Literature in the Making: A History of U.S. Literary Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford Studies in American Literary History)

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9780199390137: Literature in the Making: A History of U.S. Literary Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century (Oxford Studies in American Literary History)
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In the eighteenth century, literature meant learned writings; by the twentieth century, literature had come to be identified with imaginative, aesthetically significant works, and academic literary studies had developed special protocols for interpreting and valuing literary texts. Literature in the Making examines what happened in between: how literature came to be more precisely specified and valued; how it was organized into genres, canons, and national traditions; and how it became the basis for departments of modern languages and literatures in research universities.

Modern literature, the version of literature familiar today, was an international invention, but it was forged when literary cultures, traditions, and publishing industries were mainly organized nationally. Literature in the Making examines modern literature's coalescence and institutionalization in the United States, considered as an instructive instance of a phenomenon that was going global. Since modern literature initially offered a way to formulate the value of legacy texts by authors such as Homer, Cervantes, and Shakespeare, however, the development of literature and literary culture in the U.S. was fundamentally transnational. Literature in the Making argues that Shakespeare studies, one of the richest tracts of nineteenth-century U.S. literary culture, was a key domain in which literature came to be valued both for fuelling modern projects and for safeguarding values and practices that modernity put at risk-a foundational paradox that continues to shape literary studies and literary culture.

Bringing together the histories of literature's competing conceptualizations, its print infrastructure, its changing status in higher education, and its life in public culture during the long nineteenth century, Literature in the Making offers a robust account of how and why literature mattered then and matters now. By highlighting the lively collaboration between academics and non-academics that prevailed before the ascendancy of the research university starkly divided experts from amateurs, Literature in the Making also opens new possibilities for envisioning how academics might partner with the reading public.

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About the Author:


Nancy Glazener is Associate Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of Reading for Realism: The History of a U.S. Literary Institution, 1850-1910.

Review:


"Upon careful reflection, the reader will deduce that Glazener's argument is that how literature has been defined and categorized has played a crucial role in the value ascribed to Wheatley's poetry during different times in history. To prove this point, the author delves deeply into several interpretations of Wheatley's poetry ... For this reason, Literature in the Making is an excellent choice for the dedicated student of literature". --W. Cole Williamson, Journal of American Culture


"Nancy Glazener's Literature in the Making, a work of stunning range, erudition, and good sense, reacquaints us with literature's multifarious meanings in the era before the institutional hegemony of the academic English department. This book tells an important story of how nineteenth-century Americans first came to think of literature as the currency of their public culture and how new models of disciplinarity and professional expertise subsequently weakened that culture." --Deidre Lynch, author of Loving Literature: A Cultural History


"Literature in the Making offers a timely history of the idea of 'literature' and of the course of its study in the academy. Using the U.S. as a case study, Nancy Glazener shows how the divergence of 'amateur' and 'expert' discussions of the literary arts stemmed from broad social and geopolitical transformations and considers what was lost in the process. Embracing contemporary challenges to the significance of literary study as an opportunity for introspection and positive change, this deeply engaging and beautifully written work argues for an expansive definition of literature and a more inclusive public culture. Its astute and comprehensive analysis and its auspicious suggestions for how to move forward make this a book everyone in the humanities should read." --Priscilla Wald, author of Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative


"Literature in the Making excavates the complex cultural negotiations that produced the category of 'literature,' a concept that would then undergird the emergent discipline of 'English.' Parsing ideas about the literary in relation to evolving social distinctions between public and expert culture, Glazener's timely and important book steps into urgent scholarly conversations about the status of disciplines in what Louis Menand has called the 'post-disciplinary' era." --Elizabeth Renker, author of The Origins of American Literature Studies: An Institutional History


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Literature in the contemporary sense, comprised of drama, fiction, poetry, and certain kinds of nonfiction prose, cohered during the nineteenth century and became the defining object of departments of modern languages and literatures in U.S. research universities. However, non-academic literary culture in the nineteenth century hosted important forms of literary study and scholarship that have been missed by scholarship focusing on literature as an academicsubject. Before the reorganization of knowledge around academic expertise in the late nineteenth century, academics and non-academics interested in literary studies and scholarship partnered in ways that we might wish to reclaim or adapt.Literature was a trans-national invention, but Literature in the Making takes up the U.S. as a case study. It examines the public life of literature between the late eighteenth century and the early twentieth century, bringing together the development of literature's intellectual infrastructure, literature's operation in print culture, literature's changing status in higher education, and the surprisingly rich and interesting history of public literary culture. To take theintellectual measure of public literary culture, this study focuses on nineteenth-century Shakespeare studies in the U.S. Literary works such as Shakespeare's plays were valued for both their contributions to public life and their transcendent aesthetic effects, and the tension between these investments established agenerative matrix for literary studies that's still in effect. Academic literary studies is also still grappling with the contradiction that literature was channeled into modern projects while also being entrusted with safeguarding antimodern values. Seller Inventory # AAC9780199390137

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Literature in the contemporary sense, comprised of drama, fiction, poetry, and certain kinds of nonfiction prose, cohered during the nineteenth century and became the defining object of departments of modern languages and literatures in U.S. research universities. However, non-academic literary culture in the nineteenth century hosted important forms of literary study and scholarship that have been missed by scholarship focusing on literature as an academicsubject. Before the reorganization of knowledge around academic expertise in the late nineteenth century, academics and non-academics interested in literary studies and scholarship partnered in ways that we might wish to reclaim or adapt.Literature was a trans-national invention, but Literature in the Making takes up the U.S. as a case study. It examines the public life of literature between the late eighteenth century and the early twentieth century, bringing together the development of literature's intellectual infrastructure, literature's operation in print culture, literature's changing status in higher education, and the surprisingly rich and interesting history of public literary culture. To take theintellectual measure of public literary culture, this study focuses on nineteenth-century Shakespeare studies in the U.S. Literary works such as Shakespeare's plays were valued for both their contributions to public life and their transcendent aesthetic effects, and the tension between these investments established agenerative matrix for literary studies that's still in effect. Academic literary studies is also still grappling with the contradiction that literature was channeled into modern projects while also being entrusted with safeguarding antimodern values. Seller Inventory # AAC9780199390137

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