my statement of Teaching philosophy
The humanities, including language, literature, film and art history, must adapt to the twenty-first century way of life. These disciplines can no longer be isolated and or hesitant embrace collaboration on an interdisciplinary scale. More seriously, when humanities courses fail to engage with relevant and timely forms of adaptation, we become less able to engage with a new generation of humanists that intuitively understands the concept already. Ingrained assumptions and constructed controversy plague even the most current accounts and pedagogical approaches to adaptation. My research began as a response to my fundamental concern with current materials available to students—and others looking for new approaches. I worried that my students will be alienated by unintuitive accounts that do not appear relevant to everyday experience.
One might ask: why should we care whether or not we are able to catch the attention of our students— after all, they never look up from their iPhones anyway. Here is why: if scholars continue to alienate potential supporters, they risk destabilizing and destructing an already vulnerable field. The act of questioning one’s own analysis, at every turn, is both an ethical act and a means of self-preservation. Ideally, contrary to current practice, scholars would write and speak clearly in the interest of communicating truths. The scholar or critic has greater obligations to the truth than the filmmaker, the author, or the artist. Several recently published anthologies and articles are dedicated to “new trends” in adaptation studies. Nevertheless, a significant number of these contributions remain inadequate in the context of the college classroom.
The humanities are in transition. The aim of my current pedagogy/research is to create a starting point; to begin a conversation between scholars from various disciplines, and to create a climate in which humanists can learn from one another while prizing both rigor and curiosity. To that end, I seek to be a teacher/scholar with a broad vision; not only do I aim to write with clarity about the films, TV shows, Podcasts, music videos, etc., that I love – I aim to instill that same desire in my students. It is possible to have a firm grounding in tradition, but with an eye to the future, and to our students.
UNIVERSITY OF REDLANDS
French 102 (Spring 2016)
- Flannery is awesome! She brings life to language which is normally very difficult and boring. She always is willing to help explain things more clearly. Her assignments and tests are reasonably difficult and there are never any surprises. One of my favorite profs!
- Professor Wilson is an excellent prof. She's exceptionally reasonable and happy to answer any questions you have. She's extremely clear about what she expects and what will be on exams/quizzes-no surprises come test day. Genuinely wants you to learn the course content. Great, funny lectures. Makes an intro language course interesting.
- Flannery is awesome. Although she goes on tangents sometimes during class, she's super funny and very helpful. She continues to encourage you even if you don't know what the freak is going on. If you're not sure what she's talking about during class, just ask her and she'll explain it in an easier way.
- Dr. Wilson is a wonderful French professor! She has a very laid back personality and is extremely approachable. She is always full of energy and spunk, which makes her class enjoyable. She is always willing to help students out and do whatever it takes to help them understand something.
- Very laid back. Most of us love her. She's the funniest teacher I've ever had and she is just a really honest and open person. Couldn't be more approachable if she tried.
Summer Session 2, 2015
INTRODUCTION TO FRENCH
- Knows the subject well enough to be able to instill the lessons in my mind. I took 3 years of French in high school and I learned more in this class than I ever did in those 3 years.
- I liked the way she explained topics and used examples.
- The class was fun and enjoyable. So far French here at UCR has been a good experience for me. I'm glad you taught French 2 this session. Thank you for making French 2 interesting and fun :)
- I really enjoyed this class. The Professor was fantastic. I have trouble with languages and my last teacher made French intimidating. Prof Wilson made things fun and enjoyable. I wanted to learn french and I have come out of the class with more knowledge of the language than when I went in.
- She was helpful in making sure that the student understood what was happening when they asked their questions.
- Although French is difficult, I found Professor Wilson to be fair and informative. I would take a French class again with her instructing. The summer session was compact and very short and yet class time was utilized well with lots of subject matter.
Section: 001 INTRODUCTIONTOFRENCH
- Flannery was the best language teacher I have ever had! I loved her teaching style, I truly learned a lot from taking her class and she is a gifted teacher.
