ERIC Number: ED334596
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Toward Decentralizing the Study of Literature, or Who Do We Think We Are?
Bowers, Bradley R.
As English departments face the 90s and beyond, the pressure will only rise to define and justify the role of the English professor in the academy. Three current debates suggest the indeterminate future of English departments, which now represent a multi-faceted discipline. First, the canon debate must be resolved; second, the teaching role of the old "English" department must be defined; and third, the place of theory in the "English" department must be determined. Regarding the third point, since the intrusion of both linguistic and theoretical studies threatens the historical foundations and the raison d'etre of the traditional English department, a split must be made between literary history and critical theory, perhaps on a department level. Regarding the second point, since writing is an integral and adapted skill to every discipline on campus, there is no real reason why the literature department should assume it can or should teach writing at all. Finally, the "new" canon must be allowed to separate itself from the "old" canon, and the free market of ideas concerning literature must include the entire college or university community. The free market of the real world--that is, the real academic world--should and will determine those works which are of real value. (PRA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Educational Issues; English Teachers; Literary Canon
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).