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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Week 1

T 1/19 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.

Th 1/21  Empirical Reader-Response:  David Miall's Overview to his reader-response website and his essay "Empowering the Reader:  Literary Response and Classroom Learning."

Week 2

T 1/26  LEC: Ch. 2: Reading Fiction (14-21), Reader-Response Criticism (1646-49), Chopin, "The Story of an Hour." 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 Friday, respond to someone else's posting.

Th 1/28  LEC: Character (22-24), Plot (38-41), Point of View (85-87, 97-98); O'Connor, "Everything That Rises Must Converge" (98-109).

Week 3

T 2/2  LEC: Theme (71-72),  Setting (56-58); Gordimer, "Town and Country Lovers" (360-72).

Th 2/4  LEC: Tone (110-113); Barthelme, "Me and Miss Mandible" (393-400)."

Week 4

T 2/9  Symbolism (125-27); Calvino, "The Distance of the Moon" (373-80).

Out-of-Class Essay Topic #1 available here 

Th 2/11  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.

Week 5

T 2/16 Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate (January, February, March, April).

Th 2/18   Esquivel, LWFC (May, June, July, August)

Week 6

T 2/23   Esquivel, LWFC (finished).  Reader-Response as Cultural Criticism: Jane Tompkins, "Masterpiece Theater:  The Politics of Hawthorne's Literary Reputation."

Out-of-Class Essay #1 due today.  Sample Essays for This Assignment.

Th 2/25 Achebe, Things Fall Apart (through Chapter Seven)

Week 7

T 3/2   Achebe, TFA (through Part One).

Th 3/4   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.

Week 8

T 3/9 and Th 3/11  Spring Break.

Week 9

T 3/16  Midterm Exam.  Welcome back!
Th 3/18   LEC: Shakespeare, The Tempest (through Act Two). 

Week 10

T 3/23   LEC: The Tempest (finished).

Th 3/25   LEC: 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.)

Week 11

T 3/30   LEC: Drama in the Modern Age (1438-40); Hwang, M. Butterfly (paperback edition). Look at a plot synopsis of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

Th 4/1  Hwang, M. Butterfly.  Look at the following WWW sites: the lyrics to David Bowie and Iggy Pop's "China Girl" and a plot synopsis of Miss Saigon. Look at the Cronenberg interview on adapting Hwang's play to film.

Week 12

T 4/6  Hwang, M. Butterfly.
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.

Th 4/8  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.

Week 13

T 4/13   LEC: Reading Poetry (534-46), Voice in Poetry (564-78).

Th 4/15  LEC: Sound and Sense in Poetry (547-63), Keats, "To Autumn" (820).

Week 14

T 4/20  LEC: Imagery in Poetry (638-53), Formalism/New Criticism (1638-40).

Out-of-Class Essay #2 due today.

Th 4/22  LEC: Figures of Speech in Poetry (654-64). 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.

Week 15

T 4/27  LEC: Ch. 25: A Poet's Career: Adrienne Rich.

Th 4/29  LEC: from Ch. 28: Responses to the Poetry of Adrienne Rich.

Final examination: Thursday, May 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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