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ERIC Number: ED376483
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Nov-18
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Into the Mainstream without Drowning.
Bank, Stanley
New fields of English study are developing their own canons, their own majors, and their own departments: Black studies, Caribbean studies, women's studies. Yes, all scholars in English read Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Zora Neale Hurston, and Derek Walcott, but do they read them alike? Are the places of these works in the literary tradition the same for all readers? Indeed, Hurston has a place in three canons, American, African-American, and Feminist. What these developments suggest is that scholars will need more breadth in their understanding of "the" literary canon. However, a course taught at CUNY/Lehman College to minority high school seniors raises issues that put this problem of a literary canon on hold. The course was supposed to give the students practice in independent reading of full-length literary texts; to give them experience of reading some of the works their college classmates had read (or were supposed to have read). Issues of what texts to include in this course and which ones not to became moot, however, because the students seemed to have no appreciation of literature as art, as a way of knowing the world, as a mirror, not held up to nature only but to oneself also. Even at the end of the course, most of the students saw literature as a bunch of books and plays they were supposed to know about for reasons beyond their comprehension. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A