about the book in my review of it in Engaged Scholar Journal.Jody Mason's "Make Them Up and Ignore Them"? Learning Outcomes and Literary Studies in CanadaShowing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) / SURJ YXE Facebook and Instagram (with many thanks to Jessica DeWitt for bringing my attention to the work of SURJ YXE)If you're interested in getting your hands on a Teachin' Books tidbits zine as part of my ongoing fundraiser to ensure I can keep providing honoraria for students and precariously or under-employed folks who come chat on the podcast, e-transfer to teachinbookspod@gmail.com or paypal.me/jambermcd or just drop me a line wherever you can find me :) The zines are pay-what-you-can, and I'll need your mailing address to get the zine to you.
    The podcast music is by Dyalla Swain and the graphics are by @muskrathands.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @TeachinBooksPod. You can also get in touch at teachinbookspod@gmail.com.  Please share the pod with someone you think might like it, and rate and review if you have the option to in your podcasting app! :)
     **The transcript for this episode, once available , will be here.**

    • 1 hr 9 min
    2.7 Changin' Times

    2.7 Changin' Times

    Wow, things have chaaaanged and are still a-changin'! Teachin' and learnin' things, that is. 

    On this first solo episode of 2022, I talk about how I've come face-to-face, in the last few weeks of full-time teaching, with how teaching and learning has changed in the year and a half+ that I was away from teaching for my full-time postdoctoral fellowship. 

    Topics include: uncertainty and flexibility; questioning attendance and participation practices; deciding not to assign any late deductions (extensions only!); negotiating synchronous vs. asynchronous teaching; coming back to teaching as a podcaster; and more! Listen in and tell me what your experiences with teaching in 2022 have been :)
    Jesse Stommel on attendance policies, pulling from his contributions to "The Attendance Conundrum"Zoe Todd on not having attendance policiesMy past and ongoing thinking re: attendance and participation has also been informed by the public work of Kaitlin Blanchard and sarah madoka currieGratitude to Skydancer Louise Bernice Halfe and Tenille Campbell for the spicy poems that made us laugh and get playful in my second-year ENG classBrandi Morin on how "'Freedom' protests are white supremacy in all its glory"Cornerstone: Housing for WomenIf you're interested in getting your hands on a Teachin' Books tidbits zine as part of my ongoing fundraiser to ensure I can keep providing honoraria for students and precariously or under-employed folks who come chat on the podcast, e-transfer to teachinbookspod@gmail.com or paypal.me/jambermcd or just drop me a line wherever you can find me :) The zines are pay-what-you-can, and I'll need your mailing address to get the zine to you.
    The podcast music is by Dyalla Swain and the graphics are by @muskrathands.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @TeachinBooksPod. You can also get in touch at teachinbookspod@gmail.com.  Please share the pod with someone you think might like it!
     **The transcript for this episode, once available , will be here.**

    • 28 min
    2.6 Interview with Brent Ryan Bellamy, Moritz Ingwersen, and Rachel Webb Jekanowski / Teaching about Oil through Arts, Film, and Literature

    2.6 Interview with Brent Ryan Bellamy, Moritz Ingwersen, and Rachel Webb Jekanowski / Teaching about Oil through Arts, Film, and Literature

    In this first episode of 2022 (!!!),  I'm delighted to be joined by Brent Ryan Bellamy, Moritz Ingwersen, and Rachel Webb Jekanowski, co-instructors of a course on "North American Petrocultures," taught collaboratively and online through TU Dresden in Germany. 

    The core of this episode: How do you talk about oil in a Humanities classroom? What can studying arts and literature teach us about oil, energy, and environmental justice? How can we imagine different futures through the skills and creative capacities we build in Humanities classrooms? Hit play to find out more!
    "Teaching North American Petrocultures in Germany: Experiments in Collaborative Pedagogy," co-written by Brent, Moritz, and Rachel.Check out Brent's collection of "loanwords to live with," An Ecotopian Lexicon,  co-edited with Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, as well as the teaching guide Matthew and Brent created for the book / Brent also recently published Remainders of the American Century: Post-Apocalyptic Novels in the Age of U.S. DeclineMoritz is Assistant Professor and Chair of North American literature and critical future studies at Dresden University of Technology in Germany working on the transformative capacities of speculative fiction and art to help us grapple with the climate crisis and promote social change / Find more about his work hereFind Rachel at her website and on Twitter / Check out her recent work in a chapter entitled "Contested and Emergent Futures: Film and Energy Regimes of the Newfoundland Offshore" in Cold Water Oil: Offshore Petroleum Cultures,  a collaboratively-authored StoryMap called "Energy Amphitheatre: St. John's Harbour" (with Fiona Police and Danine Farquharson), and in the article "From Labrador to Leipzig: Film and Infrastructures along the Fur Trail."How to Survive the End of the World podcastElizabeth Miller's interactive documentary The Shore Line / Plus, an educator's guide to the project, on "speculative futures," written by RachelIndigenous Climate Action website / Indigenous Climate Action Youth Wellness Honorarium and ToolkitThe podcast music is by Dyalla Swain and the graphics are by @muskrathands.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @TeachinBooksPod. You can also get in touch at teachinbookspod@gmail.com. 
     **The transcript for this episode, once available, will be here.*

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Holiday special! - Feeling My Way through Walmart

    Holiday special! - Feeling My Way through Walmart

    This year's Holiday Special episode (whoop whoooop!) is an audio essay I produced for the Future Horizons summer project series. The series was organized by the fabulous Sarah Roger and Paul Barrett, and my essay was produced with generous support and feedback from Myra Bloom.

    The audio essay is "Feeling My Way through Walmart," and it spans my experiences from growing up in a Walmart, to my time working in retail, navigating the company in present day, and researching Walmart and other chain stores and sites of retail and travel. The audio essay features clips from an interview with my mom (hi mom!) and stories from my family and childhood, which I thought made it an especially appropriate piece to share with you during this holiday season. 3 I hope you enjoy!

    Thank you, Sarah and Paul, for giving me the go-ahead to share this essay on Teachin' Books! And to everyone who may be listening in real time: I hope you have a restful holiday season and can find some moments of joy at the end of another difficult year.
    The Future Horizons: A John Douglas Taylor Conference website has more information about the summer project series and links to all the projects (check them out!!)Original webpage for "Feeling My Way through Walmart": including transcript, references, and acknowledgementsIf you're interested in getting your hands on a Teachin' Books tidbits zine as part of my ongoing fundraiser to ensure I can keep providing honoraria for students and precariously or under-employed folks who come chat on the podcast, e-transfer to teachinbookspod@gmail.com or paypal.me/jambermcd or just drop me a line wherever you can find me :) The zines are pay-what-you-can, and I'll need your mailing address to get the zine to you.
    The podcast music is by Dyalla Swain and the graphics are by @muskrathands.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @TeachinBooksPod. You can also get in touch at teachinbookspod@gmail.com.  Please share the pod with someone you think might like it!
     **The transcript for this episode, once available on the Teachin' Books site, will be here, but you can also find the transcript on the original audio essay page here.**

    • 46 min
    2.5 Interview with Karrie Auger and Nancy Van Styvendale / Inspired Minds: All Nations Creative Writing Program and Gregory Scofield's "Heart Food"

    2.5 Interview with Karrie Auger and Nancy Van Styvendale / Inspired Minds: All Nations Creative Writing Program and Gregory Scofield's "Heart Food"

    I'm so pleased to share today's interview with you, featuring Karrie Auger and Nancy Van Styvendale, all about the Inspired Minds: All Nations Creative Writing Program, which is facilitated in prisons in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

    In addition to talking about how they've approached Gregory Scofield's poem "Heart Food" in Inspired Minds classes, Karrie and Nancy get into: relationship as the core of Inspired Minds and their facilitation of creative writing classes; the material conditions of prison programming; the Inspired Minds philosophy, which includes welcoming diversions, informal chat, and laughter; responding to texts through the senses, licking tables (!!), and more. Listen above or on most podcasting apps!
    Gregory Scofield's poem "Heart Food" comes from his collection I Knew Two Métis  Women"'Against Improvement,' Toward Relations: Meditations on a Prison Writing Program" by Nancy Van Styvendale Karrie refers to the poem "âcimowina" by Marilyn Dumont in A Really Good Brown GirlSherry Farrell-Racette's faculty page, including citations for her work on memory, objects, and moreRichard Wagamese's Embers: One Ojibway's Meditations"Prisons are built on our backs" by Cory Charles CardinalThe Prison Abolition Issue of briarpatch magazineInmates 4 Humane Conditions / Beyond Prison Walls Canada / noprisons.caIf you're interested in getting your hands on a Teachin' Books tidbits zine as part of my ongoing fundraiser to ensure I can keep providing honoraria for students and precariously or under-employed folks who come chat on the podcast, e-transfer to teachinbookspod@gmail.com or paypal.me/jambermcd or just drop me a line wherever you can find me :) The zines are pay-what-you-can, and I'll need your mailing address to get the zine to you.
    The podcast music is by Dyalla Swain and the graphics are by @muskrathands.

    Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram @TeachinBooksPod. You can also get in touch at teachinbookspod@gmail.com.  Please share the pod with those you think might like it!

    *Today's episode art comes to you from the inside of my makeshift podcast-recording blanket fort. Welcome!
     **The transcript for this episode, once available, will be here.**

    • 56 min