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Canons and Contexts
by Paul Lauter
ISBN 0195068327 / 9780195068320 / 0-19-506832-7
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
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This collection of essays places issues central to literary study, particularly the question of the canon, in the context of institutional practices in American colleges and universities. Lauter addresses such crucial concerns as what students should read and study, how standards of "quality" are defined and changed, the limits of theoretical discourse, and the ways race, gender, and class shape not only teaching, curricula, and research priorities, but collegiate personnel actions as well. The book examines critically the variety of recent proposals for "reforming" higher education, and it calls into question many practices, like employing large numbers of part-timers, now popular with college managers. Offering concrete examples of a "comparative" method for teaching literary texts, and specific instances about "integrating" curricula, Canons and Contexts proposes realistic ideas for creating varied, spirited, and democratic classrooms and colleges. [via]