An Empathic Response: Creating Pluralism through the Interpretation of Cross-cultural Texts
This paper presents a multi-modal approach to literature to propose an empathic yet critical reading of cross-cultural narratives from a pluralistic perspective. First, the paper defines empathy from a multi-disciplinary perspective and examines the relationship between gender, ethnicity, class and culture as well as the social construction of knowledge as it pertains to the reading and writing of cross-cultural texts. Second, the paper reviews the literature on empathy from various disciplines and its social, clinical and ethical implications. Third, the paper applies an empathic response to the reading and interpretation of cross-cultural literary narratives by expanding upon Milner and Milner's (2003) four stage approach to narrative analysis. Fourth, the paper provides a method by which literary and textual diversity as a mode of cross-cultural studies may be explored.
Keywords: Creating Pluralism, Dialogic Exchange, Literary Interpretation as Intersubjectivity, Cross-cultural Narratives, Mutuality
Dr. Jana Rivers-Norton
Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Cultural and Ethnic Studies, School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Writing and Communication, National University, Sacramento Academic Center