Professing Literature: An Institutional History

Overview

Widely considered the standard history of the profession of literary studies, Professing Literature unearths the long-forgotten ideas and debates that created the literature department as we know it today. In a readable and often-amusing narrative, Gerald Graff shows that the heated conflicts of our recent culture wars echo?and often recycle?controversies over how literature should be taught that began more than a century ago.

Updated with a new preface by the author that ...

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Professing Literature: An Institutional History, Twentieth Anniversary Edition

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Overview

Widely considered the standard history of the profession of literary studies, Professing Literature unearths the long-forgotten ideas and debates that created the literature department as we know it today. In a readable and often-amusing narrative, Gerald Graff shows that the heated conflicts of our recent culture wars echo—and often recycle—controversies over how literature should be taught that began more than a century ago.

Updated with a new preface by the author that addresses many of the provocative arguments raised by its initial publication, Professing Literature remains an essential history of literary pedagogy and a critical classic.

“Graff’s history. . . is a pathbreaking investigation showing how our institutions shape literary thought and proposing how they might be changed.”— The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A paper reprint of the 1987 original in which Graff humanities and Egnlish, Northwestern University traces the history of the rise and development of academic literary studies in teh US. A detailed account of the forgotten and infamous figures and the frustrations and accomplishments that have shaped American English departments, the book is also a study in literary theory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226305592
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 20
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 1,219,226
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gerald Graff is professor of English and education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has been elected to serve as the President of the Modern Language Association in 2008.

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Table of Contents


Preface Twenty Years Later
Acknowledgements

     1  Introduction: Humanist Myth

LITERATURE IN THE OLD COLLEGE: 1828-1876

     2  The Classical College
     3  Oratorical Culture and the Teaching of English
     4  The Investigators (1): The New University
     5  The Investigators (2): The Origins of Literature Departments
     6  The Generalist Opposition
     7  Crisis at the Outset: 1890-1915

SCHOLARS VERSUS CRITICS:1915-1930

     8  Scholars versus Critics: 1915-1930
     9  Groping for a Principle of Order: 1930-1950
     10 General Education and the Pedagogy of Criticism: 1930-1950

SCHOLARS VERSUS CRITICS: 1940-1965

     11 History versus Criticism: 1940-1960
     12 Modern Literature in the University: 1940-1960
     13 The Promise of American Literature Studies
     14 Rags to Riches to Routine

PROBLEMS OF THEORY: 1965-

     15 Tradition versus Theory

          Notes
          Index

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