The course offers students the opportunity in a very hands-on way "to think through a poem," New says, which needs to be a very active process. The idea is to lift a poem out of history, and "into your own history."
In a conversation with Victoria Brown, New says that at the center of her course is conversation - between students, teachers and other experts - and these conversations are used to transform students "from passive consumers of knowledge to producers of knowledge."
Elisa "Lisa" New is Professor of English at Harvard University. Her areas of study include American poetry, 19th century American literature, religious literature, and Jewish literature. Her books include The Line's Eye: Poetic Experience, American Sight (1999), The Regenerate Lyric: Theology and Innovation in American Poetry (1993) and Jacob's Cane: A Jewish Family's Journey from the Four lands of Lithuania to the Ports of Baltimore and London (2009).