4/14/16 Cristina Bruns’ Talk at STJ: “Why Literature?: The Value of Literary Reading and What It Means for Teaching”

 Thursday, April 14, 5:30-6:30 pm

Room 101 in Marillac Hall, Queens Campus

Cristina Bruns’ Talk at STJ:

“Why Literature?: The Value of Literary Reading and What It Means for Teaching”

Dr.  Bruns offers a defense of the value of literature and suggests ways in which the problematic relationship between personal and academic reading may be overcome.

“This bold, innovative, clear, and well-argued book not only gives an answer to the question ‘Why Literature?’ at a time when many people doubt its value. It also makes detailed recommendations, in the light of the answer given, for how literature should be taught. Rather than stressing analytical reading, she argues, teachers should encourage self-reflection in students about what happens to them in ‘immersive reading.’ In such reading the reader gets lost in the imaginary world the words on the page create. That can lead to a transition in selfhood. Distanced reading, analytical reading, may inhibit that transformation, though it can also serve as a way station toward a more powerful immersive reading. This is one of the most informed and challenging books on why we should read and teach literature.” –J. Hillis Miller, Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Comparative Literature and English, University of California at Irvine.

“Cristina Bruns is clearly not one of those teachers who conveys to students, ‘If you don’t know why you should read literature, then what are you doing in this course?’ Thanks to this well informed and immensely readable study, the Why Literature? question has taken on a whole new life.”  –Professor Gerald Graff, Professor of Literature and Education, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Cristina Vischer Bruns, PhD, is Assistant Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY.  Her research focuses on the interaction between readers and literary texts, the effects of such interactions, and the teaching of literature.






“A defense of the value of literature!” 


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