Pedagogical Entryways into Digital Humanities: A Review of Linda K. Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins’ Teaching Transatlanticism (Edinburgh University Press, 2015)
Digital Humanities Quarterly 11.1 (2017)
Elizabeth Polcha, Northeastern University
Teaching Transatlanticism reveals that pedagogy is an encouraging realm in which literary scholars can be introduced to digital humanities methodology. The authors in this volume help us understand the connections between transatlanticism, mediation, and the digital, and their work demonstrates an opening for further conversation. If digital humanities is indeed the future of transatlantic studies that the editors of this anthology “envision,” we can perhaps imagine a digital companion edition to this text focused on digital transatlantic pedagogy – one that calls forth a vibrant online community of transatlantic scholars. It seems that users are more drawn to online communities where they can annotate texts and collaborate on projects, rather than the model of the often neglected static forum or comment box.
Forum for Modern Language Studies 51.4 (2015)
This very accessible guide gives an overview of teaching methods, conceptual frameworks and practical resources for teaching nineteenth-century Anglo-American print culture, balancing the Victorian canon with texts that embody the key issues of nineteenth-century transatlanticism. . . . [The] format, taking the reader from the fundamental question of defining transatlanticism to the future of teaching practices in the digital age, makes the book valuable for those seeking to design courses on the subject for the first time, or those interested in how to condense a broad literary field into a term’s worth of teaching, as well as those with a vested interest in the field. . . . Overall, this book offers insight into how to tackle nineteenth-century print culture in both broad strokes and detailed chapters, giving sensitive approaches to themes and topics such as race, nationality, gender and slavery.
American Literary History Online Review, Series VII
Danielle Skeehan, Oberlin College
Teaching Transatlanticism emerges as one of the first pedagogically oriented texts to focus on the nineteenth-century Atlantic world. It joins Teaching the Transatlantic Eighteenth Century (2010), edited by Cristobal Silva and Jennifer Frangos, extending that collection’s teaching resources into the nineteenth century. One challenge of teaching transatlanticism, as both these collections point out, is the ever-expanding, even unwieldy nature of the field itself. What makes a text transatlantic? Where is the transatlantic? And whose Atlantic is it, anyway? . . . This collection provides frameworks through which to do powerful work in English classrooms by reorienting students to think beyond the nation as a literary category and to deploy transatlanticism as a method that interrogates the formation and deployment of the concept of the nation-state across both time and space.
Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)
12. 10. 2016
This new collection of essays, edited by Linda Hughes and Sarah Robbins, offers a cornucopia of material for teachers and students of transatlantic studies. The volume focuses mainly on transatlantic literary history: in general, authors and texts form the basis for analysis. Publishing and printing history are less prominent, although the questions raised are highly relevant to the histories of authorship, reading, and publishing.. . . The volume is most distinctive for its embrace of collaboration and multiple perspectives. Hughes and Robbins make a compelling case for thinking beyond disciplinary boundaries, for team-teaching, for team-thinking, team-writing, and team-editing.. . Another of the volume’s strengths is the variety of approaches to the topic.
The collection ranges widely and offers a hands-on, pragmatic approach to teaching transatlantic literary history. The range of pedagogic approaches and unconventional forms of knowledge exchange and collaborative writing are inspiring on a meta-level. The companion website includes rich materials for teaching and is a work-in-progress – readers, students, and scholars are welcome to contribute. Materials have been posted regularly, although the discussion threads (“Conversations”) have been dormant for some time. In any case, SHARPists are certain to make ample use of Teaching Transatlanticism as a valuable resource for courses on nineteenth-century authorship, reading and, to a lesser extent, publishing.