Week Three out of Eight

Poststructuralism - More than just a long word

One step back, two steps forward.

During Week Two, we tackled New Criticism and Russian Formalism. These theories stripped away assumptions, reader commentary, and even discounted the writer's intent. This would include the writer, even if alive. I wonder what Poe would have said about that!

All that was left is a sterile, just-the-facts, textual only supported view.

From this plain canvas, we launch into Post-structuralism. This week will provide us the opportunity to review what's on the other side - the potentially greener grass - than Structuralism. The Post-structuralist theory emerged from it reacts against the ordered vision and human experience as enforced by New Criticism and Formalism.

The non-structured literary foundation will provide a handy tool and base understanding for our upcoming theories that will be studied for the rest of the term.

Thinking Forward - Two Way Communication

SNHU teachers take personal pride in providing feedback, being available to answer questions, and to provide a fair rubric-based grading system.

We may feel and think we are effective - but do not really *know* unless we receive feedback from the students! Just as student learn from teachers, self-improving teachers learn from students. Education, just like communication, is a two-way process.

During your time in this class and your college career, I want you to feel comfortable in providing feedback to your teachers. I also know how intimidating that can be!
So, I'd like to offer a couple of tips that might help guide the comments.

  • Establish a climate of respect
    Feedback should strive to be helpful, not hurtful. A respectful relationship and communication will establish a stable foundation for comments - from each side.
  • Just the facts
    Be specific by stating which assignment, which question, and your specific concern.
  • Audience awareness
    Fragments, run-ons, slang, sarcasm, and other forms of impolite communication, rather spoken or written, undermines a respectful relationship.
  • Don't forget!
    Your instructors are humans to! We have pets, family, spouses, and personal activities just as you do. Several SNHU teachers are continuing students who are perusing another degree or for personal information.
    - Additionally, especially for literature and writing, a teacher may tackle a class worth of multi-paged papers! While SNHU instructors strive to provide clear and quality feedback, we may become embarrassingly distracted by a pet, uninvited relative, or other circumstance that unintentionally prevents effective communication.

    Should this happen, please ask for clarification.

    Of course, kudos are always appreciated as well!

Assignments and Tasks

The Poststructuralist Revolution Literary Theory: The Basics, Chapter 5

3-1 Discussion: Theory in Everyday Life: Poststructuralism
3-2 Journal: Finding Meaning in Meaninglessness
3-3 Final Project I Milestone Two: Scholarly Resources and Historical Context

When consider resources for the Milestone, the key term is scholarly. Academic text books, encyclopedias, magazines, and other mass-media publications are not considered scholarly.

A scholarly resource is just that - meant for scholars. Scholars are those who hold a special interest in the content and have a better understanding or reason to understand the material. This would transcend a nodding interest for a limited time.

Since scholars are few, the information available can only be found in select sources. Our best bet? The Shapiro Library. The peer-reviewed journals and specialty publications are meant for an audience who who wishes to gain knowledge and become experts.

To help with Milestone Two, please visit the MLA reference creation guide at the Shapiro Library and Purdue OWL.
-- Also note that most sources from the Shapiro Library have the ability to generate MLA sources for easy copy/paste.
Animating Poststructuralism
Deconstructive Theory.wmv
Open Yale lecture: Derrida critique of structuralism structurality (deconstruction)