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. Page numbers refer
to Meyer's Bedford Compact Introduction to Literature, 5th edition,
except in the case of the Amy Tan novel. Whenever possible, you should
also reread texts after class discussion.
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Week 1 (1/16)
First Half: Introduction to course. We'll look at two
websites that provide an overview to reader-response theory: John
Factors Affecting/Effecting the Reading of Texts and Reader-Response:
Second Half: Empirical Reader-Response: David Miall's
to his reader-response website and his essay "Empowering
the Reader: Literary Response and Classroom Learning."
Week 2 (1/23)
Half: Ch. 1: Reading Fiction (9-39), Reader-Response Criticism
(1646-49). Contributions to the class discussion board should begin this
week. By Wednesday, you must have posted one message about one of the stories.
By Monday, respond to someone else's posting.
Second Half: Ch. 4: Character, especially Mukherjee's "The Tenant"
Week 3 (1/30)
First Half: Ch. 3: Plot (60-70, 93), plus Stephen King's "Suffer
the Little Children" (439) and Joyce Carol Oates' "The Night Nurse" (514)
Second Half: Ch. 7: Symbolism (193-98), plus Bi Shumin's
"Broken Transformers" (491)
Week 4 (2/6)
First Half: Ch. 6: Point of View (154-192)
Essay Topic #1 available here
Second Half: Ch. 8: Theme (211-217), plus Tim O'Brien's
"How to Tell a True War Story" (459)
Week 5 (2/13)
First Half: Reader-Response as Cultural Criticism: Jane
Theater: The Politics of Hawthorne's Literary Reputation", plus
two Nathaniel Hawthorne stories (264-288)
Second Half: Ch. 2: Writing about Fiction (40-59) and Ch.
37: Reading and Writing (1523-1541)
Week 6 (2/20)
Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses
(through Chapter 5)
Out-of-Class Essay #1 due today. Sample
Essays for This Assignment.
Week 7 (2/27)
Tan, Senses (finished), plus read
the article at the Blackboard site: "'Chinese and Dogs' in Amy Tan's "The
Hundred Secret Senses": Ethnicizing the Primitive a la New Age." (Note:
this is a change in the reading schedule.)
Week 8 (3/6)
Week 9 (3/13)
First Half: Psychoanalytic Reader-Response:
N. Holland, "Reading and Identity." Also, for study purposes,
look at the
autobiography and outline
of ideas that Holland has put on the WWW.
Second Half: Ch. 31: A Study of William Shakespeare (1038-1081)
(through Act 2 of Othello).
Week 10 (3/20)
Othello finished (1081-1130), plus Perspectives on Shakespeare and
Two Complementary Critical Readings (1130-1136).
Week 11 (3/27)
Ch. 34: A Cultural Case Study: David Henry Hwang's
(1210-1265). Look at the following WWW sites: the lyrics to David
Bowie and Iggy Pop's "China
Girl" and a plot synopsis of Miss
Saigon. Also, look at the summaries of Judith Butler's ideas
about gender at theory.org
Mary Klages' U of Colorado site.
Week 12 (4/3)
First Half: Hwang, M. Butterfly. Study
a Film Sequence," from the University of Victoria in Canada. Read
interview on adapting Hwang's play to film.
Out-of-Class Essay #2 Topic available here.
Second Half: Ch. 14: Reading Poetry (531-57); Formalist
Strategies (1487-89), Deconstructionist Strategies (1503-05), Debicki and
Rabinowitz essays (1512-17)
Week 13 (4/10)
First Half: Ch. 16: Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone
(570-87) and Ch. 17: Images (600-16)
Second Half: Ch. 18: Figures of Speech (617-34). Holland's
Brain, and Bodies" and an e-text excerpt from Mark Turner's More
Than Cool Reason: A Field Guide to Poetic Metaphor.
Week 14 (4/17)
First Half: Ch. 20: Sounds (662-86) and Ch. 21: Patterns of
Second Half: Ch. 22: Poetic Forms (706-14)
Week 15 (4/24)
Langston Hughes (814-34) and Perspectives on Hughes (835-42)
Out-of-Class Essay #2 due today.
Final examination: TBA
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