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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T 1/15 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:
Th 1/17 Empirical Reader-Response: David Miall's
to his reader-response website and his essay "Empowering
the Reader: Literary Response and Classroom Learning."
1/22 Ch. 1: Reading Fiction (9-39), Reader-Response Criticism
(1646-49). Contributions to the class discussion board should begin this
week. By Thursday, you must have posted one message about one of the stories.
By Monday, respond to someone else's posting.
Th 1/24 Ch. 4: Character, especially Mukherjee's "The Tenant"
T 1/29 Ch. 3: Plot (60-70, 93), plus Stephen King's
"Suffer the Little Children" (439) and Joyce Carol Oates' "The Night Nurse"
Th 1/31 Ch. 7: Symbolism (193-98), plus Bi Shumin's "Broken
T 2/5 Ch. 6: Point of View (154-192)
Essay Topic #1 available here
Th 2/7 Ch. 8: Theme (211-217), plus Tim O'Brien's "How
to Tell a True War Story" (459)
T 2/12 Reader-Response as Cultural Criticism: Jane
Theater: The Politics of Hawthorne's Literary Reputation", plus
two Nathaniel Hawthorne stories (264-288)
Th 2/14 Ch. 2: Writing about Fiction (40-59) and Ch. 37:
Reading and Writing (1523-1541)
T 2/19 Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret
Senses (Chapters 1 and 2)
Out-of-Class Essay #1 due today. Sample
Essays for This Assignment.
Th 2/21 Tan, Senses (through
T 2/26 Tan, Senses (through
Th 2/28 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.)
T 3/5 and Th 3/7 Spring Break.
T 3/12 Midterm due. 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.
Th 3/14 Ch. 31: A Study of William Shakespeare (1038-1081)
(through Act 2 of Othello).
T 3/19 Othello finished (1081-1130).
Th 3/21 Perspectives on Shakespeare, plus Two Complementary
Critical Readings (1130-1136).
T 3/26 Ch. 34: A Cultural Case Study: David Henry Hwang's
Butterfly (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
Th 3/28 Hwang, M. Butterfly. Also, look at
the summaries of Judith Butler's ideas about gender at theory.org
Mary Klages' U of Colorado site.
T 4/2 Hwang, M. Butterfly. Study "Reading
a Film Sequence," from the University of Victoria in Canada. Look
at the Cronenberg
interview on adapting Hwang's play to film.
Out-of-Class Essay #2 Topic available here.
Th 4/4 Class cancelled, but find time in your schedule
to view either Othello or M. Butterfly on film.
T 4/9 Ch. 14: Reading Poetry (531-57, skip sample paper);
Ch. 16: Word Choice, Word Order, and Tone (570-87); Formalist Strategies
(1487-89), Deconstructionist Strategies (1503-05), Debicki and Rabinowitz
Th 4/11 Ch. 17: Images (600-16) and 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.
T 4/16 Ch. 20: Sounds (662-86), Ch. 21: Patterns of
Rhythm (687-705), and Ch. 22: Poetic Forms (706-14)
Th 4/18 Class cancelled.
T 4/23 Langston Hughes (814-34)
Out-of-Class Essay #2 due today.
Th 4/25 Perspectives on Hughes (835-42)
Final examination: TBA
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