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A Strange Sort of Narrative

This presentation is a pedagogical colloquium focusing on how teachers in college-level writing courses can use an up-and-coming genre called "fictocriticism" to enrich and intensify the literary analysis experience.

Aaron Anderson

on 5 May 2013

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Transcript of A Strange Sort of Narrative

Fictocriticism in the University-Level Composition Classroom A Strange Sort of Narrative INTRODUCTION CONCLUSION A few excellent examples of fictocritical work or studies of fictocritical assignments:

David Azul, "My Vibrant Voice Story"
Donna Hancox and Vivienne Muller, "Excursions into New Territory"
Hamish Morgan, "What Can Fictocriticism Do?"

The most crucial aspect is personal involvement. Our approach to analysis encourages detachment. But the most attractive factor in fictocriticism is unique voice. How does the genre work? In English 102, I encountered a few students who infused their literary analyses with narrative.

"Lisa," about The Great Gatsby
"Paul," conversation between Edgar Allan Poe and Leo Tolstoy (theme of rebellion)
"Derek," dialogue between James Joyce and Julia Slavin (also in terms of rebellion)

The level of active creativity is impressive in these texts. We need to repeat that experience often. How does it affect the students? How can teachers apply it in the future? 1. I would extend my study by delving more into the advantages of fictocriticism for scholars or professors. Take Phil Emery's work on "didactiku," for example.

2. If the most important feature of fictocritical work is how the writers becomes so personally involved, then it is out duty as teachers to replicate that experience for students.

3. We must also consider the flaws of contemporary approaches to literary analysis and remember that fictocriticism responds to those errors. Fictocriticism is an innovative genre that got its start in the mid-1980s. It combines the analytical aim of literary criticism and the creativity of fictional narrative. Several articles point to how exactly the genre promotes student enthusiasm.

Burning Questions:
Is there a teachable model?
What are the benefits of this genre?
How can teachers integrate it into their curricula? I have developed a sequence of assignments that present fictocriticism and compare it to more traditional forms:

SWA #1: Reader-response (to poems about beauty by Angelou, Poe, Ramprasad, Shakespeare, Yeats, etc.)
SWA #2: Compare/contrast evaluation
MWA: Fictocritical article

Mainly, these tasks apply to literary analysis in English 102, but they are adjustable according to course or topic.

Now, allow me to illustrate further... WORKS CITED Austen, Veronica J. “The Value of Creative Writing Assignments in English Literature Courses.” New Writing 2.2 (2005): 138-150. Literary Reference Center. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.

Azul, David D.J. Sander. “My Vibrant Voice Story: Fictocritical Fragments in Audio and Writing.” Creative Approaches to Research 2.2 (2009): 7-20. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3 Apr. 2013.

Emery, Phil. “Assessment Reports as Exploded Haiku.” New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing 8.1 (2011): 59-70. Literary Reference Center. Web. 3 Apr. 2013.

Hancox, Donna M., and Vivienne Muller. “Excursions into New Territory: Fictocriticism and Undergraduate Writing.” New Writing 8.2 (2011): 147-158. Literary Reference Center. Web. 6 Mar. 2013.

Morgan, Hamish. “What Can Fictocriticism Do?” Altitude: An e-Journal of Emerging Humanities Work 10 (2012): 1-9. Directory of Open Access Journals. Web. 3 Apr. 2013. ~ Aaron Kelly Anderson, MA ~ PROBLEM Students are not usually enthusiastic about literary analysis or do not find it relevant. SUGGESTED SOLUTION Fictocriticism appeals to the student's creative impulses and personal experience -- thus making way for richer analysis.
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