Online Teaching

SUNY Online Teaching Ambassador 2021: Stony Brook – Mary Jo Bona

Mary Jo Bona

Mary Jo Bona

Mary Jo Bona is professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies with her affiliated department in English at Stony Brook University. Bona’s expertise in feminist literary studies examines the nexus between gender and ethnicity, with transnational migratory identities, material cultures, and Italian diaspora studies as primary intersections. Bona has taught a wide range of courses in her primary department of WGSS, from introductory courses on feminist theories to graduate courses on feminist pedagogies and maternal theories. Bona also taught for the departments of English and European Languages, developing the first graduate course on Narratives of Diaspora in Italian American Literature. She is a specialist in the field of multiethnic American literature and feminist studies, her authored books include Women Writing Cloth: Migratory Fictions in the American Imaginary; By the Breath of Their Mouths: Narratives of Resistance in Italian America; Claiming a Tradition: Italian American Women Writers, and a book of poetry, I Stop Waiting For You. Bona is also editor of The Voices We Carry: Recent Italian American Women’s Fiction and co-editor (with Irma Maini) of Multiethnic Literature and Canon Debates. Bona is a series editor of Multiethnic Literatures for SUNY Press and serves on its editorial board. Bona received a stipendiary award and entrance into the Academy of Teacher Scholars at Stony Brook and co-developed with six undergraduate students a course on African American and Italian American women writers. Bona also teaches for the Italian Diaspora Studies Seminar program in Italy (a joint program of the University of Roma-Tre and the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at CUNY/Queens College). This program has brought together graduate students, postdocs and professors from Europe, North America and Asia to examine diaspora from a variety of disciplines. 

I have always believed in the power of classroom teaching, the magic that can happen there. Despite it all, nothing could stop me from doing it—until required by a pandemic that threw us all back on our heels. Without help from the Stony Brook team at CELT, especially Carol Hernandez, I don’t think I could have managed to teach online. Shifting to online teaching, I insisted on meeting with my students synchronously, demonstrating that the joy of teaching can continue in the virtual world. For me, students are beautiful when they are learning. My Stony Brook students proved this to me during an unprecedented year. 


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