I wanted to articulate the value I place with regard to Wessling’s approach in “Thematic teaching” (23), because this way of teaching assists students in finding meaning in text. She states that thematic teaching is designing reading experiences that would allow texts to talk to each other…ie, gathering a variety of texts that extend on main idea in similar ways. I took a class at UM-Dearborn called “Monsters, Women, and the Gothic” which assigned the following texts (if my memory can serve me well, today)

Northanger Abbey-Austen
Zafloya or the Moor-Dacre
A Sicilian Romance-Radcliffe
The Yellow Wall Paper-Gilman
Dracula-Stoker
Frankenstein-Shelley
The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids-Melville
Carrie-King….a few more that I cannot remember as of yet.

The above text were all a part of the thematic fluidity of the class I mention above, but they were also very much relational to the fact that I am a woman. I did quite well in this class. I thoroughly enjoyed ALL of the texts that the instructor assigned, as well as the secondary readings that were included that were meant to supplement our readings. Even though this can be taken as a biased way of approaching the viewpoint discussed here, my instructor served us well, men and women. We all left this class with the ability to understand how texts relate intertextually, and were able to apply this by organizing and writing literature reviews that demanded a metacognitive awareness that we may not have had prior to this experience. The texts were designed to supplement the class’ theme, but more significantly, to allow us as readers and writers to engage in the themes over a period of time in different ways, and with various tools. After completing this class, I understood the value of Gothic literature and the social ambiguities it raises, politically and personally. This is what I believe Wessling is arguing.

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