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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: March 2008

14 - Criticism and the academy

from THE CRITIC AND THE INSTITUTIONS OF CULTURE
Summary
During the second half of the twentieth century, literary criticism became virtually the monopoly of university departments. At the beginning of the century, the distinction between men of letters and professors was not so sharp as to prevent movement from one occupation to the other. Later, universities served as occasional havens for writers and poets. This chapter discusses the founding of English studies, whose shape is determined by politics, economics, demography, and the character of universities as institutions. It then talks about the critiques of the philological and historical emphasis of English studies that appeared between the 1890s and 1930s. Through reference to discussions of pedagogy and commission reports prepared in the 1930s, the chapter argues that the success practical criticism identifiably achieved in the academy resulted from its compatibility with pedagogical changes initiated independently within the profession. Finally, the chapter talks about the accommodation between criticism and scholarship that it facilitated in the 1950s.
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The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism
  • Online ISBN: 9781139053730
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521300124
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