HomeFEU English and Literature Journalvol. 3 no. 1 (2009)

The Literature Teacher: Beyond Romantic and Post-Modernist Representation

Jaime An Lim

Discipline: Literature



The paper problematizes the concept of a literature teacher. Traditional demographics fail to characterize literature teachers as a distinct group since they cross all boundaries and categories. Even the idea of a professional with a field of specialization or the practice of the teaching profession as a basis for defining the concept has limitations. Representations—whether romantic or post-modernist—are equally so. To illustrate the point, two exemplars are offered: Juan T. Gatbonton’s “Clay” and Jesus Q. Cruz’s “In These Hallowed Halls.” As a counterpoint to these representations, an account of the author’s actual literature teachers, from high school to graduate school, is offered to demonstrate their infinite variety in terms of scope of knowledge, strategies, and personality. The paper ends by proposing a more fluid concept, more attuned to our times, of a literature teacher and the process by which the teaching and the learning of literature occurs.