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Ways of Reading: "Reading Encounters: Text, Travel, and Perception"
Summer 2011
Section: 01  

What do we encounter when we enter the world of a literary text? How do literary texts represent encounters with the world? How do they shape our perception and experience of the world, of identity, of difference? This section of "Ways of Reading" explores the premise that reading is a way of seeing, a way of knowing that emerges from our encounter with the text and the world it represents. In this class we will pay close attention to the language, genre, and literary form of poems, stories, and plays that dramatize the process of reading. We will read texts, such as BENITO CERENO and "The Yellow Wallpaper," that depict challenges to their protagonist's ability to read and perceive the world, and we will read the historical source materials for these stories to consider the process of writing as itself a form of reading. We will also read poems and plays, Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and AimeÚ CÚsaire's "A Tempest," written in response to an encounter with an earlier text. These issues--of genre and form, genesis and context, and the on-going encounter between the world and the text--will provide the focus for our own reading throughout the term.

"Ways of Reading" introduces students to the characteristics thought of as literary and the methods for studying them. The course develops strategies for careful and close reading, and techniques for the analysis of literary forms such as poetry, drama, and prose narratives such as novels and short stories. It familiarizes students with some of the protocols of the literary-critical essay, examines the idea of literature as a social institution, and explores ways of connecting textual details and the world beyond the text. The ways of reading learned in the course are powerful tools for critically assessing discourses that expand far beyond the realm of literature. So while students will become adept literary critics, they also will learn quickly that to be a literary critic is to read critically and carefully all the time: in poems, novels, and plays; but also in political speech, in popular culture, and in the discourses that shape everyday life.

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-19-2024
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