Reader

Provides articles on reader-oriented theory, criticism, and pedagogy.

Articles

No. 67, Fall

What Is College Reading? A High School-College Dialogue
The new Common Core State Standards (hereafter CCSS) for K-12 schools have launched a lot of debate about various current issues in education. For example, in the State of Virginia, the Board of Education determined that the existing Standards of Learning...
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Digital Tools for Critical Literacy
A student races past my campus office, shouting, "Were on lockdown! We're on lockdown!" A colleague steps out of her office to address the noise, and we exchange a what's going on here? look. Chalking it up to a Halloween prank, both of us retreat to...
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Puzzle Solving and Modding: Two Metaphors for Examining the Politics of Close Reading
Recently, as students gathered their belongings at the end of a graduate-level methods of literature instruction course that one of us teaches, a preservice teacher asked how he might respond to a series of challenges that he faced teaching Shakespeare's...
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Reading like a Pragmatist
Recently, I received a note from a former student, now a curriculum specialist in the poorest county in North Carolina working with ELA teachers on implementing the Common Core Standards, mandated by 2014 for most of the nations public school classrooms:...
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The Enduring Challenge: Wisdom, Love, and the Teaching of Literacy in the Era of Standardized Curricula and Assessment
Review of Jeffrey D. Wilhelm and Bruce Novak's Teaching Literacy for Love and Wisdom: Being the Book and Being the Change. NY: Teachers College Press. 2011. 254 pages (body of text 224 pages). Chapter Notes (225-231); References 232243; Index (244-253);...
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Guest Editors' Introduction: A Call for Revolution in High School to College Reading Instruction
The editors of this special issue of Reader represent two generations of English teachers who grew up with "the writing process movement." By the time Christian Goering was born in 1978, David Jolliffe had already been teaching high school English for...
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The Longest Conversation about Reading You've Never Heard
What happens when you convene a number of teachers and researchers who are prominent scholars in rhetoric and composition, literature, and English education and ask them simply to talk about reading: its definitions, its "public" and "academic" reputation,...
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Must Reads on Reading: An Annotated Bibliography
The following list of works was generated by the participants in "The Longest Conversation about Reading." John P. Watts provided annotations.A TD: Across the Disciplines: Special Issue on Reading and Writing across the Curriculum. Dec. 2013. Available...
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No. 65/66, Fall-Spring

Staging Reading: Artists Books and the Corporeality of Bookness
Well, perhaps it is true that all art is capable of being treated as some sort of language-but it is only a metaphor that art is language, and the problem arises when one loses sight of this and proposes to treat a metaphorical truth as an absolute one.Dick...
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Indirection, Anxiety, and the Folds of Reading
It's time (again) to talk about reading.In their 2012 article, "Stories about Reading: Appearance, Disappearance, Morphing, and Revival," Mariolina Rizzi Salvatori and Patricia Donahue note that after "decades of apparent dormancy" in composition studies,...
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Teaching as Writing, Teaching as Reading: Teaching Teaching
As I prepare to teach classes, whether classes centered on preparing secondary English teachers, on the teaching of writing or of literature, or on teaching introductory composition, I always return to memorable moments of my own education in those subjects....
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Of Chiasms and Composition, or, the Whale, Part II
You've been told again and again that you have to seduce thereader,Sell the story in the very first paragraph.(Nonsense, but it explains a lot of bad writing.)The reader isn't looking for the tease of a single paragraph,Or numbingly clever prose, or...
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How Do First-Year College Students Read Scholarly Texts?: A Protocol Study to Help Students Understand Their Reading Processes
Our students, however, are at the mercy of the [reading] process; one way of characterizing their problems as readers might be to say that they act as though reading were something that happens to them rather than something they do and have control over....
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Attending to the Act of Reading: Critical Reading, Contemplative Reading, and Active Reading
Maybe our students read like this. They sit alone at a familiar desk, midmorning sunlight coming in the window. They sip water and snack on almonds. They mark the pages of the text with a pen as they read, underlining select passages, jotting comments,...
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Introduction
This issue of Reader is once again a double issue (Fall 2013/Spring 2014). It will be followed by a special issue edited by David Jolliffe and Christian Goering and entitled "Current Conditions and Possible Articulations: The State of Reading in Schools...
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Academic Self-Fashioning
I am so glad to be here. Thanks, Annette Vee. Your invitation has given me the opportunity to see again and be, even so briefly, with some of the people who made my life in this department such a fulfilling, intellectually challenging, and pleasurable...
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No. 63/64, Fall-Spring

Reviewing and Rethinking Reader-Response Theory: Theoretical and Practical Considerations
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."- Dorothy, in The Wizard of OzMore than fifty years ago, literary criticism took a sharp turn away from a distinct focus on the text, to that of the reader. That journey began, in Jane Tompkins' view,...
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Henry David Thoreau's Philosophy of Reading
As a prolific dedicated writer, Thoreau was very concerned with the reading habits and attitudes of his contemporaries. He developed his own philosophy of reading in the "Reading" chapter of WalAen (1854) and in parts of his journal. Thoreau valued many...
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Introduction
This double issue of Reader is an excellent demonstration of how rich and varied the inquiry into "Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy" can be. The six essays in this issue run the gamut-from a reconsideration of readerresponse theory in...
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The Place of Formal Structure in Meaning-Making Process: Inserting Peirce's Ultimate Logical Interpretant into Forming/Thinking/Writing
Double-entry note-taking, sorting a "chaos" of names to form a concept, and revising drafts to advance meaning rather than correct error, appeared together in Ann E. BerthofFs Forming/Thinking/Writing.1 They were instrumentalities of Naming, Opposing,...
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The Other Literacy Myth: Power and Self-Abnegation in Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Literacy Narratives
"'She taught us how to live, and - Oh, too high/The price of knowledge - taught us how to die'"- Our Katie, 3An anonymous nineteenth-century American Tract Society publication set in Brooklyn, Our Katie opens with an epigraph, quoted as the headnote...
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Reading Metaphors of Genre
Although the subject of genre is now integrated into the field of composition and rhetoric, little attention has been paid to genre theory as a practice of reading (a practice of reading that, in its turn, fosters certain kinds of reading practices)....
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Conventional Topics and Reading at the CCCC
Over twenty years ago in a Journal of Advanced Composition article, George Otte stated "[r]eading is compositions weak spot" (139). Nearly a decade later, Marguerite Helmers opened her edited collection about reading pedagogy with a statement that "despite...
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No. 62, Summer

Proposal: Making Reading Visible
Writing and the teaching of writing figure prominently in our discussions of transfer and learning. Far less visible in our conversations is the transition to a more complex understanding and practice of reading. John Guillory (2008) suggests that the...
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Tracing the Moves: How Students Read
The purpose of our presentation today is to discuss how student reading practices can be traced and made visible and why this tracing and "bringing into visibility" are important steps for teachers of composition and literature to encourage their students...
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Reading Oneself as an Other: A Writing Assignment
This paper makes the case for using Elizabeth A. Flynn's "Gender and Reading," an essay published nearly three decades ago, as a teaching tool in literature courses, to help students critically address how they read texts and write about them. After...
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Reading in the Dark: Seeing Reading When the Student and the Teacher Are in Transition
I direct a first year writing program, where, aside from the Director and the Assistant Director, only MA level graduate students in literature and creative writing teach the university's only required writing course. Together, teacher and student must...
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The Value of Student Writing as Reading
I'm glad you could put my journal entry to good use! It's great that you hold to the philosophy that [student] writing can carry over from semester to semester [and] does not disappear after its due date. - Jennifer Schloss[. . . We] need to think more...
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Editor's Introduction
IntroductionThis special issue was guest-edited by Len Podis on Oberlin College. I'm grateful to Len for directing his meticulous attention to issues of reading in the small liberal arts college, for the wonderful essays he identified and helped to fashion,...
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Introduction: Reading and Writing in Small Liberal Arts Colleges
For a number of years, faculty members in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies at small liberal arts colleges (SLACs) have expressed the wish that more attention be given to the curricular challenges, pedagogical methods, and unique problems and...
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"You Are a Reader, and That's What I Need": Expectations of Proximity, Authority, and Enjoyment at a Liberal Arts College
I remember sitting alone in the worn urban classroom where my students had just written their first essays and where I now began to read them, hoping to be able to assess quickly the sort of task that lay ahead of us this semester. But the writing was...
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Disrupting Closure: Making Reading Visible
The beginnings of peer tutoring lie in practice, not in theory.- Kenneth Bruffee, "Peer Tutoring and the 'Conversation of Mankind'" (1984)Peer tutoring in writing centers is a profoundly practical, visible act. Yet the practice that initiates the training...
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No. 58/59, Winter

