It’s great to have you in the BU WP, Chris. How are you finding the move back east?
Although I grew up in the Boston area, I haven’t lived here since 2002, so it does feel very much like a homecoming. It’s been quite fun to visit places I remember from my past, such as the Brattle Book shop by the Boston Common, and I can’t wait to go ice skating on the Frog Pond again, or to watch the Boston Marathon in the spring.
What courses are you teaching?
This semester I’m teaching two versions of WR100. The first section, “Fictions of Control,” explores a range of dystopian fiction and film, including some classics such as 1984, and more contemporary texts like Dave Eggers’ The Circle and Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. The second course, “Artistic Claims,” asks students to consider the complex relationship between art and politics, and we have gone on field trips to the MFA and Institute of Contemporary Art. Next semester I’m teaching a WR150 course on my primary area of research, twentieth-century modernism and the avant-garde.
As a first-year instructor what has been most helpful to know?
In all honesty, accidentally meeting new people in the copy room has been incredibly helpful. Holding them hostage while they wait for my copies to finish, I’ve learned a lot about how others approach both WR100 and WR150, as well as WR98. Not only is the diversity and talent of this program inspiring, but many have offered to send me their syllabi or portfolio assignments — models which have been quite useful to me as I start to get my feet wet.
Chris McVey received his PhD in English literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His dissertation, which he defended this spring, is titled “Syncretic Cosmopolitanism: Historiography, Nation, and Global Citizenship in Twentieth Century Literature.”