Book Review: Teaching Literature Using Dialogic Literary Argumentation

Document Type : Book Review


Urmia University


While through the concept of dialogism, Mikhail Bakhtin decenters authors from their authoritarian position in Dostoevskian polyphonic novels (pp. 67-68), the authors of this book, David Bloome, George E. Newell, Matt Seymour, and Theresa Thanos, propose dialogic teaching as an approach to displacing teachers from their authoritarian position as the sole “dispenser of an academic tradition” in English language arts classes (p. 125). As Bakhtin argues, Dostoevsky's heroes are “not only objects of authorial discourse but also subjects of their own directly signifying discourse” (p. 7). In a similar vein, in Dialogic Literary Argumentation (henceforth DLA) students are subjectively involved in their own learning process by interactive inquiry with their peers, the teacher, and the text. Comprising eight chapters along with a Foreword written by Richard Beach and an Afterword by the authors, Teaching Literature Using Dialogic Literary Argumentation introduces dialogic approach as an alternative method of teaching and learning literature in secondary schools in the U.S. Each chapter elaborates on various dynamics of this approach by examining different classroom activities.