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  1. #81
    WTF is this dude saying? A Schnitzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    Not hysterics. You didn't read my tone right. I was wondering if you were actually serious.
    So you were actually questioning whether I was delusional? That would change it from hysterics to an insult.

    How about you give an example of a great work of literature that does not have a strong relation to history or politics? This feels like I'm shadow-boxing with hypotheticals.
    Take a look at "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift. While it is tied very heavily to the socioeconomic conditions of the 18th century, it is only one aspect of a larger puzzle. That being universal themes such as objectivity versus subjectivity and human worth. More to the point, I can't see how an English department could be politically biased on this work, or give subjective grades depending on a persons political stance.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Schnitzel View Post
    So you were actually questioning whether I was delusional? That would change it from hysterics to an insult.
    Your point being that I should've been more polite in my phrasing?

    Quote Originally Posted by A Schnitzel View Post
    Take a look at "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift. While it is tied very heavily to the socioeconomic conditions of the 18th century, it is only one aspect of a larger puzzle. That being universal themes such as objectivity versus subjectivity and human worth. More to the point, I can't see how an English department could be politically biased on this work, or give subjective grades depending on a persons political stance.
    Your question was not "what does personal politics have to do with subjectively grading literature papers?" - your exact question was "what does literature have to do with politics?" which, as several people including myself have pointed out, is everything.

    If you look back in the thread, you will find that I am not the only person who took what you said in that context.

    It could be a misunderstanding.

  3. #83
    WTF is this dude saying? A Schnitzel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsequitur View Post
    Your question was not "what does personal politics have to do with subjectively grading literature papers?" - your exact question was "what does literature have to do with politics?" which, as several people including myself have pointed out, is everything.

    If you look back in the thread, you will find that I am not the only person who took what you said in that context.

    It could be a misunderstanding.
    Actually my question was specifically related to Orangey's post, which I quoted. Taking it out of context ruins the point. Of course politics is objectively related to literature but what she was talking about was subjective politics in a department relating to previous works of art, which I find downright silly.

  4. #84
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Works View Post
    Would you rather I go the American way and demand mediocrity?

    While I would say that language is a broad subject, there are definitely skills and categories within the subject that are narrowly defined and more easily assessed.
    Yes, well, some are, but when we move to an upper level (say, over correct syntax and grammar) it's harder to reach an agreement on the way the skill manifests itself. What I may find easily comprehensible, another person might not (that's also something that personality theory makes more understandable).

    Do you dislike the subjectivity of assessment? Do you prefer grading that has a clearly defined right and wrong answer?
    Generally, yes. Perhaps it's a problem of mine, but I have difficulty accepting a bad grade because the teacher thinks that "the assigned them has not been strictly respected" or that "this was not what I meant you to write about".
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  5. #85
    Senior Member Eileen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A Schnitzel View Post
    Are they inextricable, or this how the system is currently set up?

    One can analyze the theme of a literary work without relating it to ideas that are politically oriented.
    Yes - this is New Criticism, or "close reading." I think it's valuable, though I think that analyzing in light of politics and history probably yields something even more valuable. You can do a lot with a text - and as an English teacher, the better a class I have, the more I can guide students in applying a variety of criticisms to literature. In high school, though, the focus tends to be on close reading.
    INFJ

    "I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. You can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Yes - this is New Criticism, or "close reading." I think it's valuable, though I think that analyzing in light of politics and history probably yields something even more valuable. You can do a lot with a text - and as an English teacher, the better a class I have, the more I can guide students in applying a variety of criticisms to literature. In high school, though, the focus tends to be on close reading.
    What it normally results in is the misguided justification and proliferation of idealistic, ivory-tower-academian hokum.

    So I'm against it.

  7. #87
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    What it normally results in is the misguided justification and proliferation of idealistic, ivory-tower-academian hokum.

    So I'm against it.
    Let me offer a thought about the difference here between INFP and INTP.

    I'm wondering if what you call "ivory tower" academics results from a narrow focus. When one enters their field of concentration certainly one wants to seek what is right and what is wrong in that area. Become an expert, so to speak.

    It may be typical for a Tee to want one "correct" focus and therefor adopt an attitude that the conclusions they come to would be the only correct ones.

    But if an early focus in education is on a larger picture of possibilities for "correct" and "incorrect" views, then a student is being taught what a good teacher seeks to teach him. Not a set group of facts (talking the arts here) but rather how to learn "how to learn" in the way best suited for his personality type.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  8. #88
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    That's not it, Anja. It's that I've been through the ed system and am a keen perceiver, and it's about the farthest thing from objective in the whole world.

    Liberal bias to the max.

  9. #89
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I think you are correct in that. I've seen a political agenda at work in higher education.

    I still see an opportunity to learn through teachers who aren't pushing their personal issues.

    Not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I've noticed, having been a member of the counter-culture generation, that the best way to influence an established institution is from within rather than rejecting it from without.

    Certainly not every teacher fits your description.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  10. #90
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    I'd like to add that a person can learn through a teacher who is pushing his personal agendas as well.

    The system has failed us, not English teachers!
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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