"Remapping the Terrain of Knowledge": Telling Stories from the Two-Year College
Narratives of teaching and learning continue to have considerable momentum in composition studies, though not without controversy. I'm interested in attempts by composition scholars to interpret the contributions of such narratives and to mobilize those...
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I Was Blind but Now I Read: Salvation Tropes in Literacy Narratives
Jerome Bruner in The Culture of Education writes, "It is through our own narratives that we principally construct a version of ourselves in the world, and it is through its narratives that a culture provides models of identity and agency to its members"...
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Promoting Reading Centered Writing Assignments
Most definitions of college-level writing put reading at the center, emphasizing that interaction with others' ideas-ideas taken in, recomposed, talked back to through reading-is the hallmark of academic writing. As Doug Brent asserts, "Neither teachers...
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Critical Reading, Intellectual Writing, and the Rhythm of Tutoring in the Writing Center
What I want to suggest may initially sound, as arguments about pedagogy sometimes do, quite obvious: writing centers, as often as possible, should turn their attention to developing practices for tutoring that enact a rhythm between critical reading...
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Filling in Gaps "Foundherently": An Epistemologa for Reading as a Form of Inquiry
It may seem odd to begin a discussion of reading pedagogy with a discussion of epistemological theory, but I hope to show how acts of reading are intricately linked to acts of belief justification. The neologism in the title, foundherently, comes from...
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"The Whole Shape of the Act": Berthoff's Forming/Thinking/Writing, C. S. Peirce, and the Nineteenth-Century Science and Politics of Reading the World
In Search of "A Figure Going Like the Wind"Ann E. Berthoff 's Forming/ Thinking/ Writing (hereafter, F /T/ W1) presents reading and writing as pedagogically inseparable. It establishes a foundation for reading and writing in the ordinary activities of...
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Introduction from the Editor
The issue of Reader you now hold in your hands is substantial: it consists of one invited presentation (Regosin), three new essays (Bruss, Hollrah, and Williams), an essay (Morgan) previously printed in this journal in its penultimate rather than final...
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Story as Civic Engagement: Public Discourse about Literacy and Narratives of Teaching and Learning
This piece developed out of a seminar paper in which I considered how Wayne Booth's "A Teacher's Journal," part of his collection The Vocation of a Teacher, engages with public discourse about education. In that paper, I used Elizabeth Ellsworth's post-humanist...
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The Therapeutic Value of Poetry for Students and Readers
From poetry therapy's emergence as a field in the late 1960s, its practitioners have applied poetry to psychotherapy and used it in therapeutic practice.1 I am proposing the application of therapy to the way we understand and teach poetry. I am interested...
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Stories as Movable Definitions: Narrating Queer Pedagogies
By the risks of its writing, personal criticism embodies a pact . . . binding writer to reader in the fabulation of self-truth, that what is at stake matters also to others: somewhere in the self-fiction of the personal voice is the belief that the writing...
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Montaigne's Essais: Why Writing Matters
I want to approach why writing matters for Montaigne by looking at what he says about why he writes, and specifically at the scenes he stages to depict the inaugural moment or origin of his writing. The Essais provide multiple scenes of their own beginning,...
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Writing from the Inside: Rethinking Literacy by Narrating the Classroom
One of the pleasures of teaching graduate students lies in their curiosity about the profession they've decided to enter and its ways of sharing knowledge. So when a group of students I'd taught in prior semesters approached me about what sort of panel...
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Feelings in the Classroom: Emotion, Narrative, and School
Composition is only one of the many disciplines experiencing what some have called the "emotional turn." Within composition, much of this conversation has focused on recuperating a rhetorical definition of emotion, a lineage beginning with Aristotle....
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No. 56, Spring

