Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2015)

Volume 12 Issue 2

ISSN: 1524-6345

Centering the Student Psyche: Facilitating Psychotherapeutic Readings of Literary Texts

Terry Lee

Department of English

Christopher Newport University, USA

E-mail: tlee@cnu.edu


     Using the insights of psychoanalytical theory, literature instructors can facilitate therapeutically beneficial readings, especially of works that students choose because of a strong affective response. The essay proposes moving beyond reader-response assignments, in which students reflect anecdotally on their reactions to a literary work, to assignments in which students effectively analyze their own psyches, in dialogue with the literary work. The pedagogy of centering the student psyche grew out of the author’s twenty-five-year-long affective response to a particular novel and his experience with Jungian analytical and archetypal psychology, which gave him a framework within which to analyze that affective response.

     Keywords: psychoanalytical approach to literature, reader-response,therapeutic