Approaches to Teaching Cather’s My Ántonia
- Editor: Susan J. Rosowski
- Pages: xii & 194 pp.
- Published: 1989
- ISBN: 9780873525190 (Cloth)
- ISBN: 9780873525206 (Paperback)
“A useful resource both for instructors using Cather’s Nebraska novel for the first time and for those who seek a fresh perspective. Edited by Susan J. Rosowski, a widely recognized Cather scholar and professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, this volume explores the many ways to ‘get at’ one of the most frequently taught Cather novels. . . . The quality of this collection is consistently high.”
Unlike many other great works of English literature, My Ántonia is immediately accessible to today’s students. “Cather’s novel is so clear,” Susan J. Rosowski says, “so apparently effortless, that it hardly seems art at all, and the challenge for instructors is to move their students beyond a surface reading to an understanding of the novel’s art and its place in literary history.” Yet few instructors have had training in fields relating to Cather studies. The aim of this collection of essays, then, is to provide background and ideas instructors have found most helpful in teaching My Ántonia.
This volume, like others in the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, “Materials,” reviews required and recommended student reading, reference works, background studies, and critical commentary. In the second part, “Approaches,” twenty-five teachers share their strategies for presenting the novel in the classroom; their essays are arranged in four sections that focus on Cather’s life and times, the novel’s literary and philosophical traditions, teaching the novel in particular courses, and, finally, exploring specific aspects of the novel.