Thinking of Teaching a Class…

As some of you know, in order to dodge the inane anthologies that most grad student English teachers have to use in freshman comp classes, I’ve taken advantage of our department’s allowance for topics classes, proposing and teaching courses on Plato and the Hebrew Bible instead of Motives for Writing or Making Literature Matter. As I posted over at my blog, I’ve proposed a comp class based on the Enlightenment and featuring some John Locke, some Denis Diderot, some Adam Smith, and some Isaac Newton and organized around the chapters of Neil Postman’s Building a Bridge to the 18th Century. I hope the department gives it the green light; I’m already excited about teaching it.

I’ve also been trying as I can to keep up the story about University of Colorado’s plans to establish a chair of Conservative Thought and Policy, and the idea occurred to me: why not teach a comp class based on conservative philosophy? As you all know, I’m likely one of the two least conservative (small or large c) CRM contributors, but I do think that a course exploring the actual ideas rather than the campaign buzzwords might be fun to teach, and since this class wouldn’t take place until the fall of 2009, I could avoid all the flying feces that an election year might bring.

So I come to you all, the Conservative Reformed Mafia, asking if you have encountered any reasonably-priced anthologies of conservative thought from the last three centuries or so. The Portable Conservative Reader seems to be out of print, and I want something that has a broad chronological range of primary texts, so please don’t suggest volumes that have Buckley but not Burke or Goldwater but not Hopkins. If it had Aristotle, that would be even better, but I’ll take what suggestions I can get.

In a worst-case scenario I could simply assemble my own .pdf-based curriculum and put it on a password-protected class website, but a low-priced anthology would be even better. Come to think of it, if anyone knows of any book dealers that can assemble large quantities of out-of-print anthologies, that might help as well.

Thanks in advance, all.


About Nathan Gilmour

Nathan P. Gilmour is a Christian, a husband, a father, and a college English teacher. He tries to do all of that and write something worthwhile on occasion.


7 thoughts on “Thinking of Teaching a Class…

  1. >Actually, Jared, the portable Burke might just fit the bill. Then I could do one of Buckley’s shorter ones… I’ve got until next March to work all this out, but I thank all of you for the ideas.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | September 18, 2008, 7:03 pm
  2. >The portable conservative is really the best for an anthology. You could get the postable Burke instead, all you need is right there. Hard to get a handle on it, since there are really three streams: social conservatism, libertarianism, and economic conservatism. They don’t all really get along until Buckley and National Review undertakes their fusion project.

    Posted by Jared Nelson | September 18, 2008, 2:53 pm
  3. >I’m reading through The Conservative Mind right now. It is very good so far. Kirk considers it to be a prolonged essay in describing philosophical conservatism. Its a good distillation of the top conservative thinkers for Burke to Eliot (as it says in the sub-title).

    Posted by Jeff Wright | September 17, 2008, 11:00 pm
  4. >Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve looked for used copies of the reader but have only managed to track down a handful of copies for sale, not nearly enough for a 44-person class.Perhaps the Kirk supplemented by pdf readings might be the way to go. I think I’ve built up enough cred with the department to propose this seriously, so I likely need to start thinking about a reading list.

    Posted by Nathan P. Gilmour | September 17, 2008, 7:20 pm
  5. >This book only deals with modern conservatism but I figured I’d let you know about it anyways.The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945

    Posted by J.Wizzle | September 17, 2008, 7:11 pm
  6. >I don’t think this is in print any more but this might be worth getting your hands on if you can find it.The Portable Conservative Reader

    Posted by J.Wizzle | September 17, 2008, 7:09 pm
  7. >The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk is very comprehensive. It covers a broad range of conservatives starting with Burke. It may not be what you are looking for with regards to what you want your students to read. However, it would definitely be worth your time to browse through it yourself to get an idea of some people and ideas you would want to go over with the class. I don’t know…hope that helps. I’ll keep thinking of other ideas though

    Posted by J.Wizzle | September 17, 2008, 7:04 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

From the Vault

Friend of Grace

All articles © 2007-2011 by the respective authors of the Conservative Reformed Mafia. All Rights Reserved.
%d bloggers like this: