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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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:
Th 1/21 Empirical Reader-Response: David Miall's
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." 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).
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"
T 2/9 Symbolism (125-27); Calvino, "The Distance of the Moon"
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.
T 2/16 Esquivel, Like Water for Chocolate
(January, February, March, April).
Th 2/18 Esquivel, LWFC
(May, June, July, August)
T 2/23 Esquivel, LWFC
(finished). Reader-Response as Cultural Criticism: Jane Tompkins,
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)
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.
T 3/9 and Th 3/11 Spring Break.
T 3/16 Midterm Exam. Welcome back!
Th 3/18 LEC: Shakespeare, The Tempest (through
T 3/23 LEC: The Tempest (finished).
Th 3/25 LEC: Barnet and Frye essays on The Tempest
excerpt from Ole Martin Skilleas's reader-response essay on The Tempest.
(To read this text, you must obtain the password from me.)
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.
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.
T 4/13 LEC: Reading Poetry (534-46), Voice in Poetry
Th 4/15 LEC: Sound and Sense in Poetry (547-63), Keats,
"To Autumn" (820).
T 4/20 LEC: Imagery in Poetry (638-53), Formalism/New Criticism
Out-of-Class Essay #2 due today.
Th 4/22 LEC: Figures of Speech in Poetry (654-64). Holland's
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.
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
Final examination: Thursday, May 6, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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