Philology, Education, Democracy
Journal of Aesthetic Education 46.4 (Winter 2012): 57-69
13 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2012 Last revised: 20 Feb 2013
Date Written: 2012
This essay examines recent arguments for a return to philology in liberal-arts education. I document how philology’s disciplinary heritage is inflected by economic and racial privilege and explore avenues for the liberation of philology from these legacies. The past and present entanglements of philology and elite knowledge are traced through Richard Wright’s initiation into the world of learning, the author’s experience teaching a literature-humanities core curriculum, and theorizations of the discipline from Gramsci to Auerbach to Harold Bloom.
Keywords: pedagogy, canonicity, humanities, public education, Gramsci
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