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Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Middlemarch

Editor(s): Kathleen Blake

Pages: ix & 187 pp.
Published: 1990
ISBN: 9780873525343 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873525336 (hardcover)

"A monument to dozens of teachers' love for their students and for a book they love to teach."
Studies in English Literature


"Middlemarch," writes Kathleen Blake, "is the great Eliot novel, the one to teach, because it has the kind of appeal that can carry students forward toward becoming people who will return to it." Taught to undergraduates in introductory surveys as well as in specialized upper-division courses, Middlemarch presents challenges to both teachers and students--in its length, its rich philosophical and psychological insights, its range of characters, its historical scope, its multiple plots and dense style. The sixteen essays in Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Middlemarch describe imaginative ways experienced teachers have dealt with these challenges to share their love of the novel with their students.

Like other books in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, this volume is divided into two parts. Part 1, "Materials," surveys editions of Middlemarch, background readings on the Victorian period, textual and critical studies, and audiovisual aids. In part 2, "Approaches," contributors describe specific strategies for teaching the novel. Among the topics discussed are critical trends in the classroom (e.g., narrative theory, deconstruction, feminist criticism, reader-response analysis), teachers' responses to student difficulties with the novel, textual and contextual perspectives, and ways instructors overcome curricular and institutional constraints. The volume also offers a chronology of the writing and publication of Middlemarch, a genealogical chart for its large cast of characters, and an extensive bibliography.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Eliot's Middlemarch

PART 1: MATERIALS
Kathleen Blake

Editions

Readings for Students
Biography
Background on the Victorian Period
Textual and Critical Studies

Other Works by George Eliot

Bibliographies and Journals

Readings for Teachers
Biography
Background on the Victorian Period
Textual and Critical Studies

Audiovisual Materials

PART 2: APPROACHES

Some Critical Trends in the Classroom

Before We Go in Depth: A Narratological Approach
Robyn R. Warhol

Teaching Middlemarch as Narrative
Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth

Recon/Decon/Structing Middlemarch
Baruch Hochman

Teaching Middlemarch: Close Reading and Theory
J. Hillis Miller

"Incarnate History": The Feminisms of Middlemarch
Suzanne Graver

Considering the Reader's Situation

A Fuller Sort of Companionship: Defending Old-Fashioned Qualities
Merritt Moseley

Reading Middlemarch in Installments As Victorian Readers Did
Carol A. Martin

Reading Middlemarch, Then and Now
Janice Carlisle

Focusing on the Text, Expanding the Context

"A Microscope Directed on a Water-Drop": Chapter 19
Juliet McMaster

Relative Truths: Character in Middlemarch
Elizabeth A. Campbell

Old Age in Middlemarch
David Moldstad

Middlemarch, Bleak House, and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century Novel Course
Alison Booth

Middlemarch and the Modern American Student: Making the Cultural Leap
Rosemary T. VanArsdel

Conclusions: Considering the Teacher's Situation

"The Very Nature of a Conclusion"
Stanley Tick

Really Reading Middlemarch in a Community College
Valerie Bystrom and Michael Kischner

A Novel "Written for Grown-Up People": Middlemarch in the Undergraduate Classroom
Jeanie Thomas

Appendixes

Chronology of the Writing and Publication of Middlemarch

Middlemarch Genealogy

Works Cited

Index




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