Date: Wednesday March 27, 2002
For additional workshop details, please click here.
Mark Edmundson, Department of English
This workshop for faculty and TAs in the humanities introduces a teaching method that can take students beyond interpretation into questions that apply immediately to their own lives. As a first step, the instructor poses questions to the students about their ultimate values and beliefs–the narrative that composes their “final vocabularies.” Second, the class interprets the text at hand, doing their best to arrive at a version of the work that the author would approve.
Then, having rigorously analyzed the book, the class turns to the question of truth. Does this book provide live options? Does it show one how to live? How does it—how might it—influence the student? What truths does it offer? And what relation do these truths have to the student’s own professed “final vocabulary”?
Mark will spend about 30 minutes describing the thinking behind this approach and offering some practical examples. After a break, participants will experiment in applying this approach to some of the works that they themselves teach.