Overview

Controversy over what role “the great books” should play in college curricula and questions about who defines “the literary canon” are at the forefront of debates in higher education. The Politics of Liberal Education enters this discussion with a sophisticated defense of educational reform in response to attacks by academic traditionalists. The authors here—themselves distinguished scholars and educators—share the belief that American schools, colleges, and universities can do a far better job of educating the ...
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The Politics of Liberal Education

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Overview

Controversy over what role “the great books” should play in college curricula and questions about who defines “the literary canon” are at the forefront of debates in higher education. The Politics of Liberal Education enters this discussion with a sophisticated defense of educational reform in response to attacks by academic traditionalists. The authors here—themselves distinguished scholars and educators—share the belief that American schools, colleges, and universities can do a far better job of educating the nation’s increasingly diverse population and that the liberal arts must play a central role in providing students with the resources they need to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
Within this area of consensus, however, the contributors display a wide range of approaches, illuminating the issues from the perspectives of their particular disciplines—classics, education, English, history, and philosophy, among others—and their individual experiences as teachers. Among the topics they discuss are canon-formation in the ancient world, the idea of a “common culture,” and the educational implications of such social movements as feminism, technological changes including computers and television, and intellectual developments such as “theory.” Readers interested in the controversies over American education will find this volume an informed alternative to sensationalized treatments of these issues.

Contributors. Stanley Fish, Phyllis Franklin, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Henry A. Giroux, Darryl J. Gless, Gerald Graff, Barbara Herrnstein Smith, George A. Kennedy, Bruce Kuklick, Richard A. Lanham, Elizabeth Kamarck Minnich, Alexander Nehamas, Mary Louise Pratt, Richard Rorty, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Responding to attacks on contemporary humanities teaching by government officials, journalists, and academic traditionalists, the authors, a distinguished group of scholars and teachers, argue that educational methods cannot remain the same while social, technological, and intellectual conditions change significantly. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822381747
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 11/25/1991
  • Series: Post-Contemporary Interventions
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 546 KB

Table of Contents


Contents

Acknowledgments


Introduction: The Public, the Press, and the Professors


Humanities for the Future: Reflections on the Western Culture Debate at Stanford


PRATT
MARY LOUISE




The Extraordinary Convergence: Democracy, Technology, Theory, and the University Curriculum


LANHAM
RICHARD A.




Teach the Conflicts


GRAFF
GERALD




Cult-Lit: Hirsch, Literacy, and the “National Culture”


SMITH
BARBARA HERRNSTEIN




The Master's Pieces: On Canon Formation and the African-American Tradition


GATES, JR.
HENRY LOUIS




Liberal Arts Education and the Struggle for Public Life: Dreaming about Democracy


GIROUX
HENRY A.




Pedagogy in the Context of an Antihomophobic Project


SEDGWICK
EVE KOSOFSKY




Serious Watching


NEHAMAS
ALEXANDER




From Ivory Tower to Tower of Babel?


MINNICH
ELIZABETH KAMARCK




The Emergence of the Humanities


KUKLICK
BRUCE




The Academy and the Public


FRANKLIN
PHYLLIS




Classics and Canons


KENNEDY
GEORGE A.




Two Cheers for the Cultural Left


RORTY
RICHARD




The Common Touch, or, One Size Fits All


FISH
STANLEY




Against Nostalgia: Reflections on Our Present Discontents in American Higher Education


OAKLEY
FRANCIS




Notes on Contributors


Index

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