The Origins of American Literature Studies: An Institutional History by Elizabeth RenkerThe Origins of American Literature Studies: An Institutional History by Elizabeth Renker

The Origins of American Literature Studies: An Institutional History

byElizabeth Renker

Paperback | June 10, 2010

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Although American literature is a standard subject in the American college curriculum, a century ago few people thought it should be taught there. Elizabeth Renker uncovers the complex historical process through which American literature overcame its image of aesthetic and historical inferiority to become an important field for academic study and research. Renker's extensive original archival research focuses on four institutions of higher education serving distinct regional, class, race and gender populations. She argues that American literature's inferior image arose from its affiliation with non-elite schools, teachers and students, and that it had to overcome this social identity in order to achieve status as serious knowledge. Renker's revisionary analysis is an important contribution to the intellectual history of the United States and will be of interest to anyone studying, teaching or researching American literature.
Title:The Origins of American Literature Studies: An Institutional HistoryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.51 inPublished:June 10, 2010Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521141990

ISBN - 13:9780521141994

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. The birth of the Ph.D.: the Johns Hopkins research model; 2. Seminary wars: female teachers and the seminary model at Mount Holyoke; 3. Higher education for African-Americans: competing models at Wilberforce University; 4. Literary value and the land-grant model: The Ohio State University; Conclusion: The end of the curriculum; Works cited; Archives consulted; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"What differentiates The Origins of American Literature Studies is its refinement of --and in some cases, challenge to--broad historical narratives, a contribution that stems from Renker's original and democratic approach...as professors of American literature continue to struggle for institutional resources, The Origins of American Literature Studies provides a nuanced and orignial history of such necessary work." --The Minnesota Review