Roles of Affect and Imagination in Reading and Responding to Literature: Perspectives and Possibilities for English Classrooms

William McGinley, George Kamberelis, Alyson Welker, Mary Kelly, Jeanne Swafford

Abstract


In this essay, we argue that to engage in critical readings of literary texts, in ways that are also ethical and compassionate, requires readers to enter emotionally and imaginatively into the complex, textual worlds of others as they are portrayed in stories. In this regard, we discuss both past and recent work of scholars whose insights we believe are useful for rethinking and deepening what it means to read and respond to creative narratives with “one’s heart as well as with one’s mind.” Given the popularity in recent years of teaching literary theory, and embracing the power of “critical” reading in English classrooms, the value of personal and emotional ways of reading has been increasingly understated. We thus call for the kind of engaged humanities reform we believe is ultimately crucial to democratic forms of community rooted in a general concern for the value of the lives of others.


Keywords


Literature, Curriculum, Language Arts, Stories

Full Text:

PDF



JCT: Journal of Curriculum Theorizing is an interdisciplinary journal of curriculum studies. It offers an academic forum for scholarly discussions of curriculum. Historically aligned with the "reconceptualist" movement in curriculum theorizing, and oriented toward informing and affecting classroom practice, JCT presents compelling pieces within forms that challenge disciplinary, genre, and textual boundaries.

The journal is published by the Foundation for Curriculum Theory and is associated with the Bergamo Conference on Curriculum Theory and Classroom Practice, held in the autumn of each year. JCT is indexed in The Education Index.

NOTICE: As of December 2008, the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing (Volume 24, Issue 1) and all future issues
are available freely and exclusively online to all individuals and institutions. More Information...

Contributors to the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing retain copyright to their work.

All other content: Copyright © Foundation for Curriculum Theory. All rights reserved.

ISSN: 1942-2563