Thursday, 16 Feb 2017


Read and Respond to an Academic Article

This assignment asks you to look up the full text of these academic articles, and choose one to write about in a thoughtful response.

Note that it’s rare to find an entire academic article on a single literary work. Scholars are usually interested in exploring patterns, making connections, tracing influence, explaining exceptions, and so forth. In order to do that, scholars can’t fill up paragraphs with plot summary, lists of what various symbols “could mean,” or personal reactions.

If that’s what scholars DON’T do, what DO they do? Well, the best way to learn that is to read what scholars write.

I already know you can summarize, because you can’t graduate from high school without that skill. I have read all three of these articles, so I won’t learn anything from summary. What I’d like you to do is engage with the ideas you find in these essays.

One way to engage is to disagree — that is, if the scholar says X is true about work Y, you could find a passage in Y that you can demonstrate works against the author’s claim X.  But disagreeing is only one way to engage. You might also compare, or extend, or go deeper, or make new connections.

Choose one of the following, and, on your blog, demonstrate your ability to write an academic paragraph that includes quotations from the scholarly work and a literary work on our syllabus. You’ll find the full text of each of these articles in the SHU library database. (Part of the homework assignment is demonstrating that you can look up an article.)

  • Ben-Zvi, LIinda. “‘Murder, She Wrote’: The Genesis of Susan Glaspell’s ‘Trifles’.” Theatre Journal. Volume 44, Issue 2, 1992, pp. 141-162.
  • Burnett, Linda. “‘Redescribing a World:’ Towards a Theory of Shakespearean Adaptation in Canada.” Canadian Theatre Review, issue 111, Summer 2002, pp. 5-9.
  • Maginnis, Tara. “The Importance of being artificial: Style as substance in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.” Theatre Design & Technology, volume 38, issue 2, Spring 2002, pp. 58-61.