Literature majors and students otherwise drawn to literature courses can be an introverted bunch. Students overall can at times resist course projects that fall outside the expected parameters of a given discipline. Yet my class proved my assumptions wrong. Many of the students were nervous, to be sure, but overall they seemed to enjoy the project—to find it a rewarding experience on its own and to see its connection to Dickens’s readings but also the broader idea of creating a community of readers.
Of all our class projects, they reportedly enjoyed this project the most. I think they responded so well to the reading project because they found it relatively novel. They informed me they were unused to reading out loud, or listening to others read. Proving everything old is new again, the project made them look at reading in a new light. I think this was an important project for a number of reasons: it solidified our class community, it added a new dimension to the theme of community we were tracing through the novels, and it helped the class see reading as a historically situated practice. —Journal of Victorian Culture Online.