Teaching Literature / Edition 1

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Teaching Literature is an inspirational guidebook for all teachers of English and American literature in higher education.

  • Written by leading academic, prolific author and cultural journalist, Elaine Showalter
  • Original and provocative reflections on teaching literature in higher education
  • Encourages teachers to make their classroom practice intellectually exciting
  • Wide-ranging - covers the practical, theoretical, and methodological aspects of teaching literature
  • Highly practical - employs real examples from real classes and careers throughout
  • Draws on 40 years of international teaching experience
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is to Showalter's great credit that she has written a book that exemplifies many of the virtues she associates with literature: curiosity, empathy, compassion. It is also a deeply personal work. People say that reading literature does not make you a better person. True. But reading this book will make you a better teacher. And maybe make you think better of literature too." Times Higher Education Supplement

"Grounded equally in narrative anecdotes and in published scholarship, Teaching Literature is admirably accessible and reader-friendly... I'd recommend it to anyone looking to enliven his or her classroom". Literature and History

Publishers Weekly
Showalter's distillation of her half-century of teaching (along with the experience of scores of other teachers) in this jargon-free blend of manual and memoir will appeal to readers with a general interest in education as well as to professionals. Provocative, evocative, spirited in tone and lucid in structure, the volume offers everything readers might want to know about teaching undergraduates. Showalter, an English professor at Princeton University, opens with practical matters (e.g., the anxieties that can plague teachers, lack of training, isolation, performance, evaluation) and then moves to the theoretical, exploring subject-centered, teacher-centered and student-centered teaching theories. Throughout, she addresses nitty-gritty matters, from preparing syllabi and lectures and leading discussions to grading and "housekeeping." On teaching literature classes (including poetry, drama, fiction and theory), Showalter offers a cornucopia of approaches, peppered with brief reflections from teachers about actual practice. She addresses the teaching of teachers, the issues raised in "dangerous subjects" (freshly, not the usual race and gender, but suicide and explicit sexual language) and "teaching literature in dark times." Differences and disagreements flourish, and the chorus of voices Showalter shares with readers, along with her own expertise and knowledge, makes this book particularly appealing as well as useful. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631226246
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/9/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 481,387
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Showalter is Professor of English at Princeton University. She has been a teacher of English and American Literature for 40 years and has taught high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and other adults in the United States, Canada, Britain and Europe. She has also directed a teaching seminar for graduate students. During 1998 she was President of the Modern Language Association of America.

The author’s publications include A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Brontë to Lessing (1982), The Female Malady: Women, Madness and Society 1830-1980 (1987), Sexual Anarchy (1991), Sister’s Choice: Tradition and Change in American Women’s Writing (1991) and Inventing Herself (2001).

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements.

1. The Anxiety of Teaching.

2. Theories of Teaching Literature.

3. Methods of Teaching Literature.

4. Teaching Poetry.

5. Teaching Drama.

6. Teaching Fiction.

7. Teaching Theory.

8. Teaching Teachers.

9. Teaching Dangerous Subjects.

10. Teaching Literature in Dark Times.

Conclusion: The Joy of Teaching Literature.



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