Louise Rosenblatt, Pioneer in Reading Theory and the Teaching of Literature, 100


Retired New York University Professor Louise Rosenblatt, who developed a revolutionary approach to reading and the teaching of literature with the 1938 publication of Literature as Exploration (Appleton-Century; Modern Language Association, 1995, 5th ed.), died Feb. 8 at the age of 100 in the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va.

The University of Chicago’s Wayne Booth, writing the foreword to the 5th edition of Literature as Exploration, noted, “I doubt that any other literary critic of this century has enjoyed and suffered as sharp a contrast of powerful influence and absurd neglect as Louise Rosenblatt…She has probably influenced more teachers in their ways of dealing with literature than any other critic.”

Rosenblatt’s final book, Making Meaning with Texts: Selected Essays, was published by Heinemann on Feb. 1. She also authored The Reader the Text the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work (Southern Illinois University, 1978, 1994) and had numerous articles and co-authored publications.

Rosenblatt was a professor of English education at NYU’s School of Education (now Steinhardt School of Education). Prior to her arrival at NYU in 1948, Rosenblatt was an assistant professor at Brooklyn College (1938-1948) and an instructor at Barnard College (1927-1938). At NYU, where she earned the university’s “Great Teacher Award” in 1972, she headed the doctoral program in English Education until her retirement from the university in 1972.

After her retirement from NYU, Rosenblatt was a visiting professor at Rutgers University and the University of Miami. She was also a member of faculty i 500

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