Introduction

Challenging the Canonical Genre

in Teaching the Canon in 21st Century Classrooms
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The impetus for this book project began over a decade ago at the annual meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English, in the dialogue surrounding a presentation Mike and colleagues had prepared for the conference. The presentation, “Critical Approaches to the Canon,” offered cases of teachers teaching canonical texts for critical literacy purposes, intending to undercut what Kirkland (2011) refers to as “status quo master narratives” sometimes supported by canonical texts, including whiteness, masculinity, heterosexuality, ability, notions of culture, literary merit, and even methods of reading, teaching, and learning.

The discussion that unfolded in and around that presentation illuminated for us two distinct realities. First, it was clear that, while undefined, there is in fact a pervasive set of texts that populate the syllabi and bookshelves of classrooms across America. Audience members nodded in mutual understanding of one another as they shared experiences of teaching books, many of which they felt they had inherited more than they had chosen. One teacher voiced that she was required to teach Romeo and Juliet to her ninth graders because it was mandated by the district. Another gentleman claimed that Of Mice and Men remained a staple in his curriculum because it was one of the few titles on the shelves of his school’s book room with enough copies for every student in his class. A set of hands revealed that at least two-thirds of the high school literature teachers in the room taught The Great Gatsby. The full array of reasons for that text’s persistence remained unstated, but one teacher felt drawn to the richness of Fitzgerald’s language, remembering – with an air of nostalgia – his own experiences reading the party scenes that populate the opening pages of Chapter 3. For whatever reason – curricular mandates, budgetary restrictions, personal experiences of reading – history and texts repeat themselves in the English language arts classroom. It is as though, as one audience member so vividly stated in reference to these books, “they’ve canonized our minds.”

While the extant scholarship on ELA curricula (e.g., Applebee, 1993; Stotsky, 2010) substantiates a not insignificant degree of textual persistence in the ELA classroom, our experience working with ELA teachers posits that the teaching of these texts need not remain consistent with the status quo. We have seen in many an English teacher an openness of mind and heart to teaching more traditional “canonical” texts in critical ways – ways that challenge “status quo master narratives.” One teacher in the audience of that seminal NCTE presentation mentioned the challenges she has faced in teaching Pride and Prejudice – a text of all White characters – to classes of non-White students. She wondered how she might make that text relevant and meaningful for a demographic quite unlike the characters of Austen’s Victorian setting. Another teacher worried he was normalizing violence through texts like Of Mice and Men and Romeo and Juliet. This teacher’s worries joined the chorus of other teachers, who wondered if their handling of To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn re-inscribed, rather than challenged, racism. These teachers, and others with whom we have worked, seemed critically aware of what might best be described as the “canonical genre.” Genre, as Cope and Kalantzis (1993) elaborated in their seminal piece on a genre approach to literacy instruction, implies an attentiveness to the way language works to make meaning. In other words, genre attends to the social action that language is performing in the world. What we heard from the teachers in that NCTE audience was a commitment to asking the question, “What kind of work is and could these texts and their readers be doing in the world?”

A key argument undergirding this edited volume as a whole is that how teachers teach canonical texts matters for the purposes of decentering and disrupting the implicit and explicit narratives – like Eurocentrism, conflict-resolution through violence, gender stereotypes, and racism – that canonical texts can foster in contemporary classrooms. Importantly, then, the chapters in this volume go beyond merely offering new or critical interpretations of canonical texts. Relying on methods of critical literacy (Borsheim-Black, Macaluso, & Petrone, 2014), critical inquiry (Beach, Thein, & Webb, 2016), critical English education (Morrell, 2005), and New English education (Kirkland, 2008), this book offers pedagogical applications and conceptualizations for educators and students to challenge and update a canonized English language arts curriculum. It asks such questions as: How might our teaching of canonical texts challenge and subvert the traditions, norms, expectations, and text titles in and beyond the secondary English classroom? How might we change our teaching of the canon to reflect an increasingly technologized, pluralized, globalized 21st century context in which our students live? In short, how might educators – despite traditions that have somehow “canonized our minds” – work to ensure that students’ engagement with canonical texts results in social action consistent with our hearts and conscience?

What is the Canon?

