The affects of not reading: Hating characters, being bored, feeling stupid

Anna Poletti, Judith Seaboyer, Rosanne Kennedy, Tully Barnett, Kate Douglas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This article brings recent debates in literary studies regarding the practice of close reading into conversation with Derek Attridge's idea of 'readerly hospitality' (2004) to diagnose the problem of students in undergraduate literary studies programme not completing set reading. We argue that the method of close reading depends on encouraging students to foster positive affective responses towards difficulty - semiotic, emotional and intellectual. Drawing on trials of teaching methods in literary studies' classrooms in four universities in Australia, we suggest that introducing students to the concept of 'readerly hospitality' - rather than assuming an appreciation of difficulty - can better prepare students for the encounters they will have in set literary texts and strengthen the effectiveness of classroom teaching.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)231-247
    Number of pages17
    JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
    Issue number2
    Early online date29 Oct 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


    • Affect
    • hospitality
    • pedagogy
    • reading
    • resilience


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