Disciplining English: Alternative Histories, Critical Perspectives / Edition 1

Disciplining English: Alternative Histories, Critical Perspectives / Edition 1

by David R. Shumway
     
 

ISBN-10: 0791453669

ISBN-13: 9780791453667

Pub. Date: 07/17/2002

Publisher: State University of New York Press

Offers historical and present-day perspectives on what English departments do, and how and why they do it.

These provocative essays explore the unwritten, often unacknowledged codes, conventions, and ideologies overseeing the evolution and current practice of English as a “discipline.” The first section of the book offers historical

Overview

Offers historical and present-day perspectives on what English departments do, and how and why they do it.

These provocative essays explore the unwritten, often unacknowledged codes, conventions, and ideologies overseeing the evolution and current practice of English as a “discipline.” The first section of the book offers historical perspectives: how “composition” became distinguished from “literature,” how key intellectuals shaped the discipline, and how various specialties—Renaissance literature, American literature, “theory”—became subfields. The second section focuses on how certain aesthetic categories of art and universal experience persist today in the actual teaching and writing of “English.” While it is fashionable to say that we are living in the age of poststructuralism, or that literary theory has delivered us from idealized conceptions of authorship and inherent meaning, these essays examine how these conceptions nevertheless remain and are transmitted: in different types of classroom settings, in textbooks, and in the self-fashioning of academic careers. At a time when the role and function of English departments have become matters of both academic and public debate, this book will be a welcome resource for students, professionals, and anyone interested in the Culture Wars of the past two decades.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780791453667
Publisher:
State University of New York Press
Publication date:
07/17/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
237
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction by David R. Shumway and Craig Dionne

PART I. EPISODES IN THE HISTORY OF ENGLISH

1. Child's Ballads: Narrating Histories of Composition and Literary Studies
Patricia Harkin

2. Institutionalizing English: Rhetoric on the Boundaries
David R. Russell

3. A Short History of a Border War: Social Science, School Reform, and the Study of Literature
Elizabeth A. Wilson

4. Period Making and the Discipline: A Genealogy of the Idea of the Renaissance in ELH
Craig Dionne

5. Emerson and the Shape of American Literature
David R. Shumway

6. The Posttheory Generation
Jeffrey J. Williams

PART II. THE CURRENT ARRANGEMENTS

7. Composing Literary Studies in Graduate Courses
John Schilb

8. Inventing Gender: Creative Writing and Critical Agency
Molly Hite

9. Profiting Pedants: Symbolic Capital, Text Editing, and Cultural Reproduction
Laurie A. Finke and Martin B. Shichtman

10. A New Kind of Work: Publishing, Theory, and Cultural Studies
Ronald Schleifer

11. What Hath English Wrought: The Corporate University's Fast Food Discipline
Cary Nelson

Afterword by Richard Ohmann

Contributors

Index

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