In this Book

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“Shumway has written a penetrating and provocative account of the making of American civilization as an academic field.” --Gerald Graff, University of Chicago

David R. Shumway contends that American literature is the product of study - the deliberate invention of a discipline seeking to define the character and legitimate the existence of a specifically American civilization.  He traces the various reconstitutions of American literature by examining the discipline’s practices and techniques, discourses and structures, paradigms and unstated assumptions.

This genealogy begins around 1890, when American literature as defined by institutions outside the academy, such as magazines and publishing houses, acquired much of the ideology it would display in later phases, including sexism, racism, and class bias.  Singular in its treatment of American literary study as a discipline rather than as criticism and in its insistence on the cultural and political work carried on by this discipline, Creating American Civilization will engage literary theorists and historians as well as individuals with an interest in American literature.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. p. ix
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction: The History of a Discipline
  2. pp. 1-22
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  1. Part I. Beginnings
  2. pp. 23-24
  1. 1. The Literary in America, 1890–1920
  2. pp. 25-60
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  1. 2. Preprofessional History and Criticism
  2. pp. 61-95
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  1. 3. English as a Discursive Practice
  2. pp. 96-120
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  1. Part II. Institutionalization
  2. pp. 121-122
  1. 4. American Literature as a Discipline: Constituting the Object
  2. pp. 123-147
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  1. 5. Institutionalizing American Literature
  2. pp. 148-190
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  1. 6. American Literature in the Curriculum
  2. pp. 191-218
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  1. Part III. Creating American Civilization
  2. pp. 219-220
  1. 7. The Triumph of the Aesthetic
  2. pp. 221-260
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  1. 8. Left Criticism and the New York Intellectuals
  2. pp. 261-298
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  1. 9. Civilization "Discovered"
  2. pp. 299-344
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  1. Epilogue: A Trailer
  2. pp. 345-360
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 361-390
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 391-408
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 409-409
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816684823
Print ISBN
9780816621897
MARC Record
OCLC
191818109
Pages
424
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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