Critical Methods Spring 2014

I'll keep notes here, with the latest at the top.

Here's a link to the final paper information for the course.


For our discussion of The Turn of the Screw

Joyce Carol Oates has written a short story from the perspective of the ghosts at Bly; the full text of "The Accursed Inhabitants of Bly" can be found here.

You might want to take a look at The Ladder, an excellent Henry James site, where you can find a thorough hypertext concordance to The Turn of the Screw. There's a brief passage in James' notebooks about where he got the idea for the story.

The tale was commissioned by, and first appeared in, Collier’s Weekly, vol. 20-21, 27 January-16 April 1898; it was revised by James in 1908 for his New York edition. In his preface to that edition, he referred to it as "the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy."

Here's a trailer for a 2009 BBC adaptation of the novel.

There's a well-regarded film adaptation from 1961 called The Innocents.

PBS has a lovely family tree for the James family. There's also a link to a Henry James timeline at the PBS site. It's a little awkward, but once you get the flash version working, you can do some interesting things to see what's going on with James' personal and professional life, as well as in the world.

I really like this article in the New Yorker (from 2012) about The Turn of the Screw.


Here's the link to Snow Day Class discussion (e-mails) on "The Black Cat" and here's the list of suggested important points from our Close Reading textbook. You might, if you have time, try to review these prior to our class meeting on Thursday, February 20th.

Here's a link to the PDF version of the Second Paper Assignment (paper due Tuesday 4 March). Don't forget to submit to Digication and bring a hard copy to class!


Here's the link to the PDF version of the First Paper Assignment (paper due Tuesday 4 February). Don't forget to submit to Digication and bring a hard copy to class!

I strongly recommend the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and its overview of Literary Theory, which you can find here:

Here's a nice timeline-type overview of some critical theories. I like the semiotics video on it.

Here's the grid we used on Day 2; it's a good resource for a quickie overview of our major theories :

As a follow up to our first day's session, I thought you might like to hear Seamus Heaney read his poem, "Mid-term Break."

Here is a link to part of the first reading assignment (in case you don't have your book yet): Critical Methods Reading assignment pages 1-20 for January 23rd.

Here is the syllabus for the course: Spring 2014 Critical Methods Syllabus






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This page was updated on April 24, 2014 .