ERIC Number: ED336759
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Gadamer's Philosophical Hermeneutics in the Classroom: Incorporating Minority Literatures within the Canonical Core.
American literature has served not only to help establish, define, and reinforce the American Myth, but has been used to question, to challenge, and to redefine it as well. The dialogic relationship between the literature and the myth thus can become the starting point for a course that encourages closer examination of the process of interpretation and canonization. To approach this process in one course, students are asked to ground their interpretative networks by examining text in terms of the following variables: the relationship of the individual to self, family, society, and social institutions; the individuals search for personal identity and meaning; the question of personal versus social responsibility; and the use of the literature as a vehicle for social criticism. To further ground their analysis, students are presented with a variety of traditional interpretations from the criticism. Instructors try to help students acquire an awareness of their own unique background and of the role of that and of prejudice in the process of interpretation. By developing a sense of literature as they work, students can see that the individual texts help define/redefine the myth and the canon helps perpetrate it. Finally, the course is divided into 2 interrelated parts: traditional writers and contemporary authors, demonstrating that minority authors can be used to challenge the controlling myth as effectively as traditional, canonized writers. Thus non-canonical minority literatures can be incorporated with the more traditional literatures to the enrichment of both. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ethnic Literature; Gadamer (Hans Georg); Literary Canon
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (San Antonio, TX, April 18-20, 1991).