Where’s Your Syllabus? Week 2

Presentation Sign-ups, Surveys, and More Syllabus Revisions

The semester will speed along, so by Week 2 of the class, I try to create assignments that have students start immediately on their first essay so that they can start working on it. Like the diagnostic, I worry this is asking a lot right at the beginning of students: they don’t get a chance to ease into the class, they barely know me, and I’m still learning their names. 


15-Week Project: Where Is Your Syllabus? Week 1 and the Diagnostic Essay

Each semester I have a desire to completely rework the syllabus, not just improve upon it but build it up from scratch, and that’s not always possible or even conducive. And, across the US, as the semester has already started or is starting this week, I thought it’d be a better idea to review syllabi from my previous classes every couple of days.


#NeMLA18: “Edgar Allan Poe and Race,” Fri Apr 13 8:30 AM

Wake up early Friday, April 13, for a dynamic set of presentations at the 49th annual meeting of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Pittsburgh!

Special thanks to the Poe Studies Association for supporting this session.

“Edgar Allan Poe and Race” will meet at the Omni William Penn in the Three Rivers Room, 8:30 to 9:45 AM. This session will start with a look at one of Poe’s first published works, Tamerlane (the eponymous conqueror featured above), look at the representations of race in “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and Pym, and also look at some of Poe’s last publications for, of all places, an abolitionist newspaper.

Below are the titles of presentations. If you would like more information, email derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com or tweet @dereksmcgrath.

  • “Edgar Allan Poe’s Last Publications in the Abolitionist Newspaper Flag of Our Union” Derek McGrath, SUNY University at Buffalo
  • “The Haunting Illogic of Ratiocination: The Invisibility of the Black Body in Poe’s ‘Murders'” Alex Moskowitz, Boston College
  • “Pym as Global Communicator: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” Lisa Weddell, Duquesne University

Saturday morning: I’m moderating the MLA 2018 forum “From CFP to Publication”

Learn all about developing a successful conference panel!

I will be moderating “From CFP to Publication: Developing a Successful Conference Panel” at the 2018 meeting of the Modern Language Association, Saturday, January 6, 2018, 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM, in Hilton Concourse E.

This forum hosts scholars, writers, and editors from various backgrounds with significant experience in the successful planning, promotion, and execution of numerous conference panels at MLA and other major language and literature conventions.

Questions are encouraged: audience members will have the opportunity to discuss their ideas for convention panels, how to network through these panels, and how to pursue publishing opportunities. (And you can use this advice to propose your own conference sessions, such as for the 2019 meeting of the Northeast MLA in Washington, DC.)

Thanks to the Regional MLAs, especially the Northeast MLA, for assistance organizing this session. And a special thank you to the MLA Office of the Executive Director for supporting this session.

Tweet questions before or during the forum with the hashtags #S533 #MLA18 or tweet @dereksmcgrath.

Below is our set of speakers–and we look forward to meeting our audience!


  • Carine M. Mardorossian, University at Buffalo
  • Laurence D. Roth, Susquehanna University
  • Simona Wright, College of New Jersey
  • Brandi So, Stony Brook University
  • Daniela D’Eugenio, Vanderbilt University
  • Derek McGrath, University at Buffalo
  • Amanda Caleb, Misericordia University
  • Randy Laist, Goodwin College

Announcing lineup for “Teaching Anime and Manga” (NeMLA April 2018 Pittsburgh)

My colleague Stevi Grimm and I are happy to announce the lineup for our session “Teaching Anime and Manga,” scheduled for the April 2018 convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.