English | Literary Interpretation
L202 | 1860 | Flannery


9:30a-10:45a TR (25) 3 cr.

COAS INTENSIVE WRITING SECTION. OPEN TO MAJORS
ONLY. DECLARED MINORS OBTAIN AUTHORIZATION
FROM BH402.

As readers, we are always situated in time and space, in a particular
culture, at a particular moment in history. To understand reading, it
is necessary to understand something of what Roger Chartier calls
"the tension between the inventive capacities of individuals and
communities and the constraints, norms and conventions that
limit...what is possible for them to think, say, and do" (On the Edge
20). It will be our task this semester to begin to explore some of the
acts, spaces, and habits that define what we do as readers of
literature--and just as importantly, to consider what room there
might be for us to exercise our creative, inventive capacities. We
will consider not only what interpretive invitations are extended
through the conventions of form embodied in particular genres
(poetry, prose fiction, drama), but also what ways of reading we
habitually resort to (including writing as a way of reading, a form
of interpretation), 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 do (or prevent us from seeing or doing). In the process,
we will also consider what's at stake in certain kinds of interpretive
practices. What is at stake for us as individuals, as members of
varying communities, as citizens? Why should it matter what
interpretive strategies or practices we engage in?

Course Format: This course depends on active participation and
responsible interaction among class members. Thus lectures will be
few, and discussion will be the norm.

Course Requirements: active participation; approximately 6 short
exploration assignments, including some creative writing; 3
workshopped essays; readers' theatre group performance; final
exam.

Texts will likely include: Sherwood Anderson, WINESBURG,
OHIO; Angela Carter, THE BLOODY CHAMBER; Lucille
Clifton, THE BOOK OF LIGHT; Victor Hernandez Cruz,
PANORAMAS; Diana Hacker, a pocket style manual; Gabriel
Garcma Marquez, STRANGE PILGRIMS; Suzan-Lori Parks, THE
AMERICA PLAY; William Shakespeare, THE TEMPEST; John
Edgar Wideman, PHILADELPHIA FIRE.