TEMA students during a Critical Perspectives session in English in September 2022

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Critical Perspectives in English ( Published: 30/09/2022)

As part of the school’s commitment to raise achievement and challenge in English, the department hosted a weekly seminar-based session for KS4 students to explore current critical, cultural and theoretical perspectives in literature.

This course will encourage students to grapple with the complexities (and pleasantries) of reading literature and will equip them with the social setting and intellectual demands of post-secondary education.

Literary theories were developed to understand the various ways people read texts. The proponents of each theory believe their theory is the theory, but most of us interpret texts according to the ‘rules’ of several different theories at a time. All literary theories are lenses through which we can see texts. There is nothing to say that one is better than another or that you should read according to any of them, but it is sometimes fun to decide to read a text with one in mind because you often end up with a whole new perspective on your reading.

Often, students are presented with the challenges of reading a text, critically, from either their own, or teachers, perspective. This weekly session aims to broaden student interpretation of texts and will encourage them to consider alternative viewpoints to develop their skills in academic writing and critical thinking. These sessions will also consider the thinking of leading cultural theorists and will explore: Marxism, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Gender and Queer theory, Ecocriticism, Deconstruction Theory, Post-Structuralism and New Historicism. Students will have the opportunity to observe how these theories can be applied to the texts they are studying for GCSE English Literature.

This course is led by Mr England and has been running for two weeks. Over thirty students have been attending each week, and due to popular demand, there may even be tea and coffee provided in future events. Sessions are delivered every Tuesday, 3.30pm – 4.30pm in 11.1.

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