These pages collect the annual dialogues about literature which English 211 students have had outside the classroom by means of public folder postings.   They are good evidence that each year's class discovers something new and important about the literature we're reading, and that there is no one "right" way to read.  There are rules for interpretation, of course, or we couldn't have a scholarly discipline.  The real excitement here arises from the pursuit of ideas into uncharted territories.  Come join the chase! 

        To see the expanded description of topics from any year, click on the "Controversies from..." button for it.

Controversies from Fall 1998:

"Who decides what is literature, how transgressive can humor be in art,  how can an author 'retract' a work of literature, and what does it mean for readers when s/he tries to do so?"   "Myth and Belief as Social Construction Materials, and Literature as Their 'Delivery Vehicle, Part One" "Why Doesn't Faustus Repent?"   "Drama Performed vs. Drama Read"   "Myth and Belief as Social Construction Materials, and Literature as Their 'Delivery Vehicle, Part Two"   "What is Beauty?"   "Oroonoko and Beloved"   "The quality of Dryden"  

Controversies from Fall 1999:  "What's the difference between a vision, an inspiration, and hallucination?"  "The political functions and risks of literature in the real world"  "Love, Desire, the Lyric Poem and the Invention of Literary Personae"  "Faustus' 'Clown' and Variant Textual Versions"   "Metaphysicals, Romantics, Moderns: Influence? "  "Dramatic Justice in Volpone"  "Hell in Milton and Shakespeare "   "Women and Sin in Paradise Lost"War and Government in Paradise Lost"  "Behn on Slavery, Christianity, Racism, and Feminism"  "Swift's Unstable Satire"   "Literate Characters, Literate Audiences and Early (Post-) Modern Literature"

Controversies from Fall 2000--under construction!

Controversies from Fall 2001--under construction!