Friday, January 20, 2012

English prof’s “hat-trick”…three books at once!

Dr. Allen Webb, professor of English at WMU, just scored a book publishing “hat trick”—three books at once! All three books focus on contemporary topics in the teaching of English.

The first is “Teaching Literature in Virtual Worlds: Immersive Learning in English Studies.” This cutting-edge book is the result of the Presidential Innovation Grant that Dr. Webb received in 2006 that funded a team of scholars and graduate students in English developing on-line virtual worlds for literature study. The edited collection includes chapters by 13 Department of English faculty and graduate students.

The second book is “Teaching Literature of Today’s Middle East.” This book provides much-needed resources, ideas and strategies for secondary and college teachers who seek to address current issues from the Middle East in their classes, including the Arab Spring, women in the Middle East, the Iraq and Afghan Wars, Palestine-Israel conflict, teaching about Islam, and Muslim Americans. The book includes contributions from WMU faculty Blain Auer (Religion) and Vivan Steemers (Foreign Languages).

The third book is “Teaching to Exceed the English Language Arts Common Core Standards: A Literacy Practices Approach for 6-12 Classrooms.” Dr. Webb is a co-author (along with Richard Beach and Amanda Thein) of this book setting forth meaningful and exciting ways for teachers across the country to address the new curriculum standards (adopted by 44 states).

All are professional books that will be sold not only in the United States but also in Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

After his B.A. in English at Swarthmore College (Honors Program), Allen studied for a secondary teacher certificate and taught high school English for six years. He earned an MAT in English and Education at Lewis and Clark College, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. His doctoral studies focused on postcolonial literature in English, Spanish, and French and American minority literatures.

He has published 25 articles, presented at 100 conferences, including several keynote addresses, maintains 10 websites, and has won five grants totaling $1.5 million. He serves on the Executive Committee of the National Conference on English Education, and is one of the authors of the State of Michigan 9-12 Language Arts Content Standards.

He designed the “Classroom of the Future” English Education Labs and his virtual world for teaching literature won the A+ Award by WebEnglish Teacher. Webb won the Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching from the WMU College of Arts and Sciences in 2004.

A retired mountaineer, he made the first American assent of the highest peak in the Hindu Kush (Tirich Mir, 25,253′) in 1982.

Webb’s scholarship and teaching focus on English education, postcolonial and minority literature, and internet learning. Webb is the principal investigator on the WMU Literary Worlds project, and past president of the Michigan Conference on English Education (MCEE).


Dr. Webb’s profile

Teaching with Technology

“Virtual Worlds” in

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