Teaching

Teaching 

Below is a sample of courses taught by Tom Burke.

Cape Town to Queens: New Writing from Africa and the African Diaspora: Newberry Library, Chicago, IL.

• Lecture designed to introduce adult students to contemporary African prose. Students read and responded to work by Doreen Baingana, Olufemi Terry, Fatou Diome, and Billy Kahora.

English 297A You Are NOT a Hero–Writing the Humorous Memoir: UMass Amherst, Amherst. MA.

• Writing workshop focused on the use of humor in nonfiction—explored how self-deprecation and the unexpected can diffuse or amplify the most unthinkable scenarios. Designed, proposed, and executed all aspects of the class. Students read and responded to work by Sandra Tsing Loh, Jonathan Ames, Sarah Vowell, and Chris Rock.

English 354 Imaginative Writing: UMass Amherst, Amherst. MA.

• Instructor of undergraduate students in fiction and poetry creative writing class. Curriculum of craft-based lectures and workshops. Students read and responded to work by Padgett Powell, Robert Hass, Czeslaw Milosz, and Grace Paley.

English 362 Modern Novel–1945 to Present: UMass Amherst, Amherst. MA.

• Instructor of undergraduate students in class designed to explore the traditional conventions of novels from around the world, their forms, concerns, and contradictions. Students read and responded to work by Samuel Beckett, Chimamanda Adichie, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

English 297B Unfamiliar Spaces: Finding, Entering, and Writing a World—the Art of Place, Travel Writing, and Perspectives: UMass Amherst, Amherst. MA.

• Creative writing workshop exploring the unknown and reevaluating the overlooked. Designed, proposed, and executed all aspects of the class. Assignments included fiction and creative nonfiction writing exercises. Students read and responded to work by Dai Sijie, Graham Greene, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Alexandra Fuller.

English 140 Reading Fiction: UMass Amherst, Amherst. MA.

• Designed lecture to introduce undergraduate students to the elements of fiction—theme, cultural context, tone, etc. Students read and responded to work by Jorge Luis Borges, Jamaica Kincaid, George Saunders, Ralph Ellison, and Nikolai Gogol.

English 112 Honors College Writing: UMass Amherst, Amherst. MA.

• Class designed to promote thoughtful and effective writing. Students worked individually and collectively through multiple drafts of various essay forms, including research-based essays, essay-response papers, and personal narratives. Class met in computer lab and utilized web tools, such as WebCT. The class read and responded to work by Gloria Anzaldua, Geeta Kothari, and Malcolm Gladwell.

English 112 College Writing: UMass Amherst, Amherst. MA.

• Class designed to promote thoughtful and effective writing. Students worked individually and collectively through multiple drafts of various essay forms, including research-based essays, essay-response papers, and personal narratives. The class read and responded to work by James Baldwin, Eli Clare, Mark Edmundson, and Barbara Kingsolver.

English GS226 Drama and the Short Story: Wood Tobe-Coburn School, New York, NY.

• Lecture designed to introduce undergraduate students to fiction and drama. Students read and responded to work by Zadie Smith, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, and Milcha Sanchez-Scott.

English Teacher: Pinggang Middle School, Longgang, China. (August, 2000 to July, 2001)

• Employed by the Chinese government as a full time teacher of spoken English and grammar—living, working and earning income on same basis as local Chinese teachers. School is provincial boarding school and students are high school seniors designated for college. Received high rating in class presentation and teaching ability from school supervisors and students.

Guest Lecturer: Shenzhen Special Zone Press English Salon, Shenzhen, China.

• Selected by government-sponsored agency to present on creativity, fiction writing, and the creative process to group of 100+ Shenzhen scholars and residents.

Other Teaching Experience

Writing Tutor: Bard College Prison Initiative, Eastern Prison, Napanoch, NY. (2009-2010)

• Volunteer writing tutor for prison inmates enrolled in the Bard College Prison Initiative. Provided one-on-one writing advice on academic and creative writing projects, from brainstorming and outlining to final editing and proofreading.

Writing Tutor: Writing Center, Union College, Schenectady, NY. (1997-2000)

• Peer writing tutor at the college. Provided one-on-one writing advice on academic and creative writing projects, from brainstorming and outlining to final editing and proofreading.

Special Education Counselor: Park School, Evanston, IL, summer 2003.

• Worked in a camp-style atmosphere with men and women below twenty-five years of age who function within the moderate range of mental impairment or below.



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