- Dr.Wilson is very interactive with the class. She provided a cultural aspect to learning French. She is very helpful and always encouraged students to try. She made the class very comfortable and I think that is important when learning a language.
- Flannery really made this course interesting and relevant. I really appreciate that Flannery is so patient and willing to explain any difficult grammar patterns in different ways. The way that she repeated phrases also really helped with making them more familiar. Class was really enjoyable and I never felt pressured about not understanding something.
- awesome! Great professor! Very easy to communicate with.
- Really enjoyed this class and Flannery made learning French enjoyable.
Instructor: Flannery Ross Wilson
- Professor Wilson was amazing. I thought this class was going to be a boring one, but Mrs. Wilson and her enthusiasm for what she was teaching really grabbed my attention and that of the other students. She properly organized the course and clearly conveyed what she expected from her students. She introduced me to concepts I had not thought of and I quickly found myself thinking about them all the time. She encouraged me to go to extra lectures, which I did do and I found I benefited greatly from them. I visited her in office hours and she was very helpful, as well as approachable and down to earth. I think she was my favorite professor of the quarter.
- Dr. Wilson, you are a great instructor because you show passion for what you teach and don't give up on getting some sort of feedback from your students. You effectively used supplemental materials to better show the themes of your class; they helped me better understand them. The thing I enjoyed about taking your class is that you allowed room for creativity in both our papers and projects. I am glad I had the pleasure to take your class which allowed me to think critically about the literature I have read and will read.
- You were a very passionate teacher. I enjoyed the movies and clips we watched in class. You were also very flexible with the needs of the students. I enjoyed the class.
- Professor Wilson was very good as a teacher. She was unpretentious and communicated her ideas in a clear and cohesive manner. She was also very helpful at her office hours, helping in whatever way she could.
- Overall, I think Professor Wilson's class is pretty eye-opening and I think it has made me a lot more open-minded than before. Her approach with the class, although it's different from the conventional class at UCR, is what I liked the most. Weekly blog posts were a great idea to help us share our thoughts with what we're learning in class and it's a good way to post videos, additional articles, to further supplement our learning. And the movie clips in class were a good idea also. I wished that we did more analysis with the readings. If I could, I would take another class with Professor Wilson.
- I adore Professor Wilson! She is eccentric, but that's what I like most about her. We need more professors like her, who are open and honest and out there. She was always interested in what we, as students, had to say about the texts we read/watched. She never spoon-fed us information, like many other professors do. She was always open to different interpretations, and super helpful if you ever needed help. She's the nicest, coolest, most down to earth professor I've met here at UCR so far. I would definitely take more classes with her!
- Dr. Wilson is an engaging professor. Her unconventional teaching style—most reminiscent of Socratic seminar—kept the class constantly participating. Each class session had such vibrant exchanges, despite the differing levels of familiarity with comparative literature among students. No one was left behind with her lesson plans as long as we kept up with the readings, especially with continued interaction with the class blog. It was eye-opening to see how she prompted us to engage with the readings and make the connections between denser literary theory and playful yet polemical literary and cinematic texts. What I enjoyed about Dr. Wilson’s class though, aside from her teaching style, was how passionate and supportive she was with our class. She put so much effort into making herself constantly available for her students before class, long after class ended, and continually extending her office hours so we could get one-on-one help. I struggled with some of the theory we covered and she was really helpful in making it more accessible according to my learning style and some of the cognitive setbacks I had this quarter due to a medical issue. Dr. Wilson was a enjoy to have as a professor.
Section: 001-ITALIAN CUISINE IN FILM AND LITERATURE
Instructor: Flannery Ross Wilson
- I feel all students were given a fair opportunity to display their knowledge of the course in exams and papers. There was less negative criticism than any other course I took and this has given me much confidence for other courses. Thank you for such an interesting course.
