Big Book: Invisible Man, is one of many “Big Book” courses at CSW, in which upper class students spend a five-week mod reading and discussing a single text. CSW English teacher Brian Walker first read Invisible Man as a student himself and loves to teach it at CSW because of how students drive the dissection of the novel through their daily conversations. Each day, students take the reins in the discussion, sometimes being prompted by a word or two that Brian may write on the board and other times deconstructing their own findings. He appreciates that, “the students really respect one another’s opinions and perspectives, and they enjoy discovering. They get excited about the possibilities of figuring it out, and I have yet to have a class here where students didn’t get really into the analysis of the book and run with it.”
Though published in 1952, Invisible Man is a timeless book, one that Brian believes all students connect to in their own individual ways. Students leave the course with a greater understanding of their relationship to race and racism in the United States.
Aside from the messages and the discussions, this course is popular because of Brian’s energy. “What makes this class so special for me is that I truly love it so much,” he says with a smile. “I’m already a high energy person, and when I get in there, I’m into it. I feel so passionately about the book and what the students get from it!”
He believes that this is just one of many courses at CSW that really allow for students to be curious and to take risks. “It’s a CSW tradition to have kids who are genuinely intellectually curious, who learn for the sake of learning, and who work for more than just a grade.” Take a step into Brian’s Invisible Man class, and you will see exactly what he means.