{Essays on the use and misuse of literature in academe}


Inventing Literature 

Performing Literature 

Reading Literature 

Theorizing Literature 

Historicizing Literature 

Relinquishing Literature 

Reclaiming Literature? 


At School 

A Period of Transition 

The Organized Efforts of the Program


Abandoning the Ruins 


"Only if one accepts that literature and the academy are linked in some necessary and unavoidable way will one also feel that Literature’s fall from academic grace is quite the catastrophe the traditionalists make it out to be, however, or that its influence had to be counteracted in the name of other causes one values more highly. Once this link is broken, Literature ceases to be, and the forms of writing that have long been held hostage to it—“fine poems and novels”—would then no longer be subject to any of the agendas academic scholars and critics bring to the discipline-based study of capital-l literature. I am convinced that this would be the best possible outcome of the curricular wars, both for the survival of those older works that once formed the core of the academic canon and for the work of living writers, which has generally either been considered unworthy of attention at all or otherwise made the objects of the most politicized, coarsest forms of analysis."

---From "Inventing Literature"

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