“She opens the world of words and makes you think you have created it yourself.”
That is what a good student said about me but these characteristics are not appreciated by all. In any case, I think I should write an essay about the last two days I have spent thinking about the introduction to literature. (I also think it is time to polish and publish my “What is a scholar?” manuscript.)
The new insight about the introduction to literature is that the purpose of this course is changed now that one cannot assume students have ever had any exposure to literature, fiction, or storytelling. The course was formerly an introduction to the formal study of literature but for students who have no experience at all, this is not appropriate.
I think the introduction to the study of literature now needs to be something run along the lines of the extracurricular film series I used to run. I showed serious films and contextualized them.
In the essay, I could also talk about textbooks and their inadequacies, why I don’t think just getting a textbook and teaching with it is an adequate response. I could talk about the fact that this course, in many institutions is largely taught by graduate students and other people passing through, and that this is why we others do not think about it.