Merle Collins Receives Global Classrooms Initiative Grant

November 5, 2014

Professor Merle Collins received a Global Classrooms Initiative grant from the Office of International Affairs for a new class, "Recovering Oral Histories: Caribbean and Latin America Communities in the USA and Britain."

Collins will teach this class with Professor Conrad James of Birmingham University in the United Kingdom. Collins and James will use technologies such as Canvas and interaction through videoconference classrooms, where their classes will sometimes meet synchronously, with Collins in a classroom at the University of Maryland and James in a classroom at the University of Birmingham.

In addition to an international collaboration, the ENGL 361 class will collaborate with local communities, graduate students, and high school students. A CMLT graduate student will serve as teaching assistant for the class and the course will be offered as ENGL 261 for high school students who may have an interest in taking the course for credit. The course’s outreach will involve local community organizations.

In “Recovering Oral Histories: Caribbean and Latin America Communities in the USA and Britain,” students will work on oral history techniques, using storytelling for recreation of community histories and analysis of critical work relating to the construction of oral histories.

“We hope that the course will help them to think critically about oral history practice, oral history techniques and how skills in writing and critiquing fiction and autobiography can help with the construction of oral histories,” said Collins.