Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0008973, Wed, 26 Nov 2003 17:09:20 -0800

"Membership Survey: MLA Approaches to Teaching Lolita"

EDNOTE. Zoran Kuzmanovich, Editor of NABOKOV STUDIES, and Galya Diment,
Co-editor of NABOKV-L are planning a volume, commissioned by the MLA, to be
called APPROACHES TO TEACHING LOLITA, one of the most widely taught novels
in colleges and universities in America and Europe. As a part of this
project the editors are gathering information about what prospective users
of the volume would find most desirable.

Please respond by 15 January 2004. Send e-mail responses, using
corresponding question numbers, to <zokuzmanovich@davidson.edu> or mail
completed forms, using as many additional sheets as needed, to Zoran
Kuzmanovich, Department of English, Davidson College, 209 Ridge Road, Box
6977, Davidson, NC 28035-6977.

Edited by Zoran Kuzmanovich and Galya Diment

Name ________________________________ Department
School ___________________________ Phone ______________ Email


We welcome submission (in hard copy or electronic form) of supplementary
teaching materials (syllabi, handouts, assignments, examinations,
bibliographies, etc.). We will acknowledge all respondents in the published

1. Why do you teach Lolita?

2. Please describe the course(s) in which you teach Lolita. Indicate
lower- or upper-level, major or nonmajor, required or elective, department
or program, class size and format (lecture, discussion).

3. How much time do you devote to the text (number of class sessions,
length of time in days or weeks)?

4. Do you teach works by other authors--or other works by Nabokov--in
relation to Lolita? If you do, please identify them and explain the

5. Which edition of Lolita do you use and why?

6. What secondary works--theoretical, critical, reference, background--do
you assign to your students? How do you integrate them with your teaching
of the text?

7. What scholarly works would you recommend to the beginning teacher of

8. What assignments (e.g., paper, online, oral presentations) do you
require of students reading Lolita? Which have you found especially

9. What audio-visual or electronic resources have you found particularly
useful in teaching Lolita?

10. What aspects of the text do your students find most engaging about

11. What aspects do they find most troublesome? What strategies have you
devised to help students deal with these difficulties?

12. What are the most important aspects of Lolita that you would like
students to grasp?

13. Do you think a particular critical approach to teaching Lolita works
better than others you may have tried? If you do, describe it briefly and
explain how you apply it in the classroom. How do you maximize the benefits
and avoid the pitfalls of a single approach?

14. What specific concerns do you wish to see addressed in a volume on
teaching Lolita? What still needs to be done?

If you would be interested in contributing an essay for the proposed
volume, please submit a proposal/ abstract outlining your topic or approach
and indicating its pedagogical relevance to students and teachers. Please
include a current curriculum vita. Thank you.