In this Book
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
- Part I. Beginnings
- pp. 23-24
- Part II. Institutionalization
- pp. 121-122
- Part III. Creating American Civilization
- pp. 219-220