Professor profile: Captivating an audience in British literature

Professor profile: Captivating an audience in British literature

The start of the semester brings stress, new challenges, and for Dr. Brian Artese, the chance to showcase British Literature to a new class of students.

Artese was born in Denver, Colorado, and attended Northwestern University in Illinois to study Literature. In his Ph.D. program, he decided to focus on Joesph Conrad and, by extension, British literature.

Artese moved to Georgia 14 years ago with his wife, professor Charlotte Artese. He worked at Anges Scott College and Georgia State University before finally settling down at Kennesaw State as an English professor.

As a lecturer, Artese teaches mostly general education classes. While he enjoys both the large seminar classes and the smaller classroom courses, the dynamic of the seminar style class allows his particular teaching style to flourish.

“I like the challenge of trying to capture as many people’s attention at once in the room,” Artese said. “To see if you can make yourself and the ideas big enough, and the issues interesting enough, to actually make people not fall asleep.”

The theatrical style of captivating an audience of students with the themes and content lends itself to the romantic world of late British literature.

“One of the great things about the job is that you can do whatever you want,” Artese said. “As long as you are teaching British literature, you can do it however you want.”

Normally, this would be the case, but according to Artese, all general education courses are undergoing a university-wide assessment to determine if they effectively teach the necessary skills students need. The assessment judges classes based on a rubric and learning outcomes.

What this means for the literature classes is that students need to, once they leave the class, be able to “interpret and connect material to a larger cultural context,” Artese said.

According to Artese, the process of working with other professors to design assignments that give students the opportunity to show competency has been a significant shift in focus.

“The assessment forces you to say ‘Look, I have to get my students to do this particular thing well,’ whereas normally when we teach, we don’t think about that,” Artese said. “The whole assessment process has forced me to think about exactly how to get students to do these specific things.”

Even with the heightened scrutiny and challenge that comes with a major paradigm shift in teaching methods, Artese still holds KSU in extremely high regard.

“KSU is pretty awesome,” Artese said. “I compare it to Georgia State, and it’s better than GSU in almost every way.”

Artese also has constructive criticisms of KSU, such as the need for better parking and more space to hire new professors.

“To get quality instruction, you have to hire more full-time instructors,” Artese said.

For Artese, quality instruction is most important for his students.

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