- Though this class wasn't my first choice, after taking it with Professor Wilson, i'm very glad i decided to take this class. It isn't very hard yet I was still able to learn a lot from it mainly because the class is actually very interesting. Professor Wilson is very funny and it makes people want to participate in her class which was super helpful.
- Great teacher, made class enjoyable.
- I loved Flannery as an instructor, she made the course interesting, she is entertaining as a teacher and allowed us a lot of creative freedom when it came to choosing topics for our essays and presentations.
- Her teaching style is very different from any other professor I've had before. Her method is a little unorganized but it is effective. a fun and interesting class when we watched videos and read poems or passages on italian culture
- She had a interesting personality, very humble and open to new ideas. She was nice and a cool person in general. I like the way she runs the class, it was easier to enjoy without having to worry about difficult assignments/quizzes/tests. I wish all my classes were like this.
University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
Chinese Cinema - Spring 2014
FINAL BLOG POST FOR COMM 369
- ... I am leaving with a better sense of cinema, because of this class. This is not just “Chinese Cinema” either, but film as a whole. I understand a lot more about the analysis of films and what makes certain aspects about a film effect audiences in various ways. I enjoyed the variety of films we watched in class too. I always wanted to watch “In the Mood For Love,” because I had often heard that it was a great romantic film...I appreciate it more now. I think this course invokes discussion and helps us form intellectual questions about “Chinese Cinema” and what is it? Our attempt to understand it was the most valuable part of the class, and dare I say- I think we are closer to understanding.
- This class was a big surprise...I never thought about Chinese cinema in the way that this class made me think about it. I watched a lot of Chinese films that were more action packed and face paced so when we started to watch the art house type of films I was very shocked. I was not very aware of how different each and every one of the Chinese/Taiwanese/American directors were. I can say that I highly recommend and enjoyed the class overall. I have learned to appreciate art house films a lot more then I would have if I watched them on my own.
- I did not know what to expect going in to this class, however, I was pleasantly surprised...this class was different than any other communication class I have taken in the past but I am glad I took it. The actual films we watched were very powerful and emotional which is not what I expected from Chinese cinema. This type of passion opened my eyes to not only Chinese films but “art house films” in general. My biggest take away is that I have a much better understanding of Asian culture. It also makes me want to travel there someday and discover even more. This class has also got me excited for other film classes and I plan on taking more in the future.
- I enjoyed the class immensely. It was very interesting seeing the differences and similarities between Chinese and American Cinema. Seeing Chinese culture reflected in film helped me to more fully realize things that were foreign to me. Camera angles, colors, music, acting, etc. all had their own unique takes, and seeing the differences allowed me to grow as a film maker and consumer. I feel that Chinese Cinema is highly reflective of Chinese Culture. Values and morals are constantly reflected in the stories, characters, and settings of the movies, more so than in American Cinema. Before the class, I thought that Chinese Cinema was a lot of kung fu and period pieces, instead of the more modern approaches that it does take. It is very interesting to see the kinds of styles that Chinese Cinema takes, and it is something that I will continue to look into.
- I really enjoyed this class. Never having taken a film class before I was a little nervous and overwhelmed when the class began but it ended up being one of my favorite classes. I really appreciate all of the movies and culture I was exposed to that I never would have if I hadn’t taken this class. Going into this class I didn’t really have a picture of what Chinese cinema was. I had heard and seen a little of the Kung Fu genre and seen some Jackie Chan movies. After the class I have learned an appreciation for these unique films many very different than anything I had ever seen. I still don’t think Chinese Cinema can be summed up into a few words its so rich and filled with different cultures, actors and directors it would be a shame to narrow it down to just a few words when it is so much more.
- My final take away of this class is a greater understanding of the international market and how it affects films all over the world. For a director to be literate I feel like they need to be well versed, not only in the history of film, but the intertextuality that takes place all over the globe. Listening to some of my favorite directors discuss foreign films and reading articles it seems like this is becoming more and more desirable for production companies. I say this because they can use a wealth of knowledge of things such as techniques, themes, and cinematography that they would otherwise be limited with only knowledge of American films. Now I realize just how important foreign films are and just how great they are to watch and I’ve even started my own collection of foreign films to start watching. Thanks for the great class, I certainly loved it.
