A call for collaboration: arguments for community-oriented teaching practices in the field of literature

This thesis argues for the necessity of improved teaching practices in higher education literature courses; suggests a theoretical framework for literary study that engages readers on a personal level as well as within communities of other readers; and shares the results of an action research project undertaken by a teacher-in-training. It argues that the decline of literary studies in higher education institutions is not just a symptom of the commodification of college degrees but of shortcomings in the experience of studying literature. Innovative teaching practices that allow for students to participate in meaningful ways and which might open up new avenues of participation in the field outside of the classroom are discussed. This thesis is an exploration of the potential that literature teachers have to positively impact their students and their discipline.