Tag Archives: St. Mary's College of Maryland

A Public Liberal Arts Education

In which I assess what my students have gained from having attended a public liberal arts college.

Posted in Giraudoux (Jean) | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Commencement à la Wordsworth

Tomorrow our students graduate and they will sing a school song that draws heavily on Wordsworth. The song also has an unexpected twist not intended by the author that always gets a laugh.

Posted in Cognard-Black (Jennifer), Wordsworth (William) | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Lit for Handling a College’s Race Problems

After a series of arson fires and racist incidents, I turned to works in each of my courses to address the situation. In Intro to Lit, Lucille Clifton’s poetry; in Early British Literature survey, Aphra Behn’s “Oroonoko”; in British Fantasy, “Perdido Street Station.”

Posted in Behn (Aphra), Clifton (Lucille), Miéville (China) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My College Owes Its Founding to a Novel

My college, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, is celebrating its 175th birthday this year. The school owes its existence to an 1838 novel, John Pendleton Kennedy’s “Rob of the Bowl.”

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Making the Invisible Visible

Tuajuanda Jordan, our college’s newest president, turned to Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” to articulate her vision for the future.

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The Healing Power of Talking about Race

Race, as we learned from watching a play based on student experiences with the subject, is more painful when we avoid it than we we confront it head-on.

Posted in Jennings (Caleen Sinnette) | Also tagged , , , | 1 Comment


  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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