A P Summer Institute: English Language and Composition
AP Institute-English Language and Composition
Instructor Dr. Renee Shea
Instructor Bio: Dr. Renee Shea has taught English at the college level for more than thirty years. At both the University of the District of Columbia and Bowie State University, part of the University System of Maryland, she has spent her career working with underrepresented, nontraditional, and minority students. In the past five years, Dr. Shea has coauthored two textbooks for Advanced Placement students: The Language of Composition: Reading, Writing, Rhetoric and Literature and Composition: Reading, Writing, Thinking. She is currently working on an American literature text for AP Language and a Pre-AP project.
Dr. Shea taught in high school early in her career, conducted teacher research in her graduate studies, and has been committed for several decades to developing connections between secondary and college teaching and learning. To those ends, she has had the pleasure of being a founding member of the D.C. Area Writing Project and supported the initiation of Advanced Placement English Language programs in D.C.P.S. and Montgomery, Anne Arundel, and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. An active member of the National Council of Teachers of English, she frequently presents at the annual convention, chaired the Committee on World and Comparative Literature, and has coauthored two volumes in the High School Literature Series (Amy Tan and Zora Neale Hurston).
Dr. Shea's academic commitment naturally translates into support for the College Board's agenda for equity and excellence in the Advanced Placement Program. She has worked with AP since the early 1980s as a reader, table leader, and question leader for the English Literature and Composition Exam and for the Language and Composition Exam since its inception. As a faculty consultant, she has led numerous one-day workshops and summer institutes in the U.S. and Canada. She was a member of the English Language and Composition Test Development Committee, as liaison between the College Board and Educational Testing Service, from 2004-2007. She has contributed many articles to APCentral that are posted on the home pages of AP English Literature and Language. Dr. Shea has conducted online workshops on special topics (e.g., Teaching Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, Reading the Poetry of Li-Young Lee) as well as more general introductory and advanced workshops on the exams and courses.
Dr. Shea began working with documentary film as a form of nonfiction that engaged her college freshman students in ways that traditional print medium did not. She developed curriculum on the rhetoric of documentary film, proposing it as a bridge to the critical analysis of print texts. This interest evolved into a collaboration with the American Film Institute's SchoolDocs, a program for teachers that is part of SilverDocs, a renowned documentary film festival. It also resulted in a Curriculum Module consisting of six essays written by and for AP teachers on The Rhetoric of Documentary Film (http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/2123.html). Currently, Dr. Shea is collaborating with a group of AP English and Art History teachers on a series of curriculum modules on "The Rhetoric of Monuments and Memorials." This project involves examining monuments and memorials as visual arguments and examining them as artistic objects within specific historical contexts and targeted to particular audiences. Students research the history, including funding sources and controversies about placement, design, and purpose. They present their findings in the form of conventional essays as well as multimedia designs. A final part of this project involves students proposing their own monument or memorial to an authentic audience.
A charter member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Dr. Shea has taught courses in women's studies and writes frequently about contemporary authors. Her research on Caribbean authors has been published in Callaloo, The Caribbean Writer, and The Journal of Haitian Studies. Since 1997, she has written twelve cover profiles for Poets & Writers Magazine; these include Edwidge Danticat, Sandra Cisneros, Julie Otsuka, Monique Truong, Helena Viramontes, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Andrea Levy, and Maxine Hong Kingston. Dr. Shea recently relocated to Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and two dogs (Rose and Mr. Darcy) to be closer to her extended family. She continues to write and lead workshops and is currently working as a consultant to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards on a pilot project for principals.