Twain For Teachers: “The N-Word In The Classroom” (C19 Podcast)

Teachers at all levels may be intrigued by this recent episode of the C19 podcast featuring (and produced by) Koritha Mitchell of Ohio State University. The episode is not exclusively about Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mitchell considers a range of texts by authors from various historical periods and with various racial identities. But Twain’s novel is prominent and she also alludes to the NewSouth edition of the novel which replaced the n-word with slave. Mitchell says, “The Huck Finn example is important because C19 scholars likely believe its more directly related to their work than the aforementioned books by [Randall] Kennedy and [Jabari] Asim. But what makes it even more important is that people working on the 19th century also seem to view the debate in terms of whether Twain is being censored, rather than considering how they might hold themselves to a higher standard as teachers and scholars.”

Central to Dr. Mitchell’s pedagogical perspective is her classroom covenant, portions of which she discusses in detail. This document, along with further commentary, can be viewed in full at her website:

You can subscribe to the C19 podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and other popular platforms. Check out other projects from C19: The Society of 19th-Century Americanists at their website: