University of Toronto

Graduate Department of English

ENG9900: Professing Literature


Bibliography by Topic

1) On-Line Resources through the University of Toronto Library

.2) MLA Series Publications

3) History of English Studies

4) General Pedagogy

5) General Pedagogy and Literature

6) Historical Materials; Historical Approaches

7) Teaching particular genres/thematic fields

8) Teaching national/regional/geographic literatures

9) Pedagogy and Cultural Diversity

10) Pedagogy and Gender

11) Theory in the Classroom

12) Reconfigurations of the Discipline

13) English and Cultural Studies

14) Inter- and Cross-Disciplinary Teaching of English

15) Teaching and Technology

1) On-Line Resources through the University of Toronto Library (top)

Chronicle of Higher Education

College English

College English offers papers on pedagogical applications, reviews of scholarly works, and responses by authors to reviewer’s essays. As an example of a scholarly review, Libby Miles’ "Disturbing practices: Toward institutional change in composition scholarship and pedagogy" (July 2000) discusses George Hillocks Jr.’s Ways of Thinking, Ways of Teaching, Tom Fox’s Defending Access: A Critique of Standards in Higher Education, and a collection of essays edited by Xin Liu Gale and Frederic G. Gale called (Re)Visioning Composition Textbooks: Conflicts of Culture, Ideology, and Pedagogy. Miles provides an excellent review of all three books and, in the process, locates general difficulties in accepted pedagogical and scholarly practices (and reveals her own theories of teaching in relation to the works she reviews). More importantly, what Miles does, and what many of the essay reviews in the journal do, is provide an insightful overview of books which could be easily overlooked, and by doing so, raises my interest in the books discussed so that I might actually go searching for the real thing. But what I like most of all are the various "Comments and Response" articles featured in the journal, in which scholars interpret and comment on another scholar’s works, ideas, and methodologies. The one who is commented upon is given the chance for rebuttal or clarification. It is a fascinating interplay of argumentation and difference which provides insight to various methodologies and ideologies that drive and motivate academics as they justify the approaches that they adopt. For instance, the January 2000 journal has Cheryl Glenn responding to another scholar’s review of her feminist post-modern historiographical approach, in which her response ultimately becomes a rather passionate defence of historiography as an expansive rather than reductive mode of questioning. Overall, the journal is a worthwhile academic resource for noting various current or enduring questions about pedagogy, methodology application, and academic movements. WYL

College Literature

2) MLA Series Publications (top)

Approaches to Teaching

ADE Bulletin (Association of Departments of English)

Profession

History of English Studies (top)

Applebee, Arthur N. Tradition and Reform in the Teaching of English: A History. Urbana, Ill.: National Council of Teachers of English, 1974.

Baldick, Chris. The Social Mission of English Criticism. London: Oxford UP, 1983.

Court, Franklin E. "The Social and Historical Significance of the First English Literature Professor in England." PMLA 103 (1988): 796-807.

Eagleton, Terry. "The Rise of English." Literary Theory: An Introduction. Oxford, Blackwell, 1983.

In lucid prose, Eagleton presents his own perspective on the evolution of the concept of English Literature from the Romantics to the American New Critics. The approach is political, historical and theoretical at once, in the style of British Cultural Studies. Critique of some literary figures occasionally verges on caricature. Perspective on the role of English Literature with respect to religion (as in Arnold) and on the influence of F. R. Leavis in the rise of English as a University (Oxford and Cambridge) subject in the 20th century. BW

Noting the constant tension and/or affiliation between literature and ideology, Eagleton links his historical survey of the emergence and development of literary studies with a history of aesthetic, theoretical, and social approaches to literature from the eighteenth century to the 'Leavis debate' and New Criticism. A useful introductory history of the emergence of 'English literature' as a profession, the chapter traces many of the professional and pedagogical difficulties still facing us to their original ideological sources. IM

An historical survey which examines the pros and cons of using literature as an ideological tool; it advocates the implementation of "pluralistic thought" as a necessary component in the teaching of literature, while conceding that any organised outlook will be an ideology of a kind. A good introduction to the study of the "creation of the canon" and the construction of "Englishness," seen as aspects of the deliberate solidifying of the notion of national history and its relevance for English literature. The pedagogical pertinence of this article is extensive yet implicit; it may provide the beginning of an answer to the questions: "what is literature and why do we bother with it?" T.C.

Graff, Gerald. Professing Literature: An Institutional History. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1987.

This is a formidable and accomplished history of literary studies in the United States from 1828 into the 1980s. Graff is concerned not only with theoretical disputes, "but also with what has happened to those practices once they have become institutionalized in modern universities"--or, as he more vividly puts it, he is interested not only in what "goes in," but in what "comes out"(5). Individual chapters treat debates about the respective merits of generalisation and specialisation, about theory in the classroom, and about the sometimes conflicting claims placed on professors by the demands of criticism as opposed to scholarship. Graff identifies cycles of "routinization" in the history of professing in the modern university, and finishes by making a tentative gesture towards a new conception of literary studies that would require the participation "of dissenters, traditionalists and radicals alike" in an attempt to explore the issue of "‘how we situate ourselves’ in reference to literary texts"(262). AW

Graff, Gerald and Michael Warner, eds. The Origins of Literary Studies in America: A Documentary Anthology. New York: Routledge, 1989.

Leavis, F.R. English Literature in Our Time and The University. The Clark Lectures, 1967. London: Chatto and Windus, 1969.

Written primarily as a response to an article which praised the concept of the Open University and the practicality (and implicit superiority) of scientific study over the study of humanities, Leavis's introduction constitutes a thoughtful defence of the value of the study of English literature in university. Leavis's argument is centred around the supposition that it is only through the teaching of literature in a university system that demands excellence from students and professors that one can "restore" to the country (England) an intelligent, conscientious public; the university is the nucleus of the greater public and "the spiritual community which the country needs as its mind and conscience" (30). Despite its patriotic rhetoric and focus on Oxford and Cambridge as the only institutions through which this ideal can be realized, Leavis's introduction serves not only as a useful indicator of a particular school of pedagogical approach, but also as a provocative examination of the potential social, political, and artistic responsibilities of professors and universities as a whole. I.M.

A distinguished critic introduces a collection of lectures by defending the role of literary criticism to restore to England an "educated public that shall be intelligent, conscious of its responsibilities ... and might effect decisively the intellectual and spiritual climate in which statesmen and politicians form their ideas, plan and platform." He argues against the Americanization of English studies (defined by the overproduction of underqualified students who rely too heavily upon faculty), and argues for the autonomous scholar who can chart the values and concerns of a vital living society through its literary productions. DS

Murray, Heather. Working in English: History, Institution, Resources. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1996.

Heather Murray examines English Studies in "a history that includes both disciplinary developments and their cultural context." She divides her book in three sections: a History section which offers three analyses of the formation of English Studies in Canada, an Institution section which offers a study of six common practices in the discipline, and a Resources section which offers an annotated guide to material pertaining to English Studies' formative years (200 print sources) and a hand-list of 370 items intended to encourage further research in the area. She addresses such issues as the gender structuration of English, close reading, the cannon and the curriculum, the gender structures of classrooms, classroom dynamics, the operation of seminar groups, the rhetorical and conventional limitations of academic debate, and the status of women in higher education. Working in English is an interesting book to read if one wishes to acquire some knowledge about English Studies in Canada and pursue further research in the area (Murray's comprehensive bibliography is very helpful). KKB

A book on the "practice of theory." Includes an extensive annotated bibliography of materials pertaining to the study and teaching of English language and literature in Canada. Chapters 5-9 are particularly useful for the initial considerations of gender and the composition of the English classroom, and the puzzling statistics of "equitable hiring practices" in the academy; they also establish the necessary link between scholarship and pedagogy by raising theoretical dilemmas and the ways in which their possible resolution would impact the classroom. T.C.

Palmer, D.J. The Rise of English Studies. London; Oxford UP, 1965.

Rajan, Rajeswari Sunder. The Lie of the Land: English Literary Studies in India. Delhi; New York; Oxford UP, 1992.

Saunders, J.W. The Profession of English Letters. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964.

Steele, Tom. The Emergence of Cultural Studies: 1945-65: Cultural Politics, Adult Education and the English Question. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1997.

Historical account of the evolution of British Cultural Studies, supposedly from 1945 to 1965 but including the formation of mass "working-class" culture in the late 19th century and the growth of the Workers Education Association in the early 20th century as historical context. Steele shows how what we now call "cultural studies" originated not as a spin-off from the study of English literature but from the study of the symbolic patterns of popular culture in adult-education classes taught in working class environments. Focus is on Raymond Williams, E. P. Thompson and Richard Hoggart. Steele writes like a sociologist; this is a turn-off to students of English. 20th century British political history is also foreign territory and not immediately intriguing from the Canadian perspective. The book is resolutely historical rather than the combination of history and theory that might have made it more appealing to the advanced student of English interested in Cultural Studies. BW

Tilson, Alistair. "Who Now Reads Spalding?" English Studies in Canada 17. 4 (1991): 469-481.

Takes William Spalding’s A History of English Literature as a starting point for an investigation into the teaching of English literature in Canada, the text having been used in Canadian universities in 1860. Concludes that the history is historically important for many nineteenth-century Canadian students, and suggests that the nineteenth-century critic who expresses most clearly and memorably the cultural and historical assumptions informing Spalding’s work is probably Taine. This article seems pretty basic and tepid in its assertions and approach, though it concludes that Spalding typified the nineteenth-century academic approach to literature as "a difficult objective body of knowledge" rather than as "aesthetic experience" (477). KJ

Winterwowd, W. Ross. The English Department: A Personal and Institutional History. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1998.

General Pedagogy (top)

Barnes, Louis B. C. Roland Christensen, and Abby J. Hansen. Teaching and the Case Method: Text, Cases, And Readings. Harvard Business School, 1994.

Brookfield, Stephen D. Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1995.

Christensen, Norman L. "The Nuts and Bolts of Running a Lecture Course." The Academic's Handbook. Ed. A. Leigh DeNeef and Craufurd D. Goodwin. Durham: Duke UP, 1995: 179-186.

This is a very distilled (almost point form) discussion of how to run an introductory lecture course. The points are sometimes obvious ("Know your stuff, but be willing to admit when you do not" [182]) but worth emphasizing. The student comments about his various techniques are helpful {"if I had wanted a comedian I would have hired one" [183]). This article is a good read for those who want some concrete pointers about teaching undergrads. SH

Christensen, C Roland, David A. Garvin and Ann Sweet. Education for Judgment: The Artistry of Discussion Leadership. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Business School, 1991.

Ericksen, Stanford. The Essence of Good Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1984.

Freire, Paolo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Tr. Myra B. Ramos. New York: Seabury, 1974.

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethic, Democracy, and Civic Courage. Trans. Patrick Clark. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998.

Giroux, Henry A. "Education in Unsettling Times: Public Intellectuals and the Promise of Cultural Studies." Power/Knowledge/Pedagogy: The Meaning of Democratic Education in Unsettling Times. Dennis Carlson and Michael W. Apple, eds. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1998: 41-60.

Graff, Gerald "Advocacy in the Classroom--Or the Curriculum? A Response." In Advocacy in the Classroom: Problems and Possibilities. Ed. Patricia Meyer Spacks. New York: St. Mortin's Press, 1996. 425-31.

Kernan, Alvin B. In Plato's Cave. New Haven: Yale UP, 1999.

Hauerwas, Stanley M. "The Morality of Teaching." The Academic's Handbook. Ed. A. Leigh DeNeef and Craufurd D. Goodwin. Durham: Duke UP, 1995: 29-37.

A brief discussion of the moral responsibilities of a professor both in and out of the classroom. Hauerwas advocates a return to professor as widely based "intellectual" (wise) and not the narrowly defined "professional academic" (smart) as it has come to be used in recent years. This is an excellent first-stop article for those interested in becoming a university teacher. SH

Lowman, Joseph. Mastering the Techniques of Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1995.

Joseph Lowman's book is designed to provide college teachers with skills for presenting intellectually exciting lectures, leading engaging discussions, and motivating students for independent learning. Lowman's teaching instructions are based on the assumptions that the classroom is a dramatic, intellectual, and human arena, that the instructor is a skilled artist, and that teaching and learning are exciting and emotional human processes. Lowman examines speaking skills, classroom dynamics, lecturing, managing and leading discussions, planning courses, evaluating students, reading, writing, and class meetings. The instructions are based on Lowman's thirteen years of experience as a teacher and on elements he gathered from interviews with twenty-five excellent college professors. KKB

McKeachie, Wilbert J. Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1994 [republished by Houghton Mifflin, 1999]

Palmer, Parker J. The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1998.

Ramsden, Paul. Learning to Teach in Higher Education. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Sacks, Peter. Generation X Goes to College: An Eye-Opening Account of Teaching in Postmodern America. Chicago: Open Court, 1996.

Schoenfeld, A. Clay and Robert Magnan. Mentor in a Manual: Climbing the Academic Ladder to Tenure. Madison, WI: Magna Publications, 1994.

Scott, Anne Firor. "Why I Teach by Discussion." The Academic's Handbook. Ed. A. Leigh DeNeef and Craufurd D. Goodwin. Durham: Duke UP, 1995: 187-191.

This is a much too short article about teaching by discussion. It is a little one-sided as she does not believe in "coverage." She dismisses the teaching of background material in one paragraph: "All of the psychological evidence I have seen suggests that this kind of learning is lost in a few weeks or months and is almost all gone within a year. So, of what use is it to the developing mind?" (190). I strongly disagree with her on this point. In order to have a valid opinion, one must read and know how to critique the opinions of others. In order to do this, students need (and I have found want) concrete touchstones as guides along the way. How one discusses is just as important as the discussion itself. SH

General Pedagogy and Literature (top)

Adams, Hazard. Antithetical Essays in Literary Criticism and Liberal Education. Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1989.

Armstrong, Isobel. "Textual Harassment: The Ideology of Close Reading, or How Close is Close?" Textual Practice 9(3) 1995: 401-420.

This is very complex argument with a very simple premise: the "task of a new definition of close reading is to rethink the power of affect, feeling and emotion in a cognitive space" (403). To reinforce the argument, Armstrong defends "Tintern Abbey" against those who would call it a muddled example of "emotional, mystified bad faith" (412). The article concludes that a "more expanded notion of what thinking is would enable one to accept that a "narcissistic" moment of identification may be an essential response to texts and a prerequisite of critical reading" (418). Hear! Hear! SH

Pro-affect critique of the insistence on the thought-feeling dichotomy in the reading/study/teaching of literature. An argument which reveals the paradox of the New Critical approach to the text: a "closeness" which rests on the notion of the text as something which is always locked on the outside, as a distance rather than closeness. Useful in that it reminds us that reading (close or distant) is not undertaken in order to solve the problem of communication by offering the "perfect" answer. T.C.

Belsey, Catherine. Critical Practice. London and New York: Methuen, 1980.

--. "A Space in the Syllabus?" Literature, Teaching, Politics 1 (1982): 58-65.

---. "Towards Cultural History." In A Postmodern Reader. Ed. Joseph Natoli and Linda Hutcheon. New York: SUNY P, 1993. 551-567.

Bizzell, Patricia. Academic Discourse and Critical Consciousness. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh, 1992.

Bleich, David. Subjective Criticism. Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 1978.

The introduction argues that teaching of literature is important because literature--no longer the church--contains our society's belief systems. Bleich urges teachers to make conscious the connection between "having thoughts and feelings and writing them down." Chapter One provides an interesting though sometimes overly simplistic view of the development of reader-response criticism which Bleich presents in terms of a paradigm shift from objective enlightenment style scientism to a new kind of science that takes human psychology into account. In Chapter Three he focuses on language acquisition and development--useful for understanding concepts widely used in semiotics. All the chapters are worth reading. Seven, for example, takes on the issue of literary taste. Twenty-years after its first publication this book challenges literary types (like us) to take stock of what changes have indeed taken place in the teaching of English, why and why not. JS

Bogdan, Deanne. Re-educating the Imagination. Toronto: Irwin, 1992.

Booth, Wayne. The Vocation of a Teacher: Rhetorical Occasions, 1967-1988. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1988.

In his introduction, Booth asserts that in the following collection of his speeches, he will attempt to answer the questions, "What is the profession of English teaching?" and "Where are we and where should we go from here?" (xiii). Following this hopeful introduction of topical concerns, he proceeds to discuss the importance of rhetoric. This discussion evolves into a presentation of rhetoric as necessary for the defence and teaching of English. Booth never fully delineates his concerns or arguments in his introduction, nor does he highlight the primary intention of his text. A glance at the structure of the book into "occasions" suggests that no substantial and consistent argument will be offered. Booth's text is comprised of speeches given between 1967 and 1988. While he admits that his stance on many questions has changed over the years, Booth asserts the value of presenting these conflicting speeches as they were originally given, obviously considering them as valuable historical artifacts. As a result, the text lacks coherence or consistency, and constitutes little more than subjective ramblings. IM

Eble, Kenneth. The Aims of College Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1983.

---. The Craft of Teaching: A Guide to Mastering the Professor's Art. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1977, 1988.

Evans, Colin. "Power and Authority in Staff-Student Relations." Developing University English Teaching. Ed. Colin Evans. Lampeter: Edwin Mellen P, 1995. 69-89.

An analysis of four types of "power" (personal, instrumental, projected, official) which operate in teacher-student interactions. Evans distinguishes between a lecturer's 'authority' (figurative role) and "power" (pedagogical success) and then seeks ways in which a lecturer can empower his or her students in the classroom. This may involve tempering one's display of knowledge and persuasion (lessening a student's "legitimized dependency") in order that a forum might be created where students feel more comfortable drawing upon their own personal experiences, asserting intellectual autonomy, and engaging in freedom of expression. DS

Fetterley, Judith. "Symposium: English 1999--Dreaming the Future of English." College English 6 (July 1999): 702-711.

From-the-horses-mouth discussion of a radical plan to restructure the PhD program at SUNY Albany as a Doctor of Arts in Writing, Teaching and Criticism, motivated by a desire to address the lowering of English in status with respect to the academy at large, to politicize students as they become teachers, to elevate teaching to the status of research, and to change the way we read by conceiving of texts from the writer's perspective. Refers to Scholes' book The Rise and Fall of English. Allusions to unnamed institutional resistances which have so far prevented the plan's complete implementation. BW

Fetterley argues the importance of pedagogy in the graduate curriculum. In addition to her suggestion that pedagogy be mandatory for all graduate students, Fetterley offers the more radical recommendation that discussion about teaching strategy should enter into all graduate classroom discussions of literature. Interestingly, she also campaigns for a compulsory class in creative composition from the first year. In her opinion, literature is most successfully approached from the perspective of writer as well as reader. In her own teaching, Fetterley reports implementing these techniques with some success, though is careful to enumerate the difficulties she encounters. Fetterley's article is useful for thinking generally about the role of pedagogy in the graduate classroom and about the steps that can be taken to implement change in the curriculum. SZ.

Fish, Stanley. Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Cambridge, Mass: 1980.

Frye, Northrop. The Educated Imagination. The Massey Lectures. Toronto: CBC Publications, 1963.

Six-part lecture series originally delivered on CBC radio. All of Frye's great characteristics are present here in a form pitched to the average undergraduate: beautiful style, categorizing of kinds of discourse, the view of literature as the "civilized" outgrowth of myth, and a confident defense of the study of Literature. Frye argues that the imagination is the faculty by which we perceive worlds which are both better and worse than our own, and that the only way toward positive social change is through an educated, that is, strong, healthy and well-versed, imagination. Call for better critical theory an influence on Scholes. A delight to read and to contemplate. BW

Frye argues for the "relevance" of studying English literature by positing three levels of language practice: 1) the language of self-expression/identity; 2) the language of social participation; and 3) the language of "imagination," which has the "power of constructing models of human experience." The value of the imaginative level is that it can "produce out of a society we have to live in, a vision of society we want to live in." Criticism, in turn, has the practical power of "unifying literature with society." Frye also adds that understanding the rhetoric of literature also enables us to see through the rhetorical manipulations of advertisers, politicians, bureaucrats and ideologues. DS

---. Literature: Uses of the Imagination. New York: Harcourt, 1972.

---. On Teaching Literature. New York: Harcourt, 1972.

Frye's text discusses means by which a teacher might be able to present literature to students, addressing what he considers to be such fundamentals as narrative, structure, and context. He briefly raises issues central to the teaching of imagery, verse, structure, and myth. Throughout, he addresses the value of literary study to both the individual and society, and tackles head-on the question of relevance. Although Frye's text is a brief thirty pages, it succinctly discusses concerns central to the teaching and 'marketing' of literature. His study not only offers a useful isolation of potential emphases in the teaching of literature, but also presents a thoughtful and concise defence of the importance and relevance of the teaching of English literature. No matter the potential datedness of Frye's arguments, the text remains very useful as a model upon which to base future pedagogical arguments. I.M.

The text begins with a brief encapsulation of Frye's theory of the ways in which rituals corresponding to universal myths are embodied in various literary genres. Frye then takes on the question of the relevance of literature. He suggests that active, ongoing examination of cultural myths is important because newer myths are ever waiting to usurp the more meaningful universal archetypes. For Frye, the teaching of literature discourages the dissemination of such "perverted adjustment myths," which often serve an economic or political interest. The cohesiveness of Frye's correspondences between myth and genre is attractive but seems inappropriate for the multicultural classroom. While Frye affirms the importance of the study of different cultures, he does so in a way that effaces difference. In claiming that "There is enough uniformity in the human mind, in the order of nature that that mind works with, and in the physical condition of the [literary] medium itself, to account for all...similarities [of mythologies]" (5), he subsumes difference into a totalizing system. LT

Gilbert, Sandra. M. "Literary Literacy: or, The Cook, the Cop, the Nurse, the Computer Scientist, and Me." Profession 96. New York: MLA, 1996. 127-133.

Glasser, William, A.. Reclaiming Literature: A Teacher's Dilemma. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1994.

Examines a number of post-18th.c. American novels with the aim of focusing on the author's "primary accomplishment," which Glass argues has been severely obscured by the host of conflicting critical interpretations. Some of the book's assumptions, primarily those illustrating the ways in which thematic structures may be recognised and presented to the student "safely," are insightful in their suitability to practice. However, the optimistic reliance on the almost metaphysical and completely verifiable presence of notions such as "the author's worldview", or the author's unbending and consciously manipulative grasp of his material, makes this book perilous. T.C.

Johnson, Barbara, ed. The Pedagogical Imperative: Teaching as a Literary Genre. Special Issue of Yale French Studies 63 (1982).

Kappeler, Susanne and Norman Bryson. Teaching the Text. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983.

McCormick, Kathleen. The Culture of Reading and the Teaching of English. New York: St. Martin's, 1994.

---. "Translating Theory into Practice: Toward Developing Critically Literate Readings of Literary Texts." ADEBulletin 110 (Spring 1995): 35-39.

Melnik, Amelia and John Merritt, eds. Reading: Today and Tomorrow; Readings. London: U of London P for the Open University P, 1972.

Perkins, David. "Taking Stock After Thirty Years." Teaching Literature: What is Needed Now. Ed. James Engell and David Perkins. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988. 111-117.

This is a short but extremely valuable reflection by a teacher (yes, also the author of Is Literary History Possible?) on how his teaching, or philosophy of teaching, has changed in thirty years. Perkins summarizes his original approach: "I used to think that the literature we taught was itself the teacher." Now he admits his research into the classroom and his teaching into his research, concluding that "we should seek to heighten our awareness [of the interrelation of reading, teaching and writing], hoping that the tension and self-criticism generated by this awareness may be productive." An honest testimony by one teacher who has survived the great sea change of the 'seventies to go on into the 'nineties. JS

The Politics of Teaching Literature. Spec. double issue of College Literature 17. 2-3 (1990).

Fourteen-article issue examining matters of textual analysis, literary theory, and pedagogy. For example, Giroux’s piece, "Rethinking the Boundaries of Educational Discourse: Modernism, Postmodernism, and Feminism" intends to set the stage for a new pedagogy to inaugurate the 90s. "(Post)Modern Critical Theory and the Articulations of Critical Pedagogies," by Mas’ud Zavarzadeh and Donald Morton charges that changing the canon means more than changing readings lists as it reviews selected works from the pedagogical literature. KJ

Purvis, Alan. "Telling Our Story about Teaching Literature." Profession 1997. New York: MLA, 1997. 133-141.

Rosenblatt, Louise M. Literature as Exploration. Fifth ed. New York: MLA, 1995.

Sessions, W. A. "Teaching Where Three Interstates Meet." Profession 93. New York: MLA 1993. 18-21.

Schwartz, Regina M. "Teaching a Sacred Text as Literature, Teaching Literature as a Sacred Text." Profession 1998. New York: MLA 1998. 186-198.

Showalter, Elaine. "The Risks of Good Teaching: How 1 Professor and 9 T.A.'s Plunged into Pedagogy." The Chronicle of Higher Education 9 July 1999: B4-B6.

In this article, Elaine Showalter describes how she decided to start a weekly non-credit teaching seminar for nine graduate students T.A.ing an undergraduate course on contemporary fiction. The T.A.'s and professor met once a week, compiled teaching portfolios of lesson plans and ideas, kept journals about tutorials, and posted comments on the group's e-mail list. Showalter relates some of the problems encountered by the students during their tutorials and comes to the conclusion that her teaching seminars have been "an unqualified success." Showalter's course helped T.A.'s gain confidence and skills to face and solve the problems that they encountered in the classroom situation. In addition, it helped Showalter to change her own approach to teaching: "Thinking about pedagogy has made me both a more critically reflective teacher and a more courageous one." She, furthermore, provides us with a comprehensive bibliography of books on teaching and offers a brief synopsis of them. Among the books recommended we find A. Clay Shoenfeld and Robert Magnan's Mentor in a Manual, Wilbert J. McKeachie's McKeachie's Teaching Tips, Joseph Lowman's Mastering Techniques of Teaching, Kenneth E. Eble's The Craft of Teaching and The Aim of College Teaching, Paul Ramsden's Learning to Teach in Higher Education, Jane Tompkin's A Life in School, Alvin B. Kernan's In Plato's Cave, Parker J. Palmer's The Courage to Teach, Stephen D. Brookfield's Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, C. Roland Christensen and David A. Garvin and Ann Sweet's Education for Judgement. Showalter's article is well-suited to our very own experiment this year. Her bibliography of books on teaching proves to be very useful for our purposes as well. KKB

The Teaching of Literature. Special Issue of PMLA, 112 (1997).

Tompkins, Jane P. A Life in School: What the Teacher Learned. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1996.

Tompkins examines her life in the American school system as both a student and a teacher. She acknowledges her indebtedness to the system while at the same time she critiques it. Beginning with her recollections of elementary school, Tompkins describes her role as a "terrified performer," through high school, Bryn Mawr College, and finally to graduate school at Yale. She recounts how her experiences as a professor of English literature led her to advocate a "more holistic way of conceiving education" (xiii), one that helps students to acquire the self-understanding necessary for a satisfying life. Of particular interest is her claim that graduate schools in the mid-sixties did not train people to teach, "the presumption being that you would walk into a classroom and do more or less what had been done to you" (85). For the most part, Tompkins asserts, this is still the case. Tompkins's struggle to develop a personal educational theory based on her own classroom strategies and experiments provides a model for aspiring and practicing teachers. This book is a fascinating read; I highly recommend it. CH

Tompkins, Jane. "But Is It Any Good?: The Institutionalization of Literary Value." In Sensational Designs: The Cultural Work of American Fiction 1790-1860. New York: Oxford, 1985. 186-227.

Trowbridge, Hoyt. "Introductory Literature Courses." The College Teaching of English. Ed. John Gerber. New York: Appleton, 1964. 28-66.

Wallace, M. Elizabeth Sargent. "How Composition Scholarship Changed the Way I Ask for and Respond to Student Writing." Profession 94. New York: MLA 1994. 34-40.

Historical Materials; Historical Approaches (top)

Old English/ Medieval

Emmerson, Richard K. "Part One: Materials." Approaches to Teaching Medieval English Drama. Ed. Richard K. Emmerson. New York: MLA, 1990. 1-27.

Emmerson surveys the primary and secondary texts a neophyte instructor ought to consult when teaching medieval drama. He recommends David Bevington's "Medieval Drama" as the classroom text. In terms of secondary sources, he recommends the Bible (as required reading for students), "The Revel's History of Drama in English" (for the instructor's library), "Bibliography of Medieval Drama" (as a reference work), "Dictionary of the Middle Ages" (for background study), "Drama of the Middle Ages" (for critical studies), "Early English Stages, 1300-1600" (as a general theatre reference). He lists other important sources as well. DS

Engen, John Van, ed. The Past and Future of Medieval Studies. Notre Dame: U of Notre Dame P, 1994.

Articles in this collection are the product of a symposium at the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame on "the past and future of Medieval studies." Paper topics include research in art history, literature, music, philology, and theology, and many discuss issues directly related to pedagogy (esp. the article by Roberta Frank). These are generally concerned with the presentation of difficult paleographical and codicological materials in the classroom, the difficulty of language barriers which arise from the examination of ancient languages, and the availability of critical discourse for the illumination of concepts that may be foreign to students. The collection is useful not only because it outlines current polemics in medieval studies, but also because it provides suggestions for successful pedagogy. SZ.

Flanigan, C. Clifford. "Teaching the Medieval Latin 'Drama': Reflections Historical and Theoretical." Approaches to Teaching Medieval English Drama. Ed. Richard K. Emmerson. New York: MLA Publications, 1990. 50-56.

Frantzen, Allen J.. Desire for Origins: New Language, Old English, and Teaching the Tradition. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1990.

"Writing the Unreadable Beowulf." 168-200, n. 247-250. In the first chapter of this polemic on behalf of Anglo-Saxon studies, Frantzen describes their isolation in the academy as a general failure of universities to make a convincing argument for linguistic competence as "essential to the responsible reading of documents, whether old or new." In spite of his plea for the language, Frantzen is not against survey courses that present Beowulf in translation and suggests some very interesting ways to go about doing that. Decidedly American (did you know that Thomas Jefferson was an A-S scholar? Do you care?), nevertheless this is a valuable work for all those struggling with the early beginnings of English literature. JS

Patterson, Lee. Negotiating the Past: The Historical Understanding of Medieval Literature. Madison, WI: U of Wisconsin P, 1987.

Great overview in Chapter One (extremely detailed and much more nuanced than say David Bleich's general overview of approaches to literature in Subjective Criticism ) of the history of teaching of Chaucer with a sustained attack on D.W. Robertson and Exegetics and a defense of humanism. Useful for putting into some kind of coherent order the vast realms of Chaucerian material. Chapter Four is a study of a Fifteenth century reading of Troilus and Criseyde that argues for an awareness both of the complexity of our own readings but also of the way past readers negotiated difficult texts. Highly recommended to all those dealing with Chaucer or other medieval texts and/or reader-response theory. JS

Toswell, M. J. "Teaching Old English in the Next Millennium: Why? And How?" Profession 95. New York: MLA, 1995. 79-84.

Townsend, David and Taylor, Andrew, eds. The Tongue of the Father. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1998.

The introduction discusses the reputation of medieval Latin as a monologic language of the patriarchy, and suggests approaches to Latin texts of the period that work against this representation. My favorite paper is Clare Fanger's piece on Silvestris' Cosmographia in which she tackles the vexed question of the gender of Noys and the (hidden) gender of God a la Judith Butler. It's really good. All the papers are worth reading especially for those intent on teaching the literature of the Middle Ages in a way that allows its tensions and differences. JS

Early Modern

Damrosch, Leo, ed. The Profession of Eighteenth-Century Literature: Reflections on an Institution. Madison, WI: U of Wisconsin P, 1992.

Fox, Christopher, ed. Teaching Eighteenth-Century Poetry. New York: AMS, 1990

Hall, Kim F. "Beauty and the Beast of Whiteness: Teaching Race and Gender." Shakespeare Quarterly, 47 (1996): 466-475.

Part of a special issue entitled "Teaching Judith Shakespeare"--in the Woolfian sense--this highly readable article details the pragmatics of teaching a course that explores the ways race is invoked in early modern England and in present day politics and popular culture. In many ways this is a "user's guide" for classroom implementation of the theorizations that Hall articulates in Things of Darkness (1995). Teaching strategies and materials, anecdotes, and student responses are all detailed here. Although Hall sometimes reduces the multiplicity of nuanced "racial" differences to that of Black/White relations (and the problematic moral troping of Black is evil, White is good), she is very strong in her strategies for deconstructing whiteness. By racializing whiteness, Hall brings it out of its silent dominance as "the norm" in texts and in the popular imagination. MR

Hunt, Russell A. "Modes of Reading, and Modes of Reading Swift," in The Experience of Reading: Louise Rosenblatt and Reader-Response Theory. Ed. John Clifford. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton / Cook Heinemann, 1991. 105-126.

Marcus, Leah S. "Renaissance/Early Modern Studies." In Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies. Ed. Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn. New York: MLA, 1992. 47-63.

In this succinct treatment of recent developments, Marcus structures her exploration around the contested name of the period. Is it the Renaissance (with a capital R) or is it the early modern period? The latter disrupts the orthodoxy of the former by foregrounding the problems of representation, the "doubtfulness of words" in the period's rhetorical theory, and the degree to which our understanding of the 'Renaissance" is formed by the "codifying practices of generations of editors" (51). Marcus discusses the ways in which Barthes, Foucault, Geertz, Lacan and others have been used to explore the period. Of particular interest to the University of Toronto student is the quite respectable representation of U of T scholars in this survey of recent developments: the significant contributions of R. McLeod, M. Nyquist, J. Levenson, D. Esch and N. Zemon Davis are recognized here. MR

Matchinske, Megan. "Credible Consorts: What Happens When Shakespeare’s Sisters Enter the Syllabus." Shakespeare Quarterly 47: 4 (1996): 433-50.

Foregrounding the cultural-thematic approach, Matchinske advocates the teaching of Early Modern women writers as material that offers a theoretical and politically useful understanding of cultural positions. The article's limitations lie in its theoretical framework (fortunately, clearly stated): the bold reliance on literature as a field for accurate sociological and political insight threatens to neglect literary and representational aspects. The article is valuable in that it begins to question the bases for the choices of writers who appear on the syllabus and the unstable origins of the notion of "literary value." Also, it suggests the inclusion of Early Modern women writers in materials that fulfill programme requirements. T.C.

Real, Hermann Josef. Teaching Satire: Dryden to Pope. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, 1992.

Woods, Susanne and Margaret Hannay, eds. Options for Teaching Early Modern British Women Writers. Forthcoming.

Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Cuddy-Keane, Melba. "Opening Historical Doors to the Room: An Approach to Teaching." Re: Reading, Re: Writing, Re: Teaching Virginia Woolf. Ed. Eileen Barrett and Patricia Cramer. New York; Pace UP, 1995. 207-15.

Melba Cuddy-Keane provides us with a way to recognize, define and bridge the gaps that separate contemporary students from Woolf's A Room of One's Own by providing contextual understandings of Woolf's literary statements. In an introductory course in Women's Studies, Cuddy-Keane asks her students to be active readers so that they might explore the dimension of Woolf's statement that women should have an income of £500 a year. In order to foreground the relative and personal dimension of the meaning of money, Cuddy-Keane presented her students with two resource sheets (two different kinds of historical evidence): 1) mathematical equivalents of £500 in monetary terms (£500 in 1928 = CDN $26,000 in 1990 and 2) information about Woolf's income and expenditures (details and quotations from Leonard's and Virginia's diaries; what did it mean for Virginia Woolf to have £500?) Students soon realized that the second historical evidence was much more pertinent than the first one. The class then looked at a selection of Woolf's comments about her spending of money and were prompted to translate £500 into the relative buying power of that amount of money today. More importantly, the class was asked to reflect on the psychological effects, for Woolf, of having (or not having) that amount of money. Cuddy-Keane then read excerpts from early readers' responses to A Room of One's Own to demonstrate that these readers' grasp of the psychological significance of £500 allowed them to translate Woolf's literal statement into their own terms. It appears that Cuddy-Keane's approach to A Room of One's Own rendered the text alive for students: "the task of locating Woolf's statement in her specific personal and historical situation made her "demands" more understandable and hence less alien." KKB

Shimoni, Gideon, ed. _The Holocaust in University Teaching. New York: Pergamon P, 1991.

A very useful collection of material from professors who teach Holocaust-related courses. Includes lists of visual-arts and film resources, and an extensive section of sample syllabi form a range of courses, including "The Holocaust and Canadian Jewish Literature" and "Literature of the Holocaust. FM

Teaching particular genres/thematic fields (top)

Brown, Russell. "'Suzanne' in the Classroom." CEA Critic 40 (1978): 18-23.

Foley, John Miles, ed. Teaching Oral Traditions. New York: The Modern Language Association, 1998.

For obvious reasons, teachers of oral-theory and orally-composed "literature" have to think hyper-critically about pedagogical strategy. The need for pragmatic teaching methodologies arises in part from the difficulty of discussing compositions that exist solely in an oral state, and from the difficulty of recovering texts that are written in a (so-called) "dead" register. Foley's collection of essays (by leading scholars in the field such as Bauman, Renoir, etc.) illuminates useful strategies for teaching oral and orally-derived compositions from all over the world. The final chapter entitled "courses, readings, and resources" provides invaluable syllabi and bibliographies. SZ.

Sadler, Glenn Edward, ed. Teaching Children's Literature: Issues, Pedagogy, Resources. Options for Teaching 11. New York: MLA, 1992.

Shapiro, James. "When Brevity Rules the Syllabus, Ulysses is lost." The Chronicle of Higher Education. 12 Feb. 1999: A60ff.

A valuable work to peruse before choosing reading materials for a course. Shapiro analyzes the effects of a recent trend in course design: the rejection of the long novel or epic poem in favour of the shorter piece. In an age of "literary triage," the student comes to know authors through their shorter pieces or via abstracts. Not only are canonical works like Clarissa, Don Quixote and Paradise Lost threatened, but also the "current crop of important long books" such as De Lillo’s Underworld and Byatt’s Possession. If value is placed on "expediency, brevity, and uniformity," students also become cut off from the "literary conversations" authors took for granted. Shapiro reminds us that by choosing texts for their brevity, we transform the canon, losing contact with entire genres (epic, long novel) and with talented writers (those who write at length, those who shine in long-form, and voices yet undiscovered, past or present, those who may produce too much work to be introduced in the classroom). RC

 

Teaching national/regional/geographic literatures (top)

Canadian

Atwood, Margaret. Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature. Toronto: Anansi, 1972.

Originally written to meet the perceived need for a teacher’s guide for Canlit, this is now a fascinating object of study in its own right--as a pedagogical tool and as an illustration of its own moment in Canadian literary history. Short chapters based on themes, accessible style and balance of wit and seriousness make it suitable for excerpting for a course reader if we want to combine theory and fiction in our classes. NF

Flynn, Kevin. Canadian Literature in the Classroom. Special Issue of Essays on Canadian Writing. Forthcoming.

Lecker, Robert, ed.. Canadian Canons: Essays in Literary Value. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1991.

In his introduction, Lecker asserts that the essays that he has chosen are not concerned with identifying a Canadian canon so much as they are with identifying and analyzing the forces that have constructed this canon. Conscious of his book's status as the first to apply various canonical theories to Canadian literature, Lecker is eager to assert the pioneering and comprehensive qualities of his collection. The text is useful primarily as a sampler of works by prominent Canadian critics and theorists regarding the political and economic forces that have determined the Canadian canon. The text could be of potential use as a means by which to assess and analyze one's own conceptions of "Canadian canonicity." As none of these essays explicitly address the identity of the "canon" from which they believe their otherly-valued texts to have been excluded, however, the text's usefulness for those not familiar with the implicitly understood canon is questionable. The book is primarily a survey of canon theory as applied to Canadian literature, and a cultural history of Canadian criticism. I.M.

Self-acclaimed "first collection of essays to focus on Canadian literary canons." 12 essays by contributors from English and French Canada on canon-formation for fiction, poetry and drama. A fairly toothless introduction by Lecker, especially considering his work in Making It Real. NF

Lecker, Robert. Making It Real: The Canonization of English-Canadian Literature. Concord, Ontario: Anansi, 1995.

A controversial book in which Lecker intends to "stir up some dust" about Canlit and Canadian canon formation and adoption. Presumes an audience of professors and includes student-centered discussion of the canon. Examines why certain books have been deemed "classics" and exposes private interests and chance behind the formation of the canon. In an interesting chapter on the New Canadian Library series Lecker argues that some texts that have been deemed classics were haphazardly included in the series--something to consider while choosing course texts! Also raises issues of relevance, which we have been discussing. NF

This edition brings together under one cover several of Robert Lecker's previously published essays on the formation of the "Canadian canon." It is a deliberately provocative collection, which Lecker uses to challenge the "anaesthetizing politeness" of Canadian criticism. His arguments are generally articulated in the first four chapters, with further details of the influences of the publishing industry, the academic community and governmental grants in the remaining chapters. Contextualizing the need to make Canada "real" through the narration of the nation, he questions both the "romantic-nationalist belief" that literature can be segmented along national boundaries, and the institutional influences on the production and celebration of Canadian literature. MR

American

Kazin, Alfred. "Carrying the Word Abroad." American Studies International 26 (April 1988): 62-6.

Notes that until after the 1920s, American literature had still been fairly disparaged in Europe and Latin America. Chronicles the author's experiences teaching all around the world, including being a part of the Salzburg Seminar in the post-WW II years. The piece is a highly anecdotal account of scholars whom the author worked with abroad. KJ

Lauter, Paul. Canons and Contexts. New York: Oxford UP, 1991.

Canons and Contexts is divided into two sections; one deals with issues of canon evaluation and the other explores the history of the university as a socio-economic institution. Much of the first half of Lauter's text explores ways in which the canon is shaped by economic forces, particularly the book trade. He does discuss the impact of shifting canons on the classroom in his chapter "Teaching Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers." However, this chapter would be improved by a more complete account of student reactions to changes in the canon. Ironically, the undergraduate student is rarely mentioned, despite repeated discussions of the archetypical "survey" course. LT

---. Reconstructing American Literature: Courses, Syllabi, Issues. Old Westbury, N.Y.: 1983.

Obeidat, Marwan M. "On Non-native Grounds: the Place of American Literature in the English Curriculum of Arab World Universities." American Studies International 24.1 (1996): 18-29.

Explains matters that professors of American literature in these countries debate, such as whether to teach these works predominantly with historical and cultural background or as isolated texts, and whether they should teach Muslim Arab students literature that poses a major problem for English departments morally. Traces the development in recent decades of English literature department’s American offerings in Arab countries. KJ

Reising, Russell J. The Unusable Past: Theory and the Study of American Literature. New York: Methuen, 1986.

Reising claims that the mutating conception of what is quintessentially "American" literature is a product both of the texts we teach and the ways in which we teach them. However, the focus of this book has less to do with ways of teaching than it does with the dialogue between prominent Twentieth century American critics. The scope of Reising's text would be expanded if he discussed not only the exchange of ideas between critics but also the dissemination of ideas in the classroom. This text also betrays a certain geographic confusion; after conceding that he is concerned with American thinkers exclusively, Reising introduces Northrop Frye into a discussion of Leslie Fiedler. LT

Stuart, Reginald. "Almost Americans: Continental Sharing With the United States, the Great Academic Changeover and the Quest for Canadian Paradigms of U.S. History." Canadian Review of American Studies 23: 4 (1993): 41-60.

Points out the lack of an extant Canadian paradigm of U.S. history. Suggests that possibly, to face traditional Canadian ambivalence toward Americans and the United States, one begin from the view that Canadians and Americans are variations of a North American culture. Traces the historical causes of anti-American sentiment in Canada. Discusses ways in which Canada traditionally remained averse to American studies, noting that twenty American universities offer Canadian studies programmes, as vs. two Canadian universities offering American studies programmes. Notes the advent of the Canadian Review of American Studies in 1970, an avowedly continentalist journal for Americanists in Canada. KJ

African

Lindfors, Bernth. Long Drums and Canons: Teaching and Researching African Literatures. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World, 1995.

Mphahlele, Es'kia. "Educating the Imagination." College English 55 (Feb. 1993): 179-86.

An autobiographical essay on the writer’s own education of his imagination. Educating the imagination is a combination of conscious (formal schooling) and unconscious ("way of growing up," experience-based) programming. Points out that when West meets Rest of the World, it is the Rest of the World that usually has to alter its perception and imaginative practices, to "shoulder the task of synthesizing the west and 'ourselves.'" A reminder of the intellectual and imaginative "culture shock" some of our students will feel in our classes. NF

Pedagogy and Cultural Diversity (top)

Arthur, John and Amy Shapiro. Campus Wars: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Difference. Boulder: Westview Press, 1995. 57-68.

Baker, Houston A., Jr. "Hybridity, the Rap Race, and Pedagogy for the 1990s." In A Postmodern Reader. Ed. Joseph Natoli and Linda Hutcheon. New York: SUNY P, 1993. 538-550.

Banta, Martha. "Always in Flux: Literary Forms, Cultural Norms, and Language Patterns: The Example of 'Yekl.'" Profession 96. New York: MLA, 1996. 121-126.

Castell, Suzanne de and Mary Bryson eds. Radical In<ter>ventions: Identity, Politics, and Difference/s in Educational Praxis. SUNY Series, Identities in the Classroom. Albany, N.Y.: SUNY, 1997.

Caughie, Pamela. Passing and Pedagogy: The Dynamics of Responsibility. Champaign: U of Illinois P, 1999.

Courts, Patrick L. Multicultural Literacies: Dialect, Discourse, and Diversity. New York: Peter Lang, 1997.

hooks, bell. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Kelly, Ursula Anne Margaret. Schooling Desire: Literacy, Cultural Politics, and Pedagogy. New York: Routledge, 1997

Leverenz, Carrie Shively. "Peer Response in the Multicultural Composition Classroom: Dissensus--A Dream (Deferred)." Journal of Advanced Composition 14: 1 (Winter 1994): 164-86.

Mayberry, Katherine J., ed. Teaching What You're Not: Identity Politics in Higher Education. New York: New York UP, 1996.

Mayberry's provocative volume acknowledges that "identity" can be shaped through a variety of determinants, including race, class, gender, sexual orientation, as well as less obvious factors such as physical (dis)ability. Some of the most interesting essays in this text, including Peterson's "Redefining America: Literature, Multiculturalism, Pedagogy" and Farnham's "The Discipline of History and the Demands of Identity Politics" are grounded in real classroom experiences. I was also impressed with Levine's candid discussion of his own (often unsuccessful) efforts to improve his teaching of Melville's "Benito Cereno." What makes this volume particularly useful is its refusal to draw any overarching conclusions. LT

This is a collection of essays by instructors of various degrees of teaching experience who teach across identity lines: a man teaching feminist theory, a white woman teaching black women's history, a straight woman teaching a course in gay literature, etc. The collection addresses the problem of the relatively recent demand for a credibility in the classroom that "goes beyond disciplinary expertise to include affiliational and experiential components" (6). This is a particularly sensitive pedagogical issue, given that "the teacher's body/identity stands at the center of contestation" (277). Although the essays are rich in classroom anecdotes, the collection as a whole tends to gravitate to theoretical concerns. Does our own gender/race/sexuality/"able-bodiness" have a deterministic influence on our thinking and reading? While generally interesting, this treatment sometimes results in a repetitious working over of the issues at the expense of pragmatic pedagogical strategies. MR

McLaren, Peter. Revolutionary Multiculturalism: Pedagogies of Dissent for the New Millennium. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1997.

Spacks, Patricia Meyer, ed. Advocacy in the Classroom: Problems and Possibilities. New York: St. Martin's, 1996.

Pedagogy and Gender (top)

Bunch, Charlotte and Sandra Pollack, eds. Learning Our Way: Essays in Feminist Education. New York: 1983.

Cocks, Joan. "Suspicious Pleasures: On Teaching Feminist Theory." Gendered Subjects: The Dynamics of Feminist Teaching. Ed. Margo Culley and Catherine Protugues. Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. 171-182.

Culley, Margo and Catherine Portuges, eds. Gendered Subjects: The Dynamics of Feminist Teaching. London: Routledge, 1985.

This collection of essays on feminist pedagogy, written between 1973 and 1985, provides useful insights into the theories and the teaching experiences of academics seeking to articulate the dynamics of a "feminist classroom." The essayists raise thought-provoking and still-relevant questions concerning such issues as the non-hierarchical feminist classroom and the need to assert authority in a classroom situation. In a section entitled "Teacher as other," contributors discuss the difficulty of assuming authority in the feminist classroom for the teacher who is a member of a marginalized group or for the teacher who is male. Other issues addressed by the essayists include the transformative effects of feminist pedagogy in the disciplines of law and history as well as the potential for further transformations in other disciplines. CH

Haggerty, George E. and Bonnie Zimmerman, eds. Professions of Desire: Lesbian and Gay Studies in Literature. New York: MLA, 1995

Hoffmann, Leonore and Deborah Rosenfelt, eds. Teaching Women's Literature from a Regional Perspective. New York: 1982.

Martindale, Kathleen, Susan Shea, and Lana Major. "Articulating the Difficulties in Teaching/Learning Feminist Cultural Theory." Radical Teacher 39:9-14.

Thompson, Ann and Helen Wilcox, eds. Teaching Women: Feminism and English Studies. Manchester and New York: Manchester UP, 1989.

This collection deals broadly with issues relating to the cultural politics of teaching feminist literature in academic institutions. Some of the more thought-provoking articles deal with the polemic of teaching courses devoted solely to the study of women's literature and the risk of further marginalization this type of curriculum may incur. Part Three, entitled "A Course of Our Own," takes a look at the planning involved in the construction of successful (and sometimes unsuccessful) courses. The book as a whole is a good resource in that it already anticipates many of the common (technical and critical) difficulties that are likely to arise in the teaching of a course on feminist literature. SZ.

This anthology of essays on feminist pedagogy focuses on women's teaching experiences, mostly in the field of English literature, in institutions of higher learning in Britain. Beginning with the premise that women must have equal access to knowledge and higher education, the contributors go on to question the structures of pedagogic authority, classroom practices, and methods of evaluation that exist in traditional educational institutions. Arguing in favour of creating new educational programs that take into account women's experiences, the authors discuss their own feminist teaching strategies, suggesting many useful approaches to course design as well as innovative teaching techniques. CH

Theory in the Classroom (top)

Bernard-Donals, Michael. The Practice of Theory: Rhetoric, Knowledge, and Pedagogy in the Academy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.

Cahalan, James M. and David B. Downing, eds. Practising Theory in Introductory College Literature Courses. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1991.

Graff, Gerald. Beyond the Culture Wars: How Teaching the Conflicts Can Revitalize American Education. New York: Norton, 1992.

Nelson, Cary, ed. Theory in the Classroom. Urbana and Chicago: U of Illinois P, 1986.

This uneven text is less concerned with the question "How do I teach difficult theory" than with questions like "Are some theoretical positions at odds with conventional teaching practices?" and "What happens to an interpretive practice in making it teachable?" (xii-iii). Some of the volume's essays are disappointing; Schroder can only discuss his own teaching experiences after classifying students in binary oppositions (for example, students who faithfully adhere to the instructor's opinions vs. students who affirm a "radical pluralism" in which all opinions are equally valid). However, Leitch's short essay about pedagogy and deconstruction, which contrasts Derrida's pedagogy with Barthes', is illuminating. LT

Sadoff, Dianne F. and William E. Cain, eds. Teaching Contemporary Theory to Undergraduates. Options for Teaching 12. New York: MLA, 1994.

Scholes, Robert. Textual Power: Literary Theory and the Teaching of English. New Haven: Yale UP, 1985.

Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1999.

Reconfigurations of the Discipline (top)

Aronowitz, Stanley and Henry Giroux. Postmodern Education: Politics, Culture, and Social Criticism. Minneapolis: U of Minneapolis P, 1991.

Cioffi, Frank L. "Post Millennial Postmodernism: On the Professing of Literature in the Centrifugal Age." College Literature 26: 3 (Fall 1999): 82-95.

Cioffi argues the need to address the "great divide" between what he calls "canonical" and "centrifugal" (or non-canonical) literature in a pedagogical context. He states that what was once "extra-curricular" reading can and should find a place within the current curriculum. Cioffi's (rather precarious) list of "sub-literary" texts includes works by Will Self, J.G. Ballard, Haruki Murakami, Seicho Matsumoto, and Joseph Conrad (?!). Using the overly facile terminology "centrifugal" and "marginal" to describe such texts, Cioffi's article offers nothing more (or nothing less) than a personal reflection on his own tremulous attempt to teach "current" literature. SZ.

Greenblatt, Stephen and Giles Gunn, eds. Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies. New York: MLA, 1992.

This self-consciously dated collection is a helpful snapshot of the state of various debates within English literature studies. While there are two articles on American literature (preceding and since the Civil War) Canadianists will be disappointed with the lack of any discussion directly relating to literature north of the border. Still, the editors have managed to assemble a collection of remarkable breadth covering all of the major English and American periods, as well as several theoretical specializations. Many of the "big names" of the discipline are here: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick on gender criticism, Homi Bhabha on postcolonial criticism, Louis Montrose on new historicisms and Henry Louis Gates on African American criticism, among others. This collection will be particularly useful as a primer for those teaching outside their own areas of expertise. Instructors of survey courses, for instance, will be able to make quick reference to current issues of debate across various areas. Each section has a short annotated bibliography of significant works in the field. Watch for an updated version in the next few years. MR

Henning, Sylvie Debevec. "The Integration of Language, Literature, and Culture: Goals and Curricular Design." Profession 93. New York: MLA, 1993. 22-26.

Scholes, Robert. The Rise and Fall of English: Restructuring English as a Discipline. New Haven: Yale UP, 1998.

Scholes, a Yale grad and longtime English professor, discusses what he perceives to be the fall of English from the position of prominence in the academy which it gained early in the century by usurping the roles of Classics and Rhetoric. Scholes believes that the study of English must move away from a focus on publishing criticism in ever-increasing specialization, away from structuring undergraduate programs according to "the Story of English" (period by period course-work) and away from teaching undergrads as if they are all destined to become English teachers themselves. Instead, Scholes suggests an education centred around the theory and methodology of reading and writing, with the study of history, text production and text consumption oriented around it. Scholes' proposal makes a great deal of sense and, although coming from an old-time Ivy-leaguer, is not conservative but progressive, and is argued with the particular confidence that years of experience and contemplation provide. BW

English and Cultural Studies (top)

Kumar, Amitava, ed. Class Issues: Pedagogy, Cultural Studies, and the Public Sphere. New York: New York UP, 1997.

This collection of essays addresses the politics of everyday teaching and searches for "oppositional pedagogies and public spheres". The contributors feel that there is a need to defend education as well as the different opinions and values that are threatened by the corporate world. As part of this defence, they try to theorize and understand the goals and strategies of academic teaching practices. The four sections of Class Issues (Literature and Beyond, Marxist Practices in the Classroom, Intellectuals and Their Publics, Cultural Studies Pedagogies) include essays by such critics as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Henry A. Giroux, among others. KKB

Felski, Rita. "Those who disdain cultural studies don't know what they're talking about." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 45 (23 July, 1999): B6-B8.

This article is a defense by definition. Its approach is much more tolerant than the title implies and is a helpful overview of the main culture studies camps. Most significantly, Felski delineates the different approaches to culture studies in England ("seeking to make sense of the entire range of symbolic practices, texts, and belief systems in society rather than equating culture exclusively with high art" [B7]) and the United States (a much more politically based approach used to aid issues of gender, race, class and sexuality in the canon). SH

Rowe, John Carlos. "Culture" and the Problem of the Disciplines. Columbia UP, 1999.

Inter- and Cross-Disciplinary Teaching of English (top)

Barricelli, Jean-Pierre, Joseph Gibaldi and Estella Lauter, eds. Teaching Literature and Other Arts. Options for Teaching 10. New York: MLA, 1990.

Teaching and Technology (top)

Blumenstyk, Goldie. "Banking on its reputation, the Open University starts an operation in the U.S." The Chronicle of Higher Education 45 (23 July 1999): A36-.

Guernsey, Lisa. "With Web-skill--and now tenure--a professor promotes improved teaching." The Chronicle of Higher Education, 45 (26 Feb. 1999), A24-.

Joyce, Michael. Of Two Minds: Hypertext, Pedagogy, and Poetics. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1995.

Keating, Anne B. and Joseph Hargitai. The Wired Professor: A Guide to Incorporating the World Wide Web in College Instruction. New York: NYU P, 1999.

This book is a collaborative project between an English professor (Anne Keating) and an Instructional Technology Specialist (Joseph Hargitai) both of whom are at New York University. The aim of the book is to provide professors who lack Internet experience with the technical information necessary for the implementation of an instruction-based Web site. A brief, readable history of the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web is followed by a discussion of the Web as both a research tool and the facilitator of an "electronic classroom." The authors discuss the implications of using the web as an instructional medium, drawing on the experiences of a number of teachers who have set up Web-based courses. Approximately half the book is dedicated to a simple description of the fundamentals of web-page creation, including information on how to set up links to other pages, written in a manner that readers will find less intimidating than similar descriptions in computer manuals. In light of the current pedagogical interest in exploiting the potential uses of the Internet, such a reference text is timely and, indeed, exciting; however, the publisher may have been too anxious to get the book on the shelves. Regrettably, the chapter entitled "Putting Together Your First Instructional Web Site," describing step-by-step how to set up a web site, is missing several pages: pages 116-117, 120-121, 124-125, and 128-129 are blank. Fortunately, the authors provide The Wired Professor with a companion Web-site that presumably fills in the information that should have appeared on the blank pages. CH

Landow, George. "Hypertext, Metatext, and the Electronic Canon." Literacy Online: The Promise (and Peril) of Reading and Writing with Computers. Ed. Myron C. Tuman. Pittsburg: U of Pittsburgh P, 1992. 67-94.

Lanham, Richard A. The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1993.

Mandell, Laura. "Virtual Encounters: Using an Electronic Mailing List in a Literature Classroom." Profession 1997. New York: MLA, 1997. 126-132.

Miall, David S. "The Hypertextual Moment." ESC 24: 2 (1998): 157-74.