Sarah Neville

Sarah Neville, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department of English

How Are You Teaching?

Adding Whimsy


Courses Taught Remotely:

  • Methods for the Study of Literature
  • Special Topics in Shakespeare -- Shakespeare’s Sense of Humor


Adding whimsy may send a message to students that the challenges to come can also be enjoyable and engaging. “Dear Shakespeareans --” Dr. N. wrote to her class, “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and I’m pleased to announce that OSU’s move to remote instruction authorizes me to hire two teaching assistants.” One of her students responded, “This is hands down the greatest announcement I have ever read on Carmen.” At her March 25 class sessions over Zoom, a handful of students’ dogs showed up to take part in the lessons, leaving Dr. N. to express some worry. “I hope we didn’t violate FURpa.”

Two small, cute dogs

T.A. Luna Erasmus, left, is a recognized barking champion, with an idiosyncratic way of walking across wooden floors. She resolves to help with any and all grammatical issues that may be solved by staring intently at the front door. T.A. Tinkerbell “Nightmare Muppet” Pericles, right, is a fierce killer of snakes, rabbits, and inveterate treer of raccoons, squirrels, and opossums. Please feel free to seek her assistance with catching bank shots of very small tennis balls.

Want to read more about humor, pedagogy, learing and distance educaton? Check out: “Taking the ‘distance’ out of distance education: A humorous approach to online learning."