Pennsylvania College of  Technology
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Dr. Ed Vavra
Assoc. Prof. of Rhetoric

Bibliographies Section

On the Canon

     The "Canon" is a list of the greatest works that have ever been writtten. There is disagreement about what the Canon is, about what works should be included, and even about whether or not a Canon should exist. Some people think of the Canon as "required" reading for any educated person. Others think of it as a suggested reading list. The works in this section discuss the Canon.

Anderson, Martin. Imposters in the Temple: American Intellectuals Are Destroying Our Universities and Cheating Our Students of Their Future. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1992. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Atlas, James. Battle of the Books: The Curriculum Debate in America. NY: Norton, 1990. [Source = Levine, Opening, 177]

Bell, Daniel. The Reforming of General Education. NY: Columbia UP, 1966. [Source = Levine, Opening, 185]

Bennett, William J. The De-Valuing of America: The Fight for Our Culture and Our Chikldren. NY: Summit Books, 1992. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Bernstein, Richard. Dictatorship of Virtue: Multiculturalism and the Battle for America's Future. NY: Knopf, 1994. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1987.  [HR, N7 -- much better than Hirsch's Cultural Literacy.]

Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. NY: Harcourt Brace, 1994.  [HR, N7 -- superb]

Boorstin, Daniel. America and the Image of Europe: Reflections on American Thought. NY: Meridian Books, 1960. [Source = Levine, Opening, 183]

Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. Reform on Campus: Changing Students, Changing Academic Programs. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1972. [Source = Levine, Opening, 185]

Cheney, Lynn. Telling the Truth: A Report on the State of the Humanities in Higher Education. Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Humanities, September 1992.  [Source = Levine, Opening, 199]

D'Souza, Dinesh. Illiberal Education: The Politics of Race and Sex on Campus. NY: Free Press, 1991. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Gless, Darryl J. & Barbara Herrnstein Smith, eds. The Politics of Liberal Education. Durham: Duke UP, 1992. [Source = Levine, Opening, 186]

Greenblatt, Stephen & Giles Gunn, eds. Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies. NY: Modern Language Assoc., 1992.  [Source = Levine, Opening, 191]

Hirsch, E.D. Jr. Cultural Literacy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987.  [H,R, N7 -- basic idea is good, but the book is superficial]

Hughes, Robert. Culture of Complaint: The Fraying of America. NY: Oxford UP, 1993. [Source = Levine, Opening, 177]

Kernan, Alvin. The Death of Literature. New Haven: Yale UP, 1990. [Source = Levine, Opening, 187]

Kimball, Roger. Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education. NY: Harper & Row, 1990. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Kolb, Harold H., Jr. "Defining the Canon," in Redefining American Literary History. A. LaVonne Brown Ruoff & Jerry W. Ward, Jr., eds. NY: Modern Language Assoc., 1990. 35-51.  [Source = Levine, Opening, 191-2]

Lauter, Paul. Canons and Contexts. NY: Oxford UP, 1991. [Source = Levine, Opening, 191]

Levine, Lawrence W. Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America. Harvard UP, 1988. [Source = Levine, Opening, 188]

_____ . The Opening of the American Mind: Canons, Culture, and History. Boston: Beacon Press, 1996. [R, N7 - a flawed, but very important perspective on the nature and history of the Canon

Rudolph, Frederick. Curriculum: A History of thr American Undergraduate Course of Study Since 1636. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1977. [Source = Levine, Opening, 180]

Shaw, Peter. The War Against the Intellect: Episodes in the Decline of Discourse. Iowa City: Univ. of Iowa Press, 1989. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Smith, Page. Killing the Spirit: Higher Education in America. NY: Viking, 1990. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Sykes, Charles J. The Hollow Men: Politics and Corruption in Higher Education. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Gateway, 1990. [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

_____ . Profscam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education. NY: Kampmann & Co., 1988 [Source = Levine, Opening, 176]

Thomas, Russell. The Search for a Common Learning: General Education, 1800-1960. NY: McGraw-Hill, 1962. [Source = Levine, Opening, 185]

Vanderbilt, Kermit. American Literature and the Academy: The Roots, Growth, and Maturity of a Profession. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. [Source = Levine, Opening, 189]

This border presents
Pierre-Auguste Renoir's
The Bather
1888, oil on canvas
Carol Gerten's Fine Art

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