Monday, January 25, 2010

HUM 223: Three questions to ask yourself about your response to a work of art

Here are some questions that are designed to get you thinking about your response to a piece of art ... whether it's a poem, a play, a movie, a song, a dance routine, a movie or any other piece of art. They derive from English education professor Louise Rosenblatt's "reader response" theory, but they can be applied to other texts than those we find in literature. Ask yourself:
1. What about this work stands out in my mind?
2. What in my background, values, needs and interests makes me react that way?
3. What specific things in the work trigger that reaction?
We'll ask ourselves variations on these questions all semester. Please note: If you were taught in English class never to say "I" in a paper for school, you're off the hook in HUM 221! There's no way you can write about these questions without saying "I." One would guarantee it. I guarantee it.

Keep these three questions in the back of your mind. We'll keep coming back to them.

Here are links to earlier posts I put on "Hogfiddle" about how to write about music and on the literary theory the questions are modeled after, which is called reader response and which works just as well for music as it does for literature.

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