ENGL 309 A: Theories Of Reading

Theories of Reading

Meeting Time: 
TTh 12:30pm - 2:20pm
WFS 201
Jessica Campbell

Additional Details:

There are as many different ways to read as there are people who read. Throughout the course, we will read theoretical essays that interrogate what some of those approaches are and how they have evolved over time. Our first activity, though, will be to read a novel – Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925) – and pay attention to the various reading strategies and reactions among our group. We will then read several essays about Mrs. Dalloway. Next, we’ll read Michael Cunningham’s novel The Hours (1998), whose three interlocking storylines feature three ways of “reading” Mrs. Dalloway. Finally, we will read E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India (1924), a novel that has provoked a wide variety of critical interpretations, and see what happens when we apply to it some of the theories we have considered over the course of the term. The course grade will be based on in-class participation and on a series of formal and informal writing assignments.

Texts: Virginia Woolf, The Mrs. Dalloway Reader

          Karin Littau, Theories of Reading

          Michael Cunningham, The Hours

          E. M. Forster, A Passage to India

Catalog Description: 
Investigates what it means to be a reader. Centers on authorial and reading challenges, shifting cultural and theoretical norms, and changes in the public's reading standards.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:31pm