1st Edition

Teaching Literature in Times of Crisis

By Sofia Ahlberg Copyright 2021
    116 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    116 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Teaching Literature in Times of Crisis looks at the range of different crises currently affecting students – from climate change and systemic racism, to the global pandemic.

    Addressing the impact on students’ ability and motivation to learn as well as their emotional wellbeing, this volume guides teachers toward strategies for introducing both canonical and contemporary literature in ways that demonstrate the future relevance of sophisticated and targeted literacy skills. These reading practices are invaluable for framing and critically examining the challenges associated with crisis in order to help cope with grief and as a means to impart the skills needed to deal with crisis, such as adaptability, flexibility, resilience, and resistance. Providing necessary background theory, alongside practical case studies, the book addresses:

    • Reading practices for demonstrating how literature explores ethical issues in specific and concrete rather than abstract terms
    • Making connections between disparate phenomena, and how literature mobilises affect in individual and collective human lives
    • Supporting teachers in considering new, imaginative ways students can learn from literary content and form in online or remote learning environments as well as face to face
    • Combining close and distant reading with creative and hands-on strategies, presenting the principles of a transitional pedagogy for a world in flux.

    This book introduces teachers to methods for reading and studying literature with the aim of strengthening and promoting resilience and resourcefulness in and out of the literature classroom and empower students as global citizens with local roles to play.

    Introduction  1. Case Study One: Discovering the Weird and the Wonderful in a Changing World  2. Case Study Two: What the Coming-of-Age Story Teaches Us about the Anthropocene  3. Case Study Three: Things to Do With the Canon in the Classroom  4. Case Study Four: Modern Again: Tell it from the Scars  5. Wider Contexts: Twenty-First-Century Skills and Competencies  Bibliography


    Sofia Ahlberg is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Languages at Uppsala University, Sweden, with responsibility for education and collaboration. She teaches and researches on contemporary literature, pedagogy, and ecocriticism.