Jennifer Duncan, Assistant Professor of English

English Instructor, GPC Online

Georgia State University – Perimeter College

Contact: jduncan@gsu.edu

Courses:

  • Composition 1 and 2
  • British Literature
  • World Literature

Academic Interests:

  • 19th century British novels
  • Online learning
  • Writing about Literature

Education:

  • University of Tennessee
  • M.A. in American and British Literature, University of South Carolina
  • B.A. in English, University of South Carolina
  • A.A. in General Education, Emmanuel College

Hobbies:

  • writing mystery dinner theaters
  • reading to my children, Jack and Lucy
  • cooking competition shows

Don’t tell anyone but…

I love watching sappy period dramas on PBS like Downton Abbey, Mr. Selfridge, and Call for the Midwife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2017

It’s a brand new year!  How exciting to think about all of the opportunity a new year affords us – a chance to start fresh and put away all of our previous disappointments and failures focusing instead on new adventures and opportunities.

For some students, the new year may represent the final semester standing between you and your degree. If that’s you, I hope you attack this year with a clear vision of your goals and how to tackle them. Or maybe this semester represents an academic fresh start — a chance to retake a course that didn’t get your full attention in a previous semester.  I can assure you that your professors are excited to help you succeed and put the past circumstances behind you realizing your full potential as a student. Or maybe you just feel this is another semester — another set of classes you are required to take before you are able to move on to what “really matters.”  If that’s you, I encourage you to look for something in your new set of classes that can really excite you.  Look for ways to get the most out of your courses and find ideas and skills you can carry over into your other interests. No matter what your circumstances as a student, use this semester to test yourself, to push yourself beyond your previous successes, and to really take charge of your education.

What I’m excited about this semester…

  • Meeting my new students: Each new class offers a chance to work with some of the most diverse and brightest students in Georgia’s University system.  My students always help me see my content in new ways and challenge me to offer them the best educational resources I can find or develop.
  • Watching students engage with new material: I love it when students approach a novel or play they have never read before (and maybe even skipped in high school) and find in it a new favorite.  Maybe you think you already know about Frankenstein or The Time Machine, but I’m excited to read it together and find new ideas and experiences.
  • TYCA-SE 2017 Conference: This February, my favorite conference is in my home state of SC, and I can’t wait to gather with friends and colleagues in Charleston to discuss new ways of teaching English to our outstanding students.
  • Sherlock: I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t also mention that I’m excited to see what new adventures my favorite consulting detective encounters on BBC America this year.

Summer 2016

Welcome to summer!!!  It’s the perfect time to grab a pair of shades and a good book and hit the pool — mostly because it’s too hot to be outside otherwise.

Here’s what I’m reading this summer:

  •  Tayari Jones’s Silver Sparrow: Set in 1980s Atlanta, the novel tells the story of two girls who share the same bigamist father, but only one knows his secret.  Both girls search for a sense of legitimacy and true belonging from a father who is unable to really connect with either of them and from mothers who use their daughters to fill the gaps left by others in their lives.
  • E.B. White’s Stuart Little:  Since the classic children’s book is on my rising third grader’s summer reading list, I’m reading it again along with him.  The charming story of a little mouse born to a human family also deals with what it means to be a family and how one little mouse makes his way through a world that’s not quite set up for him.
  • Alex Beam’s American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith and the Fate of the Mormon Church: Though not a Mormon myself, I find it intriguing to learn more about one of the few modern religions that has its origins in North America.  This history tells the story of Smith’s congregation as it moves to Illinois attempting to set up a town based on their religious ideas and lead by Smith.  The conflicts between Smith and other members of neighboring towns lead to Smith’s ultimate murder.

What else is going on?

In preparation for fall 2016, I’m writing courses for World Literature and British Literature. Deciding which texts to include in a survey course that covers so much time is daunting, but it’s always exciting to look at familiar texts with new eyes and to find some new-to-me texts to include in class.  If you’re enrolled in either of these courses for fall and want to talk about possible thematic approaches, feel free to contact me at jduncan@gsu.edu

Spring 2016

What an exciting semester!  We are now officially Perimeter College, a part of Georgia State University.  As the new university goes forward, one thing that remains is the amazing students of Perimeter College and my excitement at starting a new semester getting to now even more of them. I love meeting new students and becoming part of their educational life.  It is equally exciting to have students from former classes join me for a new subject so that I get to know you even better.

Here are some things I’m especially excited about this semester:

  • Open Educational Resources: The Affordable Learning GA Committee continues to support the creation and use of Open Educational Resources that are free to our students.  By creating high-quality, no-cost materials for our students, we further our goal of increasing access to education for our outstanding student body, and by using Creative Commons licensing, we become part of the learning revolution. You can learn more about them at http://affordablelearninggeorgia.org.
  • The Two Year College English Association’s Southeast Regional Conference in February.  I’ll be presenting on the role of discussion boards in online classes.  If you’d like to tell me about your experiences using online discussion boards, I’d love to hear about them.  Did you love them?  hate them?  Did they help you connect with your class?  Did you feel like they were just busy work?  Whether you’re a student or a teacher, I’d love to hear about what you do and don’t think is effective.  You can email me at jennifer.duncan@gpc.edu.
  • Downton Abbey: Everything in life can’t be about study!  I am probably more excited about the marriage of Mr. Bates and Miss Hughes than I should be, but they are just so cute.  I’m even starting to feel sorry for how mean everyone is being to Thomas and cheering the poor fellow on.  Because everyone has British accents, it just seems classier than American soap operas.

I hope your spring semester is your best semester ever.