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Med läsaren i centrum: Rosenblatts reader-responseteori som "narrative imagination"?
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Teacher Education.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
The Reader in Focus : Rosenblatt's reader-response theory as "narrative imagination"? (English)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis – concerning didactics of literature – I perform a reading and theoretical analysis of two pivotal works within reader-response theory, more precisely: Literature as Exploration (1938) and The Reader, the Text, the Poem – The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work (1978), both written by Louise M. Rosenblatt. The object of this analysis is to examine whether Rosenblatts’ theory and methodology can be used to accomplish understanding for ”the other”, what Martha C. Nussbaum have called ”narrative imagination”. For a theoretical basis I use postcolonial theory, implicating a poststructuralistic och constructivistic understanding of language and linguistics.

The reader-oriented theory and methodology of Rosenblatt – what she calls an aesthetic transaction, or a ”total situation” – has been discussed as problematic in relation to ”narrative imagination” mainly because reader has to be understood as centered, i.e. to be able to understand why a reader performs a specific reading Rosenblatt focus is fixed on the reader her-/himself, ignoring the linguistic, social and discursive context surrounding her/him. I have, with reference to postcolonial theory made the argument that teaching literature must be understood as a discursive practice in which context and discourse limits and influences the readers’ perception and appreciation, and thereby found Rosenblatts method restricted and unsatisfactory.

Finally I have, in the light of the results above, proposed a postcolonial version of ”narrative imagination” in which ambitions to understand ”the other” is not formulated in terms of personal, empathic and cosmopolitic cultivation, but rather a reflective practice in which the limitations and principles of discourse is taken into account. A certain attitude or a certain reading must be recognized as a concretion of an institutional (social and linguistic) order of thought. This is a theoretical aspect that needs to be considered in future research, as well as in the classroom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 44 p.
Keyword [en]
Didactics of literature, Rosenblatt, reader-response, narrative imagination, postcolonial theory, discourse
Keyword [sv]
Litteraturdidaktik, Rosenblatt, reader-response, narrative imagination, postkolonial teori, diskurs
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26035OAI: diva2:782262
Subject / course
Education Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-01-21 Created: 2015-01-20 Last updated: 2015-01-21Bibliographically approved

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