NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ828751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec-19
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Leaving Literature behind
Fleming, Bruce
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n17 pB14 Dec 2008
The major victory of professors of literature in the last half-century--the Great March from the New Criticism through structuralism, deconstruction, Foucauldianism, and multiculturalism--has been the invention and codification of a professionalized study of literature. They have made themselves into a priestly caste: To understand literature, they tell students to come to them. Yet professionalization is a pyrrhic victory: Professors have won the battle but lost the war. They have turned revelation into drudgery, shut themselves in airless rooms, and covered over the windows. The good news is that they have created a discipline: literary studies. The bad news is that they have made themselves rulers of a realm that has separated itself almost completely from the rest of the world. In the process, they have lost many of the students and even some of the professors. And yet still they teach literature as if to future versions of themselves--not that there will be many jobs for them. In this article, the author explains why the professionalization of the field is turning students off.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A