Exploring selves and worlds through affective and imaginative engagements with literature
To engage in critical readings of literary texts, in ways that are also ethical and compassionate, requires readers to enter emotionally and imaginatively into the complex, textual worlds of others as they are portrayed in stories. Such stories have the potential to create new worlds that make visible our collective being in ways that allow us to enter into democracy with more empathetic and just lenses. In this regard, we discuss both past and recent work of scholars whose insights we believe are useful for rethinking and deepening what it means to read and respond to creative narratives with “one’s heart as well as with one’s mind.” Given the popularity in recent years of teaching literary theory, and embracing the power of “critical” reading in English classrooms, the value of affective and imaginative ways of reading has been increasingly understated. We thus call for an engaged humanities reform we believe is ultimately crucial to creating reader-citizens who can successfully engage in community practices and decisions rooted in a general concern for the value of the lives of others.
Educational Philosophy and Theory
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
William McGinley, George Kamberelis & John Wesley White (2021) Exploring selves and worlds through affective and imaginative engagements with literature, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 53:4, 350-362, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2020.1785285