White Liberal Identity, Literary Pedagogy, And Classic American Realism

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9780814251454: White Liberal Identity, Literary Pedagogy, And Classic American Realism

White Liberal Identity, Literary Pedagogy, and Classic American Realism brings literary works from the turn of the last century face to face with some of the dilemmas and paradoxes that currently define white liberal identity in the United States. Phillip Barrish develops fresh analytic and pedagogical tools for probing contemporary white liberalism, while also offering new critical insights and classroom approaches to American literary realism. New ground is broken by using bold close analysis of works by canonical American realist writers such as Henry James, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, and Kate Chopin. These contexts include an affirmative-action court case, the liberal arts classroom, and the "war on drugs," as well as current debates about the United States’ role on the international scene. Invoking a methodology that he calls "critical presentism," Barrish’s book offers a fresh response to that perennial classroom question, often posed most forcefully by students committed to progressive political agendas: why devote so much time and effort to detailed analyses of canonical American literature?

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About the Author:

Phillip Barrish is associate professor of English, The University of Texas at Austin.

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