Conventions of Reading
Schedule of Readings
Note: This schedule is subject to change, but when changes are required
I will give as much notice as possible. If you miss a class, be sure to
check on upcoming assignments. All readings are required and should be
completed for the first scheduled class discussion. Whenever possible,
you should also reread texts after class discussion.
LEC=readings from Literature: The Evolving Canon.
FT=readings from Falling into Theory.
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1/20 Introduction to course. We'll look at two websites
that provide an overview to reader-response theory: John Lye's Some
Factors Affecting/Effecting the Reading of Texts and Reader-Response:
Various Positions. Empirical Reader-Response: After
class, you are responsible for reading David Miall's Overview
to his reader-response website and his essay "Empowering
the Reader: Literary Response and Classroom Learning."
LEC: Ch. 2: Reading Fiction (14-21), Reader-Response Criticism (1646-49),
Chopin, "The Story of an Hour"; Character (22-24), Plot (38-41), Point
of View (85-87, 97-98); O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge"
(98-109). Contributions to the class webboard should begin this week. By
Thursday, you must have posted one message about the Chopin or O'Connor
stories. By next Monday, respond to someone else's posting.
2/3 LEC: Theme (71-72), Setting (56-58); Gordimer, "Town
and Country Lovers" (360-72); Tone (110-113); Barthelme, "Me and
Miss Mandible" (393-400)."
2/10 LEC: Symbolism (125-27); Calvino, "The Distance of the
Moon" (373-80). The Politics of Studying Literature.
LEC: Casebook: "The Evolving Canon in a Video Age" (1614-36). Come
ready to role-play the critic assigned to you.
Out-of-Class Essay Topic #1 available here
2/17 Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
(be at least through "August")
2/24 Esquivel, LWFC
(finished). Reader-Response as Cultural Criticism: Jane Tompkins,
Theater: The Politics of Hawthorne's Literary Reputation."
Achebe, Things Fall Apart (through Chapter
Out-of-Class Essay #1 due today. Sample
Essays for This Assignment.
T 3/2 Achebe, TFA
(finished). Be sure to study the historical, cultural, biographical, and
critical contexts of Achebe's novel through the links to the "Postcolonial
and Postimperial Literature" Website and The
Igbo Home Page.
3/10 Spring Break.
3/17 First half of class: midterm exam. Welcome
back! LEC: Shakespeare, The Tempest (through Act Two).
3/24 LEC: The Tempest (finished). Barnet
and Frye essays on The Tempest (1594-1602). An
excerpt from Ole Martin Skilleas's reader-response essay on The Tempest.
(To read this text, you must obtain the password from me.)
3/31 LEC: Drama in the Modern Age (1438-40); Hwang,
M. Butterfly (paperback edition). Look at the following WWW
sites: the lyrics to David Bowie and Iggy Pop's "China
Girl", a plot synopsis of
Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and a plot synopsis of Miss
4/7 Hwang, M. Butterfly. Look at the Cronenberg
interview on adapting Hwang's play to film.
Psychoanalytic Reader-Response: Norman
N. Holland, "Reading and Identity." Also, for study purposes,
look at the brief
autobiography and outline
of ideas that Holland has put on the WWW.
Out-of-Class Essay #2 Topic available here.
Some Film Theory on the Internet:Homepage of the Study of Film as Internet Application (SOFIA) and "Reading a Film Sequence", from the University of Victoria in Canada.
4/14 LEC: Reading Poetry (534-46), Voice in Poetry (564-78),
Sound and Sense in Poetry (547-63), Keats, "To Autumn" (820).
4/21 LEC: Imagery in Poetry (638-53), Figures of Speech in
Poetry (654-64), Formalism/New Criticism (1638-40). Holland's "Books,
Brain, and Bodies" (and possibly Lakoff and Johnson, excerpt
from Metaphors We Live By ) and an e-text excerpt from More
Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor.
Out-of-Class Essay #2 due today.
4/28 LEC: Ch. 25: A Poet's Career: Adrienne Rich; from
Ch. 28: Responses to the Poetry of Adrienne Rich.
Final examination: Wednesday, May 5, 1999, from 4:15 to 6:15 p.m.
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