Instructorships in Expository Writing

The Program in Expository Writing invites Johns Hopkins graduate students with teaching experience to apply for one-year positions as Instructors for 2014-2015.  Expository Writing courses (060.113/114) introduce students to the elements of academic argument and guide their practice as they learn to embody those principles in their writing.  Instructors design and teach one topic-based Expos seminar each term and participate in a program of pedagogy workshops in mid-May and late August as well as in meetings on pedagogy during fall and spring semesters.  All stipends include tuition waiver and graduate-student benefits.  Please consult with your advisor before applying, and see below for specifics on funding.  Returning Instructors, also see below.

Allen Grossman Teaching Fellowships in Expository Writing

Instructors who have already successfully taught for a year in the Expository Writing Program are eligible to apply for one-year positions as Allen Grossman Teaching Fellows.  Grossman Fellows design and teach one topic-based Expos seminar each term and participate in the pedagogy workshops in late August as well as in meetings on pedagogy during fall and spring semesters. The Grossman Fellowship includes an enhanced stipend as well as full tuition waiver and graduate-student benefits.  Please see below for specifics on funding.

APPLICATIONS

We expect to hire 5-7 Instructors and 4-6 Allen Grossman Teaching Fellows for 2014-2015.  Applications will be accepted between February 19 and March 13, 2014.  Please consult your faculty advisor before submitting an application. Your application should include the following:

•   A cover letter, describing your background as a teacher and writer;

•   A curriculum vitae;

•   A proposal for an Expository Writing seminar; and

•   A writing sample of no more than 5-7 pages (excerpts are fine).

Please send your application (no E-mail please) or deliver it directly to Professor Patricia Kain, Director of the Expository Writing Program, 13 Gilman Hall.      

PROPOSALS

Your course proposal should be a 200- to 250-word description of the topic, including especially the issues or questions that animate the topic and some of the major texts you’ll use.  For specific examples, see the current course listings on our Web site.

Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about a potential topic:

•   The focus of the course is academic writing.  This means that teaching students how to write the essays well, rather than coverage of the material, is the aim of the course.  One consequence of this aim is fewer readings than is usual in a content course.  Another is that your choice of texts should be guided by their writing value.  A given work may be important in the field, but if students need a whole semester, or longer, to begin to grasp it, another text will better serve your aims.  Think in terms of potential writing assignments rather than of coverage or chronology.

•   Most of your students will be freshmen and sophomores.  Your course must be accessible to beginners.  This doesn’t mean the course will be easy.  It means that your students must be able to engage the writing assignments without having acquired years of expertise on the topic.  The course should appeal to a broad range of students.  Name recognition, a broadly relevant topic, and an important human issue all help to establish that appeal.

•   The topic should draw on your own knowledge.  It should be something you know and care about so that you can define key issues and debates, and some of the underlying questions that make the topic worth thinking and writing about.  And it should be open to debate.  Don’t teach anything with a built-in thesis; instead, look for the interesting questions.

PROPOSAL WORKSHOP

If you are interested in applying for an Instructorship in Expository Writing, you are invited to attend an information session and proposal workshop on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 5:00, Room 4 Gilman Hall.  You'll learn more about applying to teach in the Program and will get feedback on topics you're thinking of proposing for an Expos seminar.  If you plan to attend the workshop, please email Nicole Goode, Senior Academic Program Coordinator, at ngoode@jhu.edu, to let her know.

FUNDING

Instructorships in Expository Writing.  Instructorships are available to qualified graduate students only for the full academic year.  Graduate students who are within the funding of their home departments will receive a stipend of $23,000 in 2014-2015 (if an individual graduate student receives an enhanced stipend from the home department, he or she will receive that same stipend as an Instructor).  Graduate students who are beyond the funding of their home departments will receive a stipend in 2014-2015 of $15,200, plus tuition waiver and graduate-student benefits.

Allen Grossman Teaching Fellowships in Expository Writing.  The Allen Grossman Teaching Fellowships are available to qualified graduate students only for the full academic year.  Each fellowship offers a stipend enhancement of $2,000.  For graduate students within the funding of their home departments, this means they will receive the standard stipend plus $2,000.  For graduate students who are beyond the funding of their home departments, this means they will receive the EWP stipend plus $2,000.

One-Semester Instructorships.  Graduate students who have successfully taught for a year in the Expository Writing Program are eligible to apply for one-semester Instructorships.  Such positions are limited, however, and are usually available only in the fall semester.  Instructors who teach for one semester receive half of the full-year stipend for which they qualify.  No Grossman Fellowships are available for one semester. 

RETURNING INSTRUCTORS

Instructors who have previously taught in the Expository Writing Program, including current Instructors, are invited to apply for an Instructorship for 2014-2015, by emailing a brief letter of application to Professor Kain, expressing your interest in teaching in the program and explaining your plans for the academic year.  Please attach your proposed course description, whether your current course, a revised version of an earlier course, or a new course.  The deadline is March 14, 2014.     

                                               
All funding includes tuition waiver and graduate-student benefits.


About Allen Grossman
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities, Emeritus

Allen Grossman was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1932; he received his B.A. and M.A. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from Brandeis University.  Professor Grossman taught at Brandeis until 1991, when he became the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities at The Johns Hopkins University, where he taught in the English Department for sixteen years.

An award-winning poet, scholar, and teacher, Allen Grossman is the author of 15 books of poetry and prose, including The Ether Dome (poetry) and The Long Schoolroom (prose).  Among many other prizes, in 1989, he was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship Prize and, in 1993, was elected Fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Professor Grossman's enduring accomplishments as a teacher are written into the minds and hearts of the hundreds upon hundreds of students, graduate and undergraduate, who have engaged with him in "thinking of a poetic kind/ about common concerns."  As he writes in How to Do Things with Tears (2001):

              If there are no common concerns
              no experience the same for you and me

              there can be no thinking of a poetic kind--maybe
              no thinking at all.

              Indeed, if it were possible to FIND by this means--
              i.e., thinking of a poetic kind
              COMMON CONCERNS

              THAT WOULD AFTER ALL BE ENOUGH.  (xii)


Professor Allen Grossman's most recent book is Descartes' Loneliness (2007).