Publication Date

10-26-2018

Document Type

Article

Department

English and Comparative Literature

Publication Title

English Teaching: Practice & Critique

Volume

17

Issue

4

DOI

10.1108/ETPC-01-2018-0017

First Page

298

Last Page

309

Abstract

Purpose
This paper aims to draw from work in the field of English that questions the “limits of critique” (Felski, 2015) in order to consider the limits of critical literacy approaches to literature instruction. The study focuses on the relational and affective demands that resistant reading places on readers and texts.
Design/methodology/approach
Drawing from post-critical (Felski, 2015) and surface (Best and Marcus, 2009) reading practices in the field of English, the authors perform analyses of two recent articles that illustrate critical literacy approaches to literature instruction, drawing attention to the ways the resistant reading practices outlined in each article reflect Felski’s description of critique.
Findings
The authors’ readings of two frameworks of critical literacy approaches to literature instruction produce two key findings: first, in emphasizing resistant readings, critical literacy asks readers to take up a detective-like orientation to literature, treating texts as suspects; second, resistant reading practices promote a specific set of affective orientations toward a text, asking readers to cultivate skepticism and vigilance.
Originality/value
While the authors do not dismiss the importance of critical literacy approaches to literature instruction, the study makes room for other relational and affective orientations to literature, especially those that might encourage readers to listen to – and be surprised by – a text. By describing critical literacy through the lens of Felski’s work on critique, the authors aim to open up new possibilities for surprising encounters with literature.

Keywords

Teaching literature, Textual studies, Critical literacy, English language arts, Curriculum English, Literacy teaching

Comments

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edit version of an article published in English Teaching: Practice & Critique, Volume 17, Issue 4, 2018. The final authenticated version is available online at: .

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