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Artifacts and Fiction - Workshop in American Literature
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Home > Session Guides > 6: Cultural Geography

6. Cultural Geography Session Guide Related Materials
Item #9098
serial: #9098
Peter B. Hales, TRANSITION AND GENTRIFICATION (PILSEN GATEWAY COMMUNITY) (2002) Courtesy of Peter B. Hales.




Introduction
This workshop session introduces the analysis of cultural geography artifacts as a tool in the literature classroom. Peter Hales, professor of art history and American studies at University of Illinois, Chicago, analyzes two photographs of a Chicago neighborhood to help teachers enhance their reading of American literature texts.

By looking at two intellectual products from the same culture—the photographs and excerpts from Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street—you will better understand the cultural divisions and social class issues that contemporary Chicago neighborhoods face.

During the course of the session, you will learn how to search for cultural geography artifacts to help teach American literature. In the onscreen class, Peter discusses how he uses cultural geography artifacts to illuminate American culture in his own classroom. He provides high school teachers with ideas about how to read the two photographs; he also suggests specific lesson plans.

We then follow the onscreen teachers into the computer lab where they work with Peter, Laura Arnold Leibman (Reed College English professor), and each other to find artifacts that supplement the themes and context of the literature they are currently teaching.

Next, we follow Michaela Miller, a teacher at River Ridge High School in Olympia, Washington, into her own high school classroom. We watch as she models a similar lesson with her students. Finally we will hear Michaela's reflections on her own teaching practices.

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