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Professing Literature

An Institutional History, Twentieth Anniversary Edition

With a new Preface by the Author

Professing Literature

An Institutional History, Twentieth Anniversary Edition

With a new Preface by the Author
Widely considered the standard history of the profession of literary studies, Professing Literature unearths the long-forgotten ideas and debates that created the literature department as we know it today. In a readable and often-amusing narrative, Gerald Graff shows that the heated conflicts of our recent culture wars echo—and often recycle—controversies over how literature should be taught that began more than a century ago.

Updated with a new preface by the author that addresses many of the provocative arguments raised by its initial publication, Professing Literature remains an essential history of literary pedagogy and a critical classic.

“Graff’s history. . . is a pathbreaking investigation showing how our institutions shape literary thought and proposing how they might be changed.”— The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism

340 pages | 5 3/4 x 9 | © 1987, 2007

Education: Higher Education

Literature and Literary Criticism: General Criticism and Critical Theory

Table of Contents

Preface Twenty Years Later
Acknowledgements

     1  Introduction: Humanist Myth

LITERATURE IN THE OLD COLLEGE: 1828-1876

     2  The Classical College
     3  Oratorical Culture and the Teaching of English
     4  The Investigators (1): The New University
     5  The Investigators (2): The Origins of Literature Departments
     6  The Generalist Opposition
     7  Crisis at the Outset: 1890-1915

SCHOLARS VERSUS CRITICS:1915-1930

     8  Scholars versus Critics: 1915-1930
     9  Groping for a Principle of Order: 1930-1950
     10 General Education and the Pedagogy of Criticism: 1930-1950

SCHOLARS VERSUS CRITICS: 1940-1965

     11 History versus Criticism: 1940-1960
     12 Modern Literature in the University: 1940-1960
     13 The Promise of American Literature Studies
     14 Rags to Riches to Routine

PROBLEMS OF THEORY: 1965-

     15 Tradition versus Theory

          Notes
          Index

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