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ERIC Number: ED355534
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Organic Literary Canon: Its Role in American English Education.
Thomas, Charles J.
The vigorous public debate over the definition and function of the literary canon has raised certain important questions for English educators. One of the chief among all questions is how the literary canon debate has affected the content of English methods courses. The word "canon" has long been associated with a static and dogmatic connotation, but a better way of conceiving of the term is to instill it with a more organic character which constantly expands to include new works. It is acceptable to open the canon to works heretofore unknown or little discussed. A recent study looked at how the canon is faring in English Education courses at 20 colleges and universities in 11 states. Results indicate that aspects of the canon continue to be discussed, and the size of the current literary canon has expanded to include more works by women, minority, and non-western writers. However, despite the broadening of the canon, both current and past versions of the notion of canon suffer from a lack of moderation. A whole array of realms of knowing should be made available that transcends mere lines of race, ethnicity or gender. Teachers should experiment with a "dialectic of freedom" which encourages individuals to read intercultural works and develop new ways of knowing and learning. Such an objective should be a key to further expansion of the canon. (HB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A