Liberating the Classroom: The Artistic Teaching of Gender in Nineteenth-Century Literature Courses at An-Najah National University
Publication Type
Original research

This paper examines the experiences and practices of teaching nineteenth-century gender studies at An-Najah National University in the West Bank, focusing on students’ pedagogical reception and discussion of sexuality and gender studies in the classroom. I argue that the classroom, the first subject discussed in this paper, gives students the chance to break away from social conventions to which they are continually exposed. The classroom is treated as a space where students are pushed out of their traditional intellectual limitations via the emphasis on unbiased, free, and artistic creativity. Throughout the entire fall term of 2015, I encouraged students to think artistically, a concept that refers to innovative ways of learning that exclude memorization and the pedagogical centrality of the teacher. The concept of artistic teaching, which I discuss in the second section of the paper, means that the student’s role in the classroom exceeds the mere act of listening and restricted rational thinking. In other words, students overcome the limits of their traditional social experiences by engaging with nineteenth-century literary texts via imagination, cross-cultural reading, and intuitive analysis. Artistic teaching, indeed, carries students beyond social conventions into an engaging, challenging, and unprecedented textual analysis of nineteenth-century feminist literature. The paper concludes with examples of in-class presentations where students boldly cross and question cultural borders by linking nineteenth-century texts to modern-day political, social, and economic issues in Palestine.      

Minnesota State University-Mankato
Publisher Country
United States of America
Publication Type
Online only