Faculty of Arts


Interpreting Janet Frame

Please note: this is archived course information from 2012 for ENGLISH 710.


"Interpreting Janet Frame" focuses on the question of how we talk about and write about the fiction of Janet Frame. Over the course of twelve weeks we will examine four of Frame’s novels, considering the extraordinary range of interpretative possibilities afforded by these texts. We will cast a critical eye over the various critical traditions within Frame Studies: feminist, postcolonial, postmodernist, psychoanalytical and existentialist, assessing their insights and limitations.

As the course is concerned with increasing students’ self-consciousness of the acts of criticism and contextualisation, students will undertake a visual representation (be it collage, basic diagram or meaningful squiggle) of each novel and in oral presentations reflect on their own politics of inclusion and exclusion and what they privilege as readers.

This course will deal not only with the theoretical terrain covered by the existing Frame criticism under review, it will also include a component on interpretative theory, so that the process of reading and the dynamics involved in the act of criticism can be scrutinised. This will enable students to meet the challenges posed by Frame’s fiction by developing their own critical and theoretical frameworks rather than simply by picking a critical approach from an array of pre-existing options.

Availability 2012

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Dr Jan Cronin


Texts: Janet Frame, The Adaptable Man (Auckland: Random House, 2007), Janet Frame, The Edge of the Alphabet (Auckland: Random House, 2005) Janet Frame, Intensive Care (Auckland: Random House, 1995) Janet Frame, Living in the Maniototo (Auckland: Random House, 2006) Assessment: 100% coursework


ENGLISH 710: 15.0 points



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