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Cloth:  $19.75

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Approaches to Teaching Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

Editor(s): Sue Lonoff, Terri A. Hasseler

Pages: vii & 195 pp.
Published: 2006
ISBN: 9780873529921

"Wuthering Heights is a major literary text taught in a wide variety of courses, from freshman writing courses to graduate seminars. This excellent addition to the MLA Approaches to Teaching series is not only needed and useful but mandatory."

Anne Humpherys, Graduate Center, CUNY

"Stimulates the reader who is also a teacher to ponder fundamental questions again."


We are currently out of stock of the paperback edition of this title. The cloth edition will be substituted at the paperback price.

Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights has long held a high position in the academy and in popular culture. It is taught at levels from high school English to doctoral studies and has been adapted in enough film and television versions that many students who know nothing about the book know who Heathcliff is. Nevertheless it is not an easy novel to teach. Thus in addition to surveying experienced teachers of Wuthering Heights, the editors sought to learn directly from students what in the novel was difficult for them and what worked best in engaging their interest. As a result, the approaches suggested in this volume reflect practices that have proved successful for both students and teachers.

Part 1 of this Approaches volume, "Materials," surveys and assesses the available editions of Wuthering Heights, identifies editions of other works by Emily Brontë, reviews biographies and other background materials, notes the critical studies most frequently mentioned as useful by instructors, and provides an annotated list of resources on the Internet.

Among the classroom strategies described in part 2, "Approaches," are the following:

  • Uncovering the hidden elements of race, gender, and class through close analysis of the narrative
  • Teaching the novel from the vantage point of gothic conventions, biographies of Brontë family members, the debates about the place of the novel in the canon
  • Helping students engage with theory after identifying and critiquing their "perspective-free" positions
  • Considering the circularity of the novel, the reliability of the narrators, the complexity of character development
  • Familiarizing students with historical and legal documents to reveal social and economic issues of the period like child custody and women's property rights
  • Comparing film and TV adaptations with one another and with the novel itself
  • Using recordings to consider how hearing the speech of characters brings to light issues of social class, age, and gender


Suzy Anger

Frances Beer

Dean de la Motte

Kamilla Elliott

Laraine Fergenson

Catherine R. Hancock

Tamar Heller

Diane Long Hoeveler

Paula M. Krebs

Tricia Lootens

Carine M. Mardorossian

Beth Newman

Barry V. Qualls

Maureen T. Reddy

Leilani D. Riehle

Patsy Stoneman

Lisa Surridge

Paul Vita

Table of Contents


Preface to the Series



Preface to the Volume





Courses and Course DesignsEditionsThe Instructor's LibraryOther Works by Emily BrontëBiographies and Background StudiesCritical and Theoretical StudiesAdditional Contextual MaterialsWuthering Heights: A Family TreeWhat Students Say about Approaching Wuthering Heights




IntroductionTerri A. Hasseler


Historical and Social Contexts

Wuthering Heights in Its Context(s)Beth Newman


Geometries of Race, Class, and Gender: Identity Crossing in Wuthering HeightsCarine M. Mardorossian


Victorian Border Crossings: Thinking about Gender in Wuthering HeightsBarry V. Qualls


Teaching the Language of Domestic Violence in Wuthering Heights

Catherine R. Hancock


Literary and Disciplinary Contexts

Haunted Bodies: The Female Gothic of Wuthering HeightsTamar Heller


Biographical Keys to the HeightsFrances Beer


Wuthering Heights in the Culture of the English DepartmentPaula M. Krebs


Theories of Interpretation

"The Writing on the Wall": Interpreting Wuthering Heights in a Class on Theories of InterpretationsSuzy Anger


Teaching Wuthering Heights as Fantasy, Trauma, and Dream WorkDiane Long Hoeveler


The Narrative Design of Wuthering Heights: Interpreting the Telling of the TaleLeilani D. Riehle


Wuthering Heights, Women, and the Law: A Historical ApproachLisa Surridge


Evading "the Secret Truth" in Wuthering Heights: Film and Visual Illustration in Teaching Critical TheoryPatsy Stoneman


Imagining and Reimagining Wuthering Heights


Teaching Wuthering Heights through Its Film and Television AdaptationsKamilla Elliott


Hearing Class in Class: Using Audio Excerpts to Teach Wuthering HeightsDean de la Motte


Teaching Wuthering Heights Intertextually: The Example of Alice Hoffman's Here on EarthMaureen T. Reddy


Building Skills through Teaching Wuthering Heights

Teaching Emily Brontë's Poetry and Wuthering Heights in a First-Year Composition Course

Tricia Lootens


Teaching Wuthering Heights through Close Reading / Teaching Close Reading through Wuthering HeightsPaul Vita


Using Collaborative Learning to Teach the Themes of Education, Ignorance, and Dispossession in Wuthering HeightsLaraine Fergenson


Notes on Contributors


Survey Participants


Works Cited

Editions of Wuthering HeightsAudio, Film, and Video ResourcesGeneral Works



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