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Teaching Narrative Theory

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The last two decades have seen a burst of renewed interest in narrative theory across many academic disciplines as scholars analyze the power of storytelling in print and other media. Teaching Narrative Theory provides a comprehensive resource for instructors who aim to help students identify and understand the distinctive features of narrativity in a text or discourse and make use of the terms and concepts of the field.

This volume in the Options for Teaching series is organized to assist teachers at different levels of instruction and in different disciplinary settings. In twenty-one essays, the contributors discuss narrative theory's various teaching contexts (e.g., classes on literature, creative writing, and folklore and ethnography); key concepts and terms (e.g., story and plot, time and space, voice, perspective); applications beyond printed texts (e.g., film and digital media); and impact on other areas of theory (e.g., gender and ethnic studies). A glossary provides a guide to the challenging technical terminology characteristic of the field, and the volume as a whole emphasizes the importance of understanding and implementing technical terms in learning narrative theory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Simply one of the most coherent and engaging academic books I've read in a good while."--Garrett Stewart, University of Iowa

"Simply one of the most coherent and engaging academic books I've read in a good while." --Garrett Stewart, University of Iowa

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603290807
  • Publisher: Modern Language Association of America
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Herman teaches in the English department at Ohio State University. He has published widely in the areas of interdisciplinary narrative theory, modern and postmodern fiction, and storytelling across media. He is the editor of the book series Frontiers of Narrative and the journal Storyworlds.

Brian McHale is Humanities Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio State University. He is the author of books and articles on modernist and postmodernist fiction and poetry, narrative theory, and science fiction, and coeditor, with Randall Stevenson, of The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English.

James Phelan is Distinguished University Professor of English at Ohio State University. He is the editor of the journal Narrative and coeditor, with Peter J. Rabinowitz, of the series Theory and Interpretation of Narrative. His most recent books are Living to Tell about It: A Rhetoric and Ethics of Character Narration and Experiencing Fiction: Judgments, Progressions, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative.

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Table of Contents

Introduction David Herman Brain McHale James Phelan 1

Part I Situations

The Undergraduate Literature Classroom Suzanne Keen 19

The Undergraduate Theory Course Robert F. Barsky 33

The Graduate Classroom Susan Mooney 46

Across the Curriculum: Rhetoric and Composition Beth Boehm Debra Journet 61

Across the Curriculum: Creative Writing Brian Evenson 70

Across the Curriculum: Folklore and Ethnography Amy Shuman 79

Across the Curriculum: History/Historiography Hans Kellner 89

Across the Curriculum: Image-Text Studies Emma Kafalenos 98

Part II Elements

Story, Plot, and Narrative Progression Brian Richardson 109

Time, Space, and Narrative Worlds David Herman 123

Voice; or, Authors, Narrators, and Audiences James Phelan 137

Perspective Jesse Matz 151

Character and Characterization David Gorman 165

Part III Genres and Media

Popular Genres Brian McHale 181

Film James Morrison 195

Visual Culture Marianne Hirsch 208

Digital Media Scott Rettberg Jill Walker Rettberg 221

Part IV Interfaces

Gender Robyn Warhol 237

Ethnicity Frederick Luis Aldama 252

Ethics Adam Zachary Newton 266

Ideology and Critique Amy J. Elias 281

Glossary 295

Notes on Contributors 317

Index 321

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