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Social Responsibility and the Reader

By Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

OneWorldIf you ask me what I came to do in the world, I, an artist, will answer you: I came here to live out loud. — Emile Zola

Kathy Short’s June WOW Currents posts broached the issue of the social responsibility of the reviewer. I should have responded then, but waited because that posting had me thinking about Rosenblatt’s theory of transaction and the relationship between the reader and the author’s text. Searching the Internet, I found a Wikipedia entry on social responsibility along with One World, One Earth: Educating Children for Social Responsibility by Merryl Hammond and Rob Collins. After more thought, I am beginning to wonder, what is the connection to reading and social responsibility, especially if and when we find ourselves “outsiders” to the culture highlighted in the text?
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A Language for the Literature

By Holly Johnson, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

BreakingBoundariesI am on a hunt. I am searching for the variety of ways international literature might be conceptualized by teacher educators, teachers, and teacher candidates. I am also interested in the ways in which they might address and differentiate between international and multicultural literature as well as how they perceive various other terms that might be used for literature that, well, transcends its native borders. I became interested in such a venture because it seemed as though as much as I discussed what I suggested was the difference between, say, “international” and “multicultural” literature, the terms and their nuances seldom transferred to my students. Was I not trying hard enough? Was I being too esoteric? Needless to say, I found the phenomenon intriguing, and so thought I would broach the topic via WOW Currents.
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