On Reading and Re-Reading Literature
Roundtable: “On Reading and Re-Reading Literature”
Northeast Modern Languages Association
23-26 March 2017
Richard Johnston, United States Air Force Academy
Description: As teachers of literature, we assign a good deal of reading. During the agonizing process of cultivating and then pruning a syllabus, we wish we could assign a great deal more. So while we all know from experience that repeated encounters with literary texts can trigger shifting, deepening, and complicating insights about them, academic terms are so short that rereading anything feels like an unaffordable luxury. We expect, of course, that students will reread a few texts while writing essays or studying for exams, and we hope that they will revisit one or two at some future point in time. But in neither case are we there to attend to the process of rereading and the curious intellectual events it sparks. Inspired by the recent work of Patricia Meyer Spacks, Deidre Lynch, and other scholars, this panel aims to investigate the process of rereading and explore its practical benefits as a pedagogical tool as well as its theoretical implications for literary study.
Submission Guidelines: Please submit 300-word proposals by 30 September 2016. Proposals must be submitted electronically through the NeMLA website:
The title of this panel is “On Reading and Re-Reading Literature,” and the number is 16443.
Questions? Contact Richard Johnston at Richard.Johnston@usafa.edu.