Morning Group Seminars – 2023 

Morning Groups run for 4 days, from 9:00 am – Noon. 

Morning seminars will be capped at 15 participants.  

Additional participants will be added solely at the discretion of the convener. 

Historical Fiction 

The group will read four novels starting with NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, a finalist for  the Man Booker Prize, the “potent story of displacement and arrival” of a girl growing up in poverty in  Zimbabwe and then transported to suburban American as a teenager. Tom Stockdale will lead  discussion the second day with our consideration of Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow, the story  of the house arrest in 1922 and consequent life of Count Alexander Rostov. Our third meeting will be  moderated by Nancy Cunningham who will introduce discussion of Jane Gardam’s Old Filth, the life  story of a Raj orphan educated and raised in England whose life encompasses the glory days of the  British Empire through the Second World War and up to the present day. We will conclude on the  fourth day with a discussion of Madison Smartt Bell’s All Souls’ Rising. Gay Harter will offer some  historical background, and Joel Cunningham will moderate the discussion of this novel, described by  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “as powerful as a hurricane,” the story of the Haitian revolution  against slavery but “really about us, our times, our prejudices, our race wars.” Four compelling and  mind-opening narratives—join us. 

For further information, contact Mary Papke at 

Modes of Teaching 

The Modes of Teaching group provides a space for sharing, experimenting, and learning about  effective, innovative, and inclusive pedagogical approaches. In addition to providing a safe, multi disciplinary environment of fellow instructors who deeply value the art of teaching, this group will  include some open work time in which participants will be encouraged to take the time to develop  their own teaching materials, lesson plans, and learning activities. There will also be opportunities for  participants to test out new teaching ideas with short teaching demonstrations with a group of  interested participants. 

For further information, contact Melanie Howard at 

Pop Culture 


The Pop Culture morning group will meet to discuss RuPaul’s Drag Race. Seasons 2-9 are available on Hulu.  Paramount + appears to offer the current season, and members may be able to access MTV  programming through their cable/satellite provider.


The Pop Culture morning group will meet to discuss W.E.B. Du Bois’ periodical for African American  children, The Brownies’ Book (1920-1921). The entire run of issues is available digitally at the Library  of Congress. This linked article gives a good overview of this project  


The Pop Culture morning group will travel to the National Museum of African American Music in  Nashville. 


The Pop Culture morning group will gather to share other pop culture works (past, present, or on the  horizon) that have caught attendees attention since we last met. All are encouraged to make  suggestions for next year’s meeting. 

For more information contact : Eric Ecklund at 

Theorizing Culture 

This year we encourage people to purchase W.E.B. Du Bois: Writings (Library of America). For the first two days, we will focus on The Souls of Black Folk. Additional readings from the collected writings will be identified in the weeks leading up to the annual meeting in Nashville. 

Please contact Eric Bain-Selbo at and he will make sure you get the reading  list. 

Writing Workshop 

Is there something you are longing to work on? This seminar is for those who want time to write and  to create in an encouraging environment. Come with a specific project in mind or in progress whether  it is a research article, a set of poems, a memoir, novel, mixed-media artifact, or something else.  During the three hours each morning we will begin with a fun writing warm-up exercise before we get  on with our actual work. We will also share and exchange ideas about our projects, help one another  move forward, and offer feedback as needed. 

The time will be structured based on the needs and desires of the attendees. Some may want to use a  large part of the time to work; others may want to talk about their work, request feedback, or find a  writing partner. Other ideas are to visit a coffeeshop in town to write, and/or to take one morning to  visit a place in Nashville that will nourish our creative selves. We look forward to hearing from people  ahead of time about how you would like to spend our sessions. 

For more information, contact Dorothy Hurlburt at or Sarah Moore at