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TEACHING BLAKE

A semester Blake course is being given this fall in the SUNY CEH (Continuing Education in the Humanities) format, and seems to be going well. Thursdays at 7 p.m. Erdman holds forth, usually with slides, in one of the new lecture rooms—attendance of around 160 (half undergraduates, half schoolteachers); at 8:30 or earlier the class divides into five sections for “seminars” led by five dissertation-contemplating Teaching Assistants (dissertations on Blake, of course). The teaching group, with a few stray grad students who have joined the course, gather about 4 p.m. to start the conversation; it ends finally at 10 p.m., or later. One small knot continued past midnight. Then on Tuesday mornings we have a reading aloud of The Four Zoas, reaching Night the Eighth on Election Day. (The bureaucratic rubric for the course is “The Great Tradition. I.”)

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