Seminar für Englische Philologie

Registration Workshop: “Basic is Fundamental” (Prof. Daniel Candel)

Registration Workshop: “Basic is Fundamental” (Prof. Daniel Candel)


Basic is fundamental: a thinking tool for humanistic interpretation based on ‘scientific facts’. Friday, August 31, 17 - 18.30

When we teach literature at secondary and undergraduate level, we often encounter a series of problems, such as the following:



  • while often alienated by the precise, but cold and scientific language of literary theory, our students lack essential tools of analysis when they try to analyze texts
  • if our students end up acquiring a model for analysis, they may impose it on the text rather than use it creatively as a thinking tool



The workshop will try to provide answers to the first problem by presenting a tool of analysis which starts from possible world theory as described in Doležel’s Heterocosmica (1998) but ends up with a more everyday model by [1] simplifying and visualizing the model, [2] translating its parts into everyday language, and [3] using schemata, which will enable students to approach texts with certain basic expectations in mind.



The second problem is handled by building a metacognitive element into the tool. Metacognition, which is typical of learning environments, helps us to observe and question our results, and therefore the tool we use. In doing that it helps students see what a specific tool can and cannot do, and allows a better because (and paradoxically) more ruthless application of models on texts.



Participants in the workshop will be invited to experiment with the tool by performing a series of tasks, among which are the analysis of works such as The Man in the Iron Mask (movie, excerpt), Donaldson and Scheffler’s The Gruffalo (children’s book, whole) and, if there is time, and as a tribute to the lately deceased Maurice Sendak, his Where the Wild Things Are (children’s book, whole).



To register for the workshop, please fill out the following form.


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