- I’ll be leaving this course with a better understanding and ability to analyze films not only as media, but also how they are marketed and distributed to an international audience. I’ve taken many film classes within the Division of Communication, and this class has added a new perspective to my thoughts about film. If someone asked me what Chinese cinema is exactly, I don’t know if I could answer them. We’ve touched on the idea here and there in the course, but I don’t think we’ve found an answer. The closest I can come to an answer is: there are no films that are truly “Chinese.” Though they are created by Chinese filmmakers, starred by Chinese actors and actresses, and are often set in Chinese locations, there is no one element of any of these films that truly identifies them as “Chinese cinema.”
Hello Professor Wilson,
I'll just write you a short letter hoping I catch you at a good time.
I truly want to let you know that I really enjoyed your class and I really had fun with you as my teacher. I understand you’ve reached some conflict with your fellow VMS faculty but I just wanted to express my gratitude directly to you.
I’m not saying this for better grade. I’m not saying this to make you feel better. I just think it’s important for me, as a student, to make it known when a teacher really changes my insight on something. Honestly, I’ve always hated schooling. My teachers have been like “zombies” (always following a script) and half the time I would struggle maintaining attention in the class, which is partly my fault, but I also fault the types of student teacher relationships my previous teachers maintained. Where information only flows in one direction and teachers rarely look to students to learn anything.
You, along with another teacher this semester, have taught me how I could like a class. That I could actually really enjoy and relate to the topic. So I felt I needed to express this to you.
I sometimes struggle getting what I’m trying to say across but I’ve never had a professor actually listen to what I might be trying to say rather than shrug it off as me not having anything important to say. As this happens to me more often than it should.
I had a slight learning impairment as a kid (a word finding problem) so I’ve been analyzing my methods of learning for many years now. And I want you to know that there are kids out there who wish to have teachers like you. If I had you as one or all of my high school teachers, I most likely would’ve graduated with a 4.0, I would have never wanted to stop learning. You are constantly questioning EVERYTHING so you make class discussions super interesting. If I could have you teach me all other courses I need to take, I would, REALLY! I’m an outside the box thinker a majority of the time and I feel like that’s what you encouraged.
I usually don’t talk much in class, I’m more of a keen observer. Until this semester I thought that was the only way I could learn. That or in a one-on-one setting. Again I hope this email doesn’t come across as a little brown nosy (excuse my language). But really I want you to know that you re-sparked my interest in education and gave me a new hope for the next three years of college and maybe even some specialized teaching down the road.
[Fall 2015 VMS 101 student]
University of Redlands
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter’s purpose is to inform you that I am recommending Professor Flannery Wilson of the Comparative Literature & Foreign Languages department for a full-time position here at the University of California Riverside.
I began instruction with Professor Wilson this quarter, Fall 2014, and have found this to be a pleasant experience. My position within Housing, Dining, and Residential Services has taught me a lot at my time here at UCR. As a general note I try to carry the lessons I learn within the classroom and apply them to my position. As the RHA Building President of A-I I hold a council of forty Senators and work with them to program, create proposals for change, and work with Administrative staff. Because of my work in a classroom-like setting I try to observe my Professors and learn from their teaching styles.
I feel as though Professor Wilson has gone above and beyond the classroom in teaching Italian 001. Within the classroom I took the role of the apprehensive student. On top of that I have a history of frustration while learning foreign languages. In high school I’d spend two-three addition hours catching up with the rest of the class. While the same comprehension problems happened with Italian, this time I was provided the resources to understand the language.
Professor Wilson structures her class with a very openness toward Italian. From the start she told us not to fear struggling, comprehension, or to fear talking in Italian. During every lesson I felt as though I was learning beyond just rehearsal and repetition. She would take the lessons from the book and make them alive and applicable. Whether it be through Visual Medias, CD audio, or her own explanations; I would catch on.
Professor Wilson is very observant of the class as well. If we were struggling with concepts as a whole she would make sure to review it right then. On top of that she would make sure to find additional lessons (online and workbook) so we could master that section. She would break it down with key phrases such as: “Well this is a bit tricky but think of it like this” or “This took me a while to figure out at first but if you look here”. She recognizes where a student may struggle, why words are written a certain way, and she uses empathetic language. In some of my favorite memories of the classroom every student is laughing at how weird/confusing a word sounds.
I have constantly avoiding speaking in languages classes since my first year of high school. Because of that I dually noted how each day in lecture I would be called to speak. Professor Wilson calls upon each and every student at least twice during a lesson. I noted this from the very first lesson to the last. In addition to that Professor Flannery made it a point of learning our names by Week Two. While at first shocking, I feel this helped the classroom become more personal and less of a language war-zone.
Whenever I’d answer a question wrong I didn’t feel humiliated or embarrassed, unlike a past teacher who would seemingly mock the students who did, rather Professor Wilson empathizes and guides with kind language. “Close, but remember we have to conjugate X” or “Perfect, just remember it’s pronounced like this, with the O sounding like...” Even while others were being called on I felt actively involved and learning from that person’s mistakes. I feel as though this made a huge difference in the atmosphere of the classroom.
For all these reasons, I am recommending that Professor Flannery Wilson become a permanent addition to the Foreign Languages department. She is by far one of the best instructors I’ve had at UCR and the only professor that has made learning another language a pleasant experience. Because of her influence I am now thinking about Studying Abroad in Italy and pursuing Italian as a second language.
If you wish to discuss this recommendation, please contact me at ….as soon as possible.
[Fall 2014 Italian 1 student]
University of California, Riverside, Class of 2017
UC Riverside - Italian 1
- Great professor, learned a lot while taking her class.
- The class was fun. After taking this class, I wanted to take more Italian classes. I had a great learning experience in this class with Dr. Wilson.
- My Italian 1 class was a very unique experience, different from the bulk of all the other classes I have taken throughout my undergraduate years. Dr. Wilson definitely engaged with the class every moment of every class, ensuring that our italian skills were honed while also answering any questions that we may have had. Many professors that I have had at UCR don't take the time to ensure that every student in class is engaging properly with the material and that is where Dr. Wilson stood out to me. The class was definitely fun but also adhered to the structure of a university level class.
- This class was definitely one of my favorite classes I have ever taken so far, here at UCR. I had a strong interest in learning the Italian language and now I can say that I can create a small conversation with someone in this language. Dr. Wilson was my favorite teacher by far.
- This class was one of the most unique classes I have had the pleasure of taking. What I remember most is the overall pleasant and welcoming environment that Flannery created. I felt very comfortable participating in class.
- Each day was exciting, unexpected, and better than the last. It was a huge pleasure to have Flannery as my Italian 1 instructor.
- I have graduated from UCR but she is one of the professors I do miss the most. In all honesty, I struggle with any other language besides my own and my normal outgoing eager personality just fades away when I'm in a second language class, but this was not the case with prof. Wilson. She always made everyone feel like it was ok to ask questions and not be perfect at the language. She was always always there to answer any questions we may have had if even just practice with us. I never felt intimidated by her when I was in class, which I understand some may think is a bad thing but the truth is its not. If students feel intimidated by the professor they at less likely to ask questions or admit they need help. With her we all learned in a fun comfortable environment and she gave us honest opinions about our work. The stories she would tell about something always stayed on topic to what we were learning and told so we could better understand the content of the assignments. The tests were not easy in fact they were challenging to hard but we knew what was on them we had learned before. I know she is a wonderful professor and any university is lucky to have her.