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Title: Literary Affect: Alive or dead?
Contributor(s): Thomas, Emma Diane (author); Baxter, David (supervisor); Buckland, Corinne (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2007
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This research study explores the phenomenon of literary affect, and involves investigations into the ways in which literature provokes intellectual, emotional and psychological responses. The research data offers insight into the nature of the literary experience both within the education system and in the private lives of trainee teachers, and the forms literary affect takes in an age dominated by postmodemist problematising of the literary. Student teacher participants were asked to complete questionnaires and/or attend focus groups that discussed their experiences with literary texts, their thoughts on English syllabi and the effect of their literary schooling upon their decision to teach. Participants revealed their passions for literary texts and the affective engagements they experienced. Significantly, disparities between student teachers of primary and secondary study were highlighted in terms of the type of affect experienced; secondary student teachers demonstrated a far greater capacity for inward affect, in comparison to primary student teachers who exhibited more capacity for affective experiences that related to outward understanding or the gaining of knowledge. However, comparison was found in affective experiences that related to private and educational literary texts, where participants cited as many educational texts that produced affect as texts read privately. Finally, in relation to the new 1999 NSW HSC English syllabus, data from younger generation and mature age students did not demonstrate significant difference in affective literary experiences, illustrating that the affective aesthetic phenomenon is still very much alive in contemporary secondary English studies. These findings are presented in the context of present and continuing debates about the place and relevance of postmodemism, popular culture texts and critical literacy in contemporary secondary English syllabi and the return of a revised form of aesthetics in the field of tertiary English studies.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 2007 - Emma Diane Thomas
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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