The Division of Literature

The Division of Literature

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Where does the university begin and the qoutsideq end? How has literature become established as a separate domain within the university? Demonstrating that these questions of division are intricately related, Peggy Kamuf explores the space that the university devotes to the study of literature. Kamuf begins by analyzing the complex history of literary study within the modern university, critically reading developments from the French Revolution through the nineteenth century and beyond in Europe. She then turns to one of the most troubling works in the American literary canona€”Melville's The Confidence-Mana€”to show how academic literary history has avoided confronting the implications of works in which meaning is never solely confined within a past. By engaging a future readership to which it applies for credit, Kamuf argues, literature cannot serve as a stable object of study. It locates, rather, a site of qthe university in deconstruction.q Ranging from disciplinary histories of literature to our current culture wars, Kamuf offers a fascinating critique of academic literary study.For the negotiations we describe are in fact always double, and the space they would define for literary study is at ... In an essay of 1693, modestly titled Some Thoughts Concerning Education, it is precisely a certain aquot;literary educationaquot; thatanbsp;...

Title:The Division of Literature
Author:Peggy Kamuf
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 1997-03-02


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