Charting the Way
CCCC, 2007Welcome to Session 114, "Our Uses of Student Writing: Thinking Critically about Composition Scholarship"My name is Mariolina Rizzi Salvatori. I teach at the University of Pittsburgh. My co-panelists are Jennifer Whadey and Richard Parent. Whadey...
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The Vanishing Presence of Students in Composition Studies
CCCC, 1996The last twenty years or so of composition studies mark a trend worth examining: the more theoretical the talk, the publication, the reflection, the less audible and visible are students' voices and perspectives. Indeed it can be argued that...
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Errata
The Politics of Sara Paretsky's Detective FictionPhilip GoldsteinUniversity of DelawareNOTES1. 84; like Eanek, many critics adopt a generic account of detective fiction. Some emphasize the differences between classical British mysteries and the hard-boiled...
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Terms of Engagement: A Snapshot of Scholarly Exchange in Rhetoric and Composition's Professional Journals
Writing and Response: Theory, Practice and Research (1989), "Minimal Marking" (1983), "Responding to Student Writing" (1982), "The Components of Written Response: A Practical Synthesis of Current Views (1985)," 'Voices in Response: A Postmodern Reading...
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"To Him My Tale I Teach": Figuring Reading and Writing in Early School Editions of Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner"
Given the fate of Coleridge's Mariner-that he must "teach" his "tale" over and over-it should perhaps be no surprise that the poem itself has enjoyed a long history as a school poem, particularly in America, where students have been studying the Mariner's...
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The Accidental Author: Does Our Worldwide Electronic Publication of Student Works Promote Our Scholarship at the Expense of Their Authorship?
CCCC, 2007The topic of my talk this afternoon is online publishing. Specifically, I will be discussing the issues, problems, and possibilities in publishing student composition online. As with the previous papers in this panel, I will also frame my remarks...
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Introduction
Here I publicly appeal to Patricia Donahue, who has taken up the editorship of READER, to establish citation practices for student texts that train and enable contributors to the journal to revise conventions that are out of sync with their articulations,...
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Composition's Frankenstein Debate: Are Composition Students Organ Donors or Authors in Their Own Right?
CCCC, 2007As Mariolina suggested, in my talk today, I will explore the difficulty of constructing student identities in the context of research, drawing on my own recent experience as a dissertation writer seeking approval from my university's Institutional...
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No. 55, Fall

Dear READERs
It is my pleasure to introduce myself to you as the new editor of READER. I am Patricia Donahue, a professor of English at Lafayette College. I teach courses in writing, literature, and theory, and also direct a program in cross-curricular writing. It...
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Reading in Groups: An Introduction
The essays in this issue were the result of a panel held at the November 2005 MMLA. Organized by Philip Goldstein, the three panelists addressed the topic "Reading and/as Reception Study: On Reading Sites by Elizabeth Flynn and Patsy Schweickart." Phil...
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Eighteenth-Century Reading Sites
When I read Patrocinio Schweickart and Elizabeth Flynn's Reading Sties: Social Difference and Reader Response I was heartened to find two essays directly addressing the issue of the uses women make of their reading. In '"Some of Their Stories are like...
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Public and Private Reading: Shakespeare and American Women's Reading Groups
In late nineteenth and early twentieth century America, we know a great deal about how famous men felt about Shakespeare: Herman Melville wanted to replace him with an American, claiming that "Shakespeares are this day being born on the banks of the...
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Book Club Ladies: Marshaled by Oprah, Guerrilla Fighters in the Culture Wars
When I began graduate school in the mid-eighties reader-focused criticism was still opening new roads for textual analysis in its careful attention to the interplay between reader and text. I credit reader-response theory, and especially the feminist...
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The Politics of Sara Paretsky's Detective Fiction
Very popular, the detective fiction of Sara Paretsky has spent many weeks on the best seller lists, been published in thirteen countries, and produced a world-wide network of fan clubs. To explain this popularity, some reviewers credit Paretsky's feminism....
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Towards a Better Model of Discourse Ethics: A Response
This special issue of READER grew out of a session organized by Phil Goldstein at the MMLA, in November 2005, focusing on issues raised by Reading Sites: Social Difference and Reader Response, a collection of essays edited by Elizabeth Flynn and myself....
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No. 54, Spring

