Culturally Responsive Reading
Teaching Literature for Social Justice
Teachers College Press
Help students to explore the intertextuality of literature and to think more deeply and compassionately about the world. This book shows high school teachers and college instructors how to foreground a work’s cultural context, recognizing that every culture has its own narrative tradition of oral and written classics that inform its literature. The author introduces readers to the LIST Paradigm, a guided approach to culturally responsive reading that encourages readers to access and analyze a text by asking significant questions designed to foster close, critical reading. By combining aspects of both literary analysis (exploring the elements of fiction such as plot, setting, and character) and literary criticism (exploring works from multiple perspectives such as historical, psychological, and archetypal), the LIST Paradigm helps educators “unlock” literature with four keys to culture: Language, Identity, Space, and Time. In Culturally Responsive Reading, Washington exposes cultural myths, reveals racist and culturally biased language, dismantles stereotypes, and prevents the egregious misreading of works written by people of color.
- Describes a unique approach to culturally responsive reading, including specific teaching strategies and rich classroom examples.
- Explores numerous texts by writers of color that are rarely included as required reading in literature courses.
- Provides examples and illustrations of innovative ways to incorporate multicultural texts into an introductory literature course.
- Incorporates epigraphs and questions that highlight each component of the LIST approach.
- Includes a critical essay that guides teachers through the process of teaching a complex postmodern novel (Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao).
Durthy A. Washington is a writer, seminar leader, former English professor, and founder of LitUnlocked©, which offers workshops and seminars dedicated to the art of mindful culturally responsive reading.