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Paperback Professing Literature: An Institutional History Book

ISBN: 0226306046

ISBN13: 9780226306049

Professing Literature: An Institutional History

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. 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...

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Useful for PhD Student

This book was a set text on a PhD course and it was interesting and useful, particularly for anyone who is looking to enter higher ed as a lectureer/professor.

Clear, concise, comprehensive

This detailed history of the rise of English departments in the U. S. is lucid, cogently argued, and replete with quotes from primary sources. By detailing the arguments over how (and, in the very beginning, whether) English should be taught, from the pre-English department days of the early nineteenth century into the 1960s, Graff takes the reader decade by decade through the controversies of the period, showing how theory is often mitigated by practice and how we have uncritically adopted "the habit of thinking of institutions as if they were unmediated projections of the values, methods, and ideologies of major individuals and movements." Graff would argue that though ideological debates help shape the institution, the process of institutionalization also reshapes ideologies.For the reader interested in current developments in literary theory, this should prove an invaluable sourcebook.
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