Introduction
This is the final issue that we are co-editing for READER, which will be moving to Lafayette College this summer, into the very capable hands of our distinguished colleague and friend, Patricia Donahue. Five years ago, we were grateful to receive the...
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"Rolexical Glitter" and "Soul Kitch": Pun, Allusion, and Crosscultural Engagement in Harryette Mullen's Muse & Drudge
One day near the end of a recent semester, I noticed a student happily and absent-mindedly repeating to himself a line of poetry from the day's reading assignment as he entered the classroom a few minutes early: "awrr reet peteet patootie, awrr reet...
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Changing Our Stories: Engendering Imaginative Agency through Reading and Writing (about) Literature
The role of reading in relationship to writing is "underexamined," not only in composition classes, as Gary Ettari and Heather C. Easterling state in a recent issue of Reader, but also in many literature courses (10). Despite the challenge of reader-oriented...
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From Philology to Formalism: Edith Rickert, John Matthews Manly, and the Literary/Reformist Beginnings of U.S. Cryptology
I.Two historical veins course through the study of modern military intelligence. The first derives from an anthropological model of history. The proponents of this school, which includes writers such as the historian David Kahn and the journalist/historian...
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No. 53, Fall

Reading as Pastoral Experience in Walton's Compleat Angler
In "The Angler," published in The Sketch Book of 1820, Washington Irving tells how he gave up fishing for reading. Having been seduced to attempt angling by Walton's Compleat Angler, he finds only frustration:I hooked myself instead of the fish; tangled...
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Wonderful World: Comic Frames, Dissolution of Scene, the Temper of Ecocriticism
Why does it burn my tongue to say that global warming is a fact whether you like it or not?-Bruno Latour...he said, "I know my way around. I know what next!" And echo answered, "What Next!"-Kenneth BurkeApocalypse is a hoot. At the movies before viewing...
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Ecocriticism as a Practice of Reading
"Not only is our knowledge thus limited in scope, but it is even more important that we should thoroughly realize that the very best of what we, humanely speaking, know [we know] only in an uncertain and inexact way."-Charles Sanders Peirce"Whatever...
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Reading (in) the Blue Ridge Mountains: The Bioregional Imperative of Cold Mountain
In the opening chapter of Charles Frazier's Civil War romance Cold Mountain, the reader meets Inman, a Confederate soldier wounded in the neck at the battle of Fredericksburg and now recovering at a hospital. In fine expository fashion, the first chapter...
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No. 52, Spring

Reading Lessons: An Introduction
Critical discussions of reading only sometimes intersect with critical discussions of teaching. In my own search for strategies for helping my American studies and literature students develop stronger critical reading skills, I encountered many resources...
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'Photos - the Almost Most Objective Evidence There Is': Reading Words and Images of the 1960s
It's not a pretty picture, according to Camille Paglia: "Education has failed to adjust to the massive transformation in Western culture since the rise of electronic media."2 While some might quibble with Pagha's assessment of education, her claim of...
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Does Sequencing Matter in Analyzing Film and Text?
A history or survey of literature course may have a logical or linear sequencing based on chronological ordering of events of publications (Bard, 1986). Other courses may sequence assignments that become increasingly complex over a term (Bard, 1986;...
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Asking for It: The Role of Assignment Design in Critical Literacy
Four decades ago, Wayne Booth lamented the artificiality of writing pedagogy, with its emphasis on "avoiding mistakes" ("Boring" 267) rather than striving to say something interesting. And while the mature Booth was able to sympathize with English teachers...
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