English 309: Theories of Reading. This course will use a single text, Mark Danielewski’s postmodern novel, House of Leaves, to consider the state of the book and of the various practices of reading at the present moment. House of Leaves is a novel that requires us to reconsider the material and social facts of the book—how it feels and looks, and how it functions as an object—along with the reading practices it both requires and complicates. Understanding how we have learned to read—the practices of reading books, websites, and other texts—and how reading has changed over time will require us to enter into the labyrinth of theory. In this course we will put different theories of reading into conversation with the novel in order to understand their critical perspectives. At the same time, we will use the novel to question the assumptions and the limitations of the theories themselves.