[DWJ] long ago thread called Book recommendations

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Thu Mar 29 09:26:17 EDT 2007


On Wed, 28 Mar 2007, Mark Allums wrote:
>Which would you rather teach, a Bronte or anything else?  Given that you've
>already done that lecture twenty times so far in your career, and know it like
>the back of your hand?  Given that it seems to be a tradition among the English
>teaching rank and file?  Given that the bookstore already carries the book, the
>students won't stand for anything with more than 200 pages, and the head of the
>department expects it to be taught?

Well, none of the English professors who are my friends operate
this way.  A professor in my  graduate school has a rule in one
class not to teach anything that was published more than 10 years
ago (which makes sense for this particular class), which means
she is constantly needing to work with new materials.

(Also, every campus bookstore I've interacted with orders exactly
what is on the Professor's syllabus, no more and no less.)

Of course there are bad professors who like to teach the classics
and good professors who like to teach the classics, for both good
and bad reasons. There are department heads who subscribe
religiously to The Western Canon and department heads who are
angry post-colonialists and who resent even having a Shakespeare
class. Many young professors who are currently getting tenure, at
least in the United States, are the same people who were taught
when they were in college by the feminists, post-colonialists,
Marxists, and postmodernists who had a great resentment for Dead
White Men (and the token Dead White Women).

In other words, I'd say that after a fair amount of time in
English departments, the one thing I can say about English
professors is that I can't generalize about them.

ObDWJ: Will a quotation do?  "I don't want to know what the
structuralists think!  I want to know what you think!"   Poor
Quentin.

-deborah
--
Before everything else I'm a human being.
					- Nora, _A Dolls' House_



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