Canons by Consensus: Critical Trends and American Literature Anthologies

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Overview

The first systematic analysis of American literature textbooks used by college instructors in the last century.

"This is a landmark resource. . . . Professor Csicsila's most important achievement is to clarify the ways in which the canon of the first part of the 20th century has remained largely intact, still central to the visions of Americanists as a new century begins."—George Perkins, editor of The American Tradition in Literature

"Csicsila's excellent study astutely discerns the shifting paradigms in nearly a century of college classroom texts, in the process overturning many notions about the supposed biases of literary anthology editors.  Canons by Consensus reveals how a teaching tool long taken for granted can serve as an invaluable index to academic movements and fads."—Alan Gribben, author of Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction

"[This] is an innovative piece of scholarship—provocative by implication, lucid in presentation, steady in judgment. What the author has done is to methodically drill test bores through strata of representations of American literature. . . . No one in the future ought to be able to make overarching claims about the American literary canon without first checking here the facts of the cases in question."—from the Foreword by Tom Quirk

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a landmark resource. . . . Professor Csicsila's most important achievement is to clarify the ways in which the canon of the first part of the 20th century has remained largely intact, still central to the visions of Americanists as a new century begins."—George Perkins, editor of The American Tradition in Literature

"Csicsila's excellent study astutely discerns the shifting paradigms in nearly a century of college classroom texts, in the process overturning many notions about the supposed biases of literary anthology editors.  Canons by Consensus reveals how a teaching tool long taken for granted can serve as an invaluable index to academic movements and fads."—Alan Gribben, author of Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817313975
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Series: Amer Lit Realism & Naturalism Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Csicsila is Assistant Professor of English at Eastern Michigan University where he was recognized with the 2002 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. Tom Quirk is Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the author of Nothing Abstract: Investigations in the American Literary Imagination.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
1 The historical context
2 Early- and mid-nineteenth-century prose : Irving, Cooper, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville
3 Nineteenth-century poetry : Whitman, Dickinson, Alice Cary, Phoebe Cary, Larcom, Thaxter, Lanier, Tabb
4 Post Civil War prose : Twain, Harte, Howells, James
5 Latter-nineteenth-century prose : Stowe, Jewett, Freeman, Chopin
6 The African American heritage : Equiano, Jacobs, Douglass, Dunbar, Chesnutt, Harper
7 Early-twentieth-century women writers : Wharton, Cather, Glasgow
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