Skip to main content

Cultural Capital

The Problem of Literary Canon Formation

Cultural Capital

The Problem of Literary Canon Formation

John Guillory challenges the most fundamental premises of the canon debate by resituating the problem of canon formation in an entirely new theoretical framework. The result is a book that promises to recast not only the debate about the literary curriculum but also the controversy over "multiculturalism" and the current "crisis of the humanities." Employing concepts drawn from Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology, Guillory argues that canon formation must be understood less as a question of the representation of social groups than as a question of the distribution of "cultural capital" in the schools, which regulate access to literacy, to the practices of reading and writing.

408 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1993

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

Table of Contents

Pt. 1: Critique
1: Canonical and Noncanonical: The Current Debate
Pt. 2: Case Studies
2: Mute Inglorious Miltons: Gray, Wordsworth, and the Vernacular Canon
3: Ideology and Canonical Form: The New Critical Canon
4: Literature after Theory: The Lesson of Paul de Man
Pt. 3: Aesthetics
5: The Discourse of Value: From Adam Smith to Barbara Herrnstein Smith


American Comparative Literature Association: Rene Wellek Prize

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press