Reading Your Self

A Student's Guide to Rethinking English Studies

David S. Miall

First, a comment by Greg Gatenby, director of the International Festival of Authors at the Harbourfront, Toronto, on his reasons for running the festival:

I want to undo the image the school system has done to our innate love of literature. Right now, people graduate with a fear and hatred of books. English teachers must be perversely sadistic people who are happy when children leave school hating poetry. I want a festival to attract people who wouldn't cross the street to hear three Nobel-Prize-winners read for free. (Edmonton Journal, Oct 15 1995, p. F5).

So . . . Here are links to extracts from a book I am currently completing, called Reading Your Self. It offers discussions of learning in English literature classes, and describes a range of methods for students to use when studying literary texts. It might even help students to enjoy poetry. A lot of help is provided for working in small groups and on classroom politics. For a quick overview of the book see the Table of Contents.

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Introduction: the Politics of the Classroom
  3. The Process of Literary Response
  4. Experimenting with texts: I. Non-technical methods
  5. Learning in the Classroom

For examples of some of the methods described in the book, see the student reports and projects available through The Shelleys, Gothic Fiction, or Romanticism course pages.

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Last updated Monday, February 9th 1998