In addressing the “canonicity” of the texts they discuss, the authors in this volume reference national studies conducted over the past several decades that have investigated the most frequently assigned texts in secondary ELA classrooms (Applebee, 1993; Stallworth et al., 2006; Stotsky, 2010; Stallworth & Gibbons, 2012; Beers & Probst, 2013). These studies confirm the persistence of texts familiar to the average English language arts teacher or student: The Great Gatsby, The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, Shakespeare plays, Of Mice and Men (all of which are taken up in this volume). While not entirely unchanging, the lists of text titles have remained remarkably stable since the early 1900s, causing Grossman (2001) to call the secondary ELA curriculum a “still life.” There are, it seems, what the authors of the Common Core State Standards describe as “classic or historically significant texts…[of] recognized value” (CCSS, 2010, p. 2).

The practice of deeming certain texts “worthy” of a place in the ELA curriculum can be traced back to at least two events: the Harvard entrance requirements of 1873–1874 and the meeting of the Committee of Ten in 1892. The 1873–1874 Harvard admissions requirement stated, for the first time, that applicants would write a short composition on a literary text. Because specific titles – ranging from Shakespeare to Sir Walter Scott – were mentioned in the requirement and in subsequent requirements, secondary school teachers felt they had no choice but to teach those specific titles in their classrooms. Recognizing an opportunity for profit, publishers produced newer and annotated “study” editions of these texts, bringing annotated classics into widespread use by the mid-1880s (Applebee, 1974), and thus instantiating a “literary canon” in English classrooms throughout the country. In addition to and in light of this requirement, the Committee of Ten, a panel of White men commissioned by the National Association of Education and chaired by the president of Harvard at that time, met in 1892 to examine and evaluate the curricula of secondary school subjects. Their 1894 report essentially created the Western, and especially American and British, literature-based “English” class, as we know it today in secondary schools (Gere, 1992; Bauer & Clark, 2008), making literary study with a loosely codified set of texts from Western traditions a universally offered secondary school subject (Applebee, 1974; Graff, 1987).

Importantly, then, the term “canon,” as used in reference to the literary canon, connotes legitimacy, authority, truth. Given its use in not only curricular, but also ecclesial contexts, the “canon” has assumed an arguably sacred connotation. Certain texts in the ELA curriculum have, like holy men and women, been “canonized” or elevated as the literary standard toward which to strive. But who determines their canonicity, or even why, how, and when certain texts become “canonized” remains ambiguous, and so, unlike the body of canon law or collection of canonized saints, there is no hard and fast list of what constitutes the literary canon. For that reason, we chose not to delineate a list of suggested canonical titles in the call for proposals that initiated this edited volume. The array of texts represented in this volume – from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, to Morrison’s Beloved, to Cisneros’s House on Mango Street – has, for us, and we hope for all of the readers who engage with this volume, shifted our perception of the “canon.” We conceive of canon as less of a list or fixed body of texts, and more of an ideology.

The authors in this volume attend to the canonicity of texts in the ELA classroom not by merely invoking the title(s) of oft-taught texts. They attend to the canonicity of texts by helping to make visible what might otherwise remain the taken-for-granted traditions, discourses, and accompanying power dynamics in English language arts education. In addressing the canonicity of the texts for which they are proposing a critical approach, the authors in this volume question who or what has deemed a text “a classic.” They ask why, how, and when a text might be recognized as having value. They call attention to the raced, classed, gendered, and religion-infused origins of a body of texts rooted in the expectations of universities and publishing companies generally controlled by elite White men of the Anglo-Saxon, Protestant tradition. And, in response to not only the content, but also the teaching of canonical texts, the authors in this volume challenge a tradition of textual authority that has characterized English language arts instruction.

Critical Approaches to Canonical Texts

One of the beauties of the chapters that follow is that they challenge what is often perceived as a dichotomy between literary content and the act of teaching that literary content. A popular myth in education is that teachers “do” pedagogy, while authors “do” content. Teachers, in other words, enact the content – literary, or otherwise. Texts are not taught until someone comes along to teach them. In the spirit of scholars doing work in critical theory (e.g., Segall, 2004), the authors in this volume trouble that perceived relationship between pedagogy and content. Their arguments begin from the assumption that all texts, by nature of being inherently ideological, are also fundamentally pedagogical. In short, all texts, even without teachers, teach.

Several traditions within the history of English language arts education make the inherently pedagogical nature of literary texts all the more real. As a school subject, reading has, after all, participated in the moral formation of citizens, teaching students how to think, value, and behave (Applebee, 1993; Brass, 2010). Literature’s “musical and imaginative products,” wrote 19th century English educator Percival Chubb, “would lodge more memorably and fatally in the hearts and minds of children more than anything else” (qtd. in Brass, 2010, p. 708). In other words, literature’s aesthetic dimension afforded educators a subtle, but effective tool with which to shape the morality of students’ hearts, minds, and souls. The texts teachers selected as part of the formal curriculum could themselves condition students’ souls, thereby teaching them how to think, act, and believe.

The rise of New Criticism, too, made manifest today by the emphasis on close reading, has authorized texts as conveyers of meaning. New Criticism achieved prominence in the mid-twentieth century as a reaction against “old criticisms” that privileged knowledge of those things surrounding a text, namely authorial intention, as determinants of textual meaning. In contrast to the “old critics,” the New Critics deemed the long-standing emphasis on authorial intention the “intentional fallacy.” Readers, after all, could never really know an author’s intention behind her literary composition. The New Critics also declared the reader’s personal and psychological response to text insufficient grounds upon which to determine textual meaning (Wimsatt & Beardley, 1954). All a reader had was the work itself – the text – which possessed a certain organic unity that gave the work its meaning. In other words, the text itself, if studied closely enough, could teach.

The authors throughout this edited volume recognize that texts teach and that the traditions of English education have vested all texts, but some texts, in particular, with the authority to teach. In a way, we might imagine the individual chapters in this volume originating in the recognition of the inherently pedagogical nature of texts, as well as in the recognition of particular “status quo master narratives” (Kirkland, 2011) that canonical texts, as inherently ideological, might be teaching. Each of the authors in this edited volume also begins from the assumption that teaching itself is a powerful – indeed a political – act. Teachers can be transformative agents of change. With that idea in mind, each of the chapters in this volume begins not only with a recognition of texts-as-teachers, but also with an implicit question: How might teachers and students intervene in the often invisible pedagogical framework of the text under study?

While the answers to that question vary from one chapter to the next, each of the contributors to this edited volume relies to some extent on a critical framework. Critical literacy, after all, acknowledges that texts and textual production are not neutral enterprises. Advocating for critical approaches to the teaching of canonical texts, the contributors to this volume seek to intervene on what one might argue is always and already a set of relationships, and therefore power dynamics, at play: relationships between and among teachers, students, and worlds – past, present, and future. Reading in and across the fifteen chapters in this volume, we have discovered at least four means by which to teach canonical texts in critical ways that challenge the canonical genre in potentially transformative ways: de-centering the canonical text, making connections between past and present realities, applying critical lenses, and considering more deeply not only what and how we teach, but also whom we teach. Each of these actions comprises a section of this book dedicated to the overarching act of challenging the canonical genre.

Decentering the Canon

Borrowing from a conceptual framework of “curation” (American Association of School Librarians), Kate Lechtenberg opens the conversation with a discussion on what it might mean to transform the “still life” (Grossman, 2001) of the literature curriculum into a “critically curated invitation to text-inspired conversations that explore multiple perspectives, challenge dominant ideologies, and include marginalized voices within and beyond the literary canon”. Focused on student work from an asynchronous online section of Reading and Teaching Adolescent Literature (RTAL), Lechtenberg offers both an example and a theorization of what it means to become a critical literacy educator no matter which books populate the shelves or syllabi teachers often inherit. By illustrating and analyzing one case of working with preservice teachers on a collaborative curation project with Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Lechtenberg delineates a four-part process to de-centering the canon. By situating the otherwise focal text within a thick conceptual framework, pairing the text with counterstories, making connections between texts, and taking an exploratory rather than an authoritative stance toward texts, Lechtenberg and her preservice teachers offer a methodology for de-centering otherwise dominant texts in the ELA curriculum.

In a way, Lechtenberg’s chapter anticipates a provocative question that Ashley Dallacqua and Annmarie Sheahan pose in their opening anecdote about the teaching of Dante’s Inferno. Remembering her own experiences reading The Inferno as a student, Sheahan asks, looking out at her own students’ faces as she prepares to begin teaching The Inferno, “What’s changed?” “What could change?” Advocating for the integration of nontraditional, multimodal texts like comics and film with the teaching of more canonical, alphabetic print-based texts, Dallacqua and Sheahan show how this integration not only de-centers the canon, but also destabilizes more traditional classroom power dynamics that tend to authorize the text at the expense of student voice. One of the most powerful transformations noted in Dallacqua’s and Sheahan’s study of this classroom where the teacher pluralized the modes and media of texts read and produced alongside Fahrenheit 451, Antigone, and The Inferno was that students themselves became authors and artists, “going beyond responding to texts, taking ownership over them and rewriting and reimagining them.”

In both Lechtenberg’s chapter, as well as Dallacqua’s and Sheahan’s, there is what Jeanne Dyches, in her chapter, describes as a “nod to” rather than “[a] pledge [of] allegiance to” the works of authors belonging to White, male, Anglo backgrounds. Taking readers inside a high school British literature classroom in a school where 94% of students identify as persons of Color, Dyches outlines what she classifies as a “prismatic approach” to the teaching of canonical texts – one that centers whiteness in order to re-see it. A prismatic approach, writes Dyches, “does not position students to see into (window) or see themselves reflected in (mirror) a curriculum that fundamentally excludes their existence”, as the mirror and windows approach is one that is often so text-centric that it loses sight of student-readers’ identities. Just as a prism separates white light and disperses it as different colors, teachers adopting a prismatic approach to the ELA curriculum create a space, along with students, in which to notice, question, and challenge systems of whiteness at play in canonical curricula. By centering whiteness in order to re-see it, a prismatic approach calls into the center the rich identities and lived experiences of students outside the mainstream.

Making Contemporary Connections

Michelle Falter and Nina Schoonover’s “Still Fighting for Migrant Workers’ Rights 75 Years Later: A Critical Approach to Teaching The Grapes of Wrath through Contemporary Youth Testimonios” opens what we perceive as a second transformational approach to teaching canonical texts: connecting past and present. For Falter and Schoonover, literature has the capacity to cultivate empathy. Recognizing in contemporary migrant children’s voices echoes of the Joad family’s struggle articulated in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, Falter and Schoonover describe an opportunity for students to walk alongside contemporary migrant youth, and to accompany them as human beings. By pairing modern-day migrant farmworkers’ youth testimonio with The Grapes of Wrath, Falter and Schoonover creatively harness the status of canonical texts in ways that dignify otherwise marginalized voices. Their chapter seeks to create, for English language arts students, a more multicultural picture of society, showing that when the otherwise monolithic forces of canonical texts are taken up by teachers and students in ways that acknowledge the political nature of teaching, reading literature can become an act of justice and solidarity.

What Falter’s and Schoonover’s chapter demonstrates is that canonical texts can allow space for the development of students’ critical literacies – a possibility that Jeremiah Sataraka and Ashley Boyd also make a reality in their chapter “Examining Islands Across Contexts: Reading Colonization Critically in Shakespeare.” Reading The Tempest through a postcolonial lens, a lens not necessarily new to the interpretative framework of this Shakespearean staple, Sataraka and Boyd layer on a contemporary connection that is new: the political, historical, and social conditions of the relationships between the United States and Hawai‘i. By comparing patterns of subjugation, language, and resistance in The Tempest with the relations between Hawai‘i and the United States, Sataraka and Boyd give voice to the histories and experiences of native Hawaiians, typically absent from curricula and classrooms. The juxtaposition of literary text alongside the history and politics of Hawai‘i contemporizes Caliban’s story, helping students to see not just how the domination and subjugation of a people has occurred in the past, but how imperialism continues into the present.

The contemporary connections that the authors in this volume make between canonical texts and present-day reality make manifest the Freirean notion of reading both word and world. Amy Cummins’s “Teaching The House on Mango Street in the #MeToo Era” elaborates one instance of how reading the world might actually force a re-reading and a re-teaching of the word. Set against a backdrop of the #MeToo movement dedicated to disrupting the silence and ensuing tolerance toward sexual assault, Cummins’s