By Carol Atherton
Outlining the controversies that experience surrounded the educational self-discipline of English Literature given that its institutionalization within the overdue 19th century, this crucial booklet attracts on a number archival assets. It addresses concerns which are primary to the id of educational English - how the topic got here into lifestyles, and what makes it a consultant self-discipline of information - in a fashion that illuminates the various crises that experience affected the advance of recent English experiences. Atherton additionally addresses modern arguments in regards to the instructing of literary feedback, together with an exam of the reforms to A-Level literature.
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Additional resources for Defining Literary Criticism: Scholarship, Authority and the Possession of Literary Knowledge, 1880–2002
This course consisted of two parts: English language and literature from Anglo-Saxon to the present; and English language and literature from Anglo-Saxon to the Middle English period, along with Anglo-French or Icelandic, and Gothic. Only two papers dealt with authors after 1500, and one of these was exclusively on Shakespeare. The evolution of English at both universities can be seen in terms of a gradual movement away from these philological beginnings. However, English developed along markedly different lines at each university, in response to localised cultural and academic factors and the work of those responsible for the subject and its teaching.
The new universities, then, appear to have been the home of a version of literary study that emphasised factual knowledge rather than the process of judgement and analysis implied by the activity of ‘literary 36 Institutions criticism’. As a result, the role they played in the development of academic English needs careful assessment. They undoubtedly helped to raise the profile of English literature as an area of study and educated future generations of teachers (a role which, as we shall see, was given much emphasis by John Churton Collins in his campaign on behalf of English at Oxford).
However, their contribution to the development of literary criticism seems to have been much smaller. At the new institutions, criticism appears to have been neither explicitly theorised nor particularly welcomed. Oxford and Cambridge: The development of criticism Unlike London and the regional institutions, Oxford has played a central role in accounts of ‘the rise of English’. It is easy to see why this is the case. For one thing, its story has the attraction of controversy, in the form of the lengthy battle against the university authorities that was led by the lecturer and critic John Churton Collins.