About My Teaching
I’ve been teaching writing at universities for 30 years and use keenly honed pedagogical skills to individually assess each student for his/her learning styles, give lots of immediate feedback, challenge continuously with high standards, and support every success. I believe that students rise to challenges and accountability and that every one of them – regardless of level of skill at the beginning of the course – can always improve their abilities to communicate articulately. Most importantly, perhaps, is that the students learn to find their own voices, gain confidence in their abilities to communicate creatively and see the intrinsic value in their successes. I also try to work in as many multi-modal projects as possible in each writing class, believing that there are multiple figurative, literary, physical and visual ways to develop a narrative.
How I came to Academic Advising, Creative Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies
I am an immigrant to the U.S. and was born in The Netherlands. My first languages were Dutch and Italian, though English quickly became primary as I began kindergarten in the U.S. I have always loved school and enjoyed subjects requiring critical and analytical thought, literature, psycho-social influences that contribute to the “self” within societal constructs. I chose to major in Criminal Justice as an undergraduate, with minors in Psychology and English. After I completed my undergraduate degree, I worked in residential treatment facilities with adolescent clients and also in a maximum security prison. I returned to academia for my MA in Creative Writing based largely on my experiences in leading poetry therapy groups and helping individuals to communicate the very selves whose personal evolution they had yet to understand. After solely teaching writing courses for several years, I accepted a position that allows me to divide my time between academic advising and teaching. I'm the Advising Coordinator and Learning Community Coordinator for the Women's and Gender Studies Program. I enjoy helping students succeed by working with them to build their degree programs, creating new courses, coordinating learning communities and setting high standards for creative, well-articulated written texts. In particular, it’s great fun to witness the endless creativity that manifests itself in multi-modal projects.
- Courses I Teach
- Engl/WS 308: Write Like a Woman
- English 305: Creative Nonfiction
- English 404: Advanced Fiction
- Creative writing (intro and advanced), women’s literature, business writing, ISU Comm Foundation courses.
- M.A. University of Minnesota
- English/Creative Writing
- B.S. University of Nebraska
- Criminal Justice
- M.A. University of Minnesota
- Research Areas
Experimental fiction, the lyric essay, women’s story-telling, memoir, 2nd person point of view, multicultural (esp. Italian) women’s narratives.
I am currently working on two separate projects: one a collection of essays about the differences between Italian and American women’s perceptions of body image, confidence and self-esteem; the other a series of nonfiction pieces (in experimental narrative forms) about the “otherness” issues that children with multiple disabilities must navigate as they invariably fight the K-12 education system.
- Recent Publications
- “Pearl,” story, Huffington Post, July 22, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christiana-langenberg/featured-fifty-fiction_b_3561166.html
- “Between Word Greed and Abandonment: Learning to Love the Process,” Keynote speaker, Midwest Writing Center David R. Collins Writers’ Conference, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA June 27-29, 2013. “Standing in for God,” story, Pisgah Review, Fiction 5, Issue 6.1, Summer 2011.
- “The Alphabet of Girls,” story, Finalist, Fiction Prize, New South, Vol. 3, No. 2, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, Fall 2010.
- “Or,” 3rd Place, Fiction contest, LUMINA, Vol. IX, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, Fall 2010.
- Life outside University
I’m an avid gourmet cook and strive to prepare something delicious and unique every day. My specialties are authentic Italian cuisine, vegetarian, gluten-free, Indonesian and many other cuisines. I’m passionate about healthy eating, physical exercise, intellectual and emotional well-being. I also love to travel and experience different cultures, environments and foods. And I write the blog for http://www.lukesorganic.com/