L202 1932 LINTON
Literary Interpretation

11:15a-12:30p TR (25) 3 cr.


To interpret is fundamentally a process of reading a work actively, be it a poem, a short story, a play, a novel, or a film. The primary purpose of this course, then, is to make explicit what is involved in an activity we all have engaged in, probably more often than we realize, with a view to developing our capacity for writing as a way of reading, a form of interpretation.

As a community of readers and writers, we will consider not only what interpretive invitations are extended through the conventions of form in the works we read, but also what ways of reading we habitually resort to, where such habits come from, and what particular ways of reading allow us to see or do (and what they prevent us from seeing or doing). We will also explore what other ways of reading and writing are available to us, what they might allow us to see or do (or prevent us from seeing or doing). Finally, we will consider what's at stake in certain kinds of interpretative practices, for us as individuals, as members of varying communities, as citizens.

Texts may include Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Sherman Alexie's The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven and its film adaptation, Smoke Signals, and John Sales' film, Lone Star. A selection of poems and secondary readings will be provided in a course reader. These selections, which cover a range of textual media, provide a basis for considering how different media orient and predispose us as audiences, how we can critically interact with them, and what room there might be for us to exercise our creative, inventive intelligence. In addition to active participation in class discussions, students will be responsible for in-class free-writes, brief written responses to readings, an oral presentation, two essays and a final inquiry project.