Tag Archives: teaching literature

Teaching Lit Crit as Autobiography

Literary criticism can be a form of autobiography. Knowing that can improve our teaching.

Posted in Wilde (Oscar) | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments

Hiding behind the “I” in Lit Essays

Using “I” in literature essays doesn’t necessarily lead to more engagement with the work.

Posted in Exley (Frederick), Shelley (Percy) | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bullying in Twelfth Night

Although I’ve been teaching for over 30 years, students continue to provide new insights into works that I thought I knew. Sophomore Wick Eisenberg did so recently with a Twelfth Night essay in which he examined an issue that has become a national concern: bullying.

Posted in Shakespeare (William) | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Damn the N-Word, Full Speed Ahead

  Writing about interracial friendships in yesterday’s post brings to mind the most famous interracial friendship in literature, that between Huck and Jim. The novel is once again in the news (is it ever out of it?) with a new edition of the novel where the n-word is changed to “slave.” The edition is the brainchild […]

Posted in Twain (Mark) | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

Discussing Literature without Teachers

My son Toby    My son Toby, who is with us for two more days before he leaves for the University of California-Davis English Ph.D program, gave a lecture to the St. Mary’s College Tolkien society on Friday. I am the club’s advisor but it was first time I had attended a meeting for several […]

Posted in Eagleton (Terry), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

    Please feel free to e-mail me [rrbates (at) smcm (dot) edu]. I would be honored to hear your thoughts and questions about literature.

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