- Historic Joy Kogawa House (2011): As part of their study of the Japanese Canadian internment as portrayed in Joy Kogawa's novel Obasan, my English 3345: Diasporics Literatures students toured Historic Joy Kogawa House in Marpole, South Vancouver. On site, they worked with curator Anne-Marie Metten and writer-in-residence Susan Crean to better understand the historical significance of Obasan and the bungalow located at 1450 West 64th Avenue. Based on visiting the real-life Naomi Nakane's home, the students authored blogs to document their firsthand experience with Canadian history.
- Chinatown Walking Tour (2002-present): Teaching Wayson Choy's novel The Jade Peony has been a mainstay of my English 1202: Topics in Literature curriculum for many years, as is a corresponding field study of Vancouver's Chinatown. In partnership with historian John Atkin and the Education Division of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the class journeys through the setting of Choy's semi-autobiographical novel. Students write a reflective essay to analyze their experience with the walking tour. Some create an interactive map of the literary walk, such as the one featured below by ENGL 2301(Canadian Literature in English) student Paul Paldo:
active learning assignments
- Behind the Earnest Video (2013): A group of my English 2317: English Literature, 14th to 18th Centuries students chose a non-traditional option for their unit assignment on Victorian literature. Their sketch biography of Cicely Cardew from Oscar Wilde's The Imporance of Being Earnest is a clever homage to VH1's Behind the Music that provides a mash-up of film footage and the students' in-universe narrative. The creators of Behind the Earnest are Stephanie Peters, Gregory Thomas, Megan Fuller, Akira Hikida, and John Rowell.
Film Frame Recreations: A unit in my English 2350: Critical Studies in Film course is the study of mise-en-scene, or the artistic arrangements of a frame's visual elements (lighting, camera angle, set and costume design, placement of actors) to tell a story. Working in groups, students were asked to create a photograph that captured the essence of Alfred Hitchcock's mise-en-scene in a frame from Vertigo: the voyeuristic moment when Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) observes Madeleine (Kim Novak) in the portrait gallery.
View English 2350's "Portraits of Carlotta" here.
- Terry Fox Great Canadian Hair "Do" Fundraiser (2012): A group of my English 4401: Topics in Canadian Literature ("Decoding the Canadian Hero") students hosted a Terry Fox Great Canadian Hair “Do” event in the Surrey campus courtyard. This fundraising event, which included a BBQ, a bake sale, and a 50/50 draw, was a show of solidarity for those living with cancer. For a donation, a volunteer team of local hairdressers and estheticians were on hand to shave, shear, colour, thread, and/or wax students, staff, and faculty. The “Kwantlen Bald Eagles” team partnered with Eva and Company Wigs so that donated hair could be made into wigs for those in the community living with cancer. Enough hair was collected to create eight wigs. All proceeds from this fundraiser went to the Terry Fox Foundation, our official sponsor. With the generous support of the Kwantlen community, the “Kwantlen Bald Eagles” raised $4,225 for cancer research and became campus newsmakers. The “Kwantlen Bald Eagles” are Lisa Burgis, Chelsea Corse, Connor Doyle, Holly Foran, Jennifer Hodgson, Jasveen Johal, Macaela MacWilliams, Allycia McPherson, Ashlee Milross, and Breanne Smythe.
- Dr. Aki Horii (2014) provided an unforgettable guest lecture to my English 1202: Topics in Literature class on the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II. Dr. Horii, a survivor of the internment camps, visited us as part of the Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre's TAIKEN Education Program.
- Dr. Paul Richard (2012) joined my English 4401: Topics in Canadian Literature class to discuss David Suzuki's 2007 autobiography and his environmentalism. The students were inspired by Paul's vast knowledge of environmental issues and his insights into Suzuki's impact on Canadian culture. Paul is the Chair of the Environmental Protection Technology Program at KPU.
- A Film Studies Panel (2014) at KPU's 4th Annual Sociology & Criminology Undergraduate Student Conference featured my English 4350: Topics in Film Studies students Mathew Fabick, Ann Kim, and Fraser Readman. They presented research papers related to the panel's theme of "Mutiny in Hollywood: Representations of Reality within the Horror Film and the Docudrama."
- A Canadian Literature Panel (2012) at the 2nd Annual Sociology Undergraduate Student Conference featured my English 4401 students Alina McClement, Jennifer Hodgson, and Rachelle Hall presenting “Postmodernist Readings of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables."
- An Identity Panel (2012) at MEICON BC's Fourth Annual Student Conference featured my English 3345: Diasporic Literatures students Roopi Nagra and Sofia Rodriguez presenting papers on Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, Persepolis. Roopi and Sofia were the first KPU students to participate in this annual student conference at SFU.