Faculty Profile: Gary Handwerk

Image of Gary Handwerk

In his NEH-funded, CIC-housed senior seminar “Learning the Ropes: The Process of Acculturation and the Powers of Fiction,” Professor Gary Handwerk experimented with effective modes of interaction between college and high school classrooms, electronically and otherwise.


One of his primary goals for arranging such a collaboration between Seattle high school and UW English seniors was to share and thus broaden their collective sense of the varied historical receptions of fictions. He experimented with using technology—Web-based electronic bulletin boards, shared library databases, local-area networks—so that students could share primary views and secondary reviews of that history.


Through this multimediated student dialogue and research, Professor Handwerk successfully tethered the power of fictional narratives to the power of innovative classroom practices: seniors eventually produced course manuals designed to provide background information and instructional advice for high school teachers. One group made their project available on the Web; another presented their results directly to a high school class. To that end, technology served as a tool to adjoin texts, students, and teachers and to expand narrowed notions of “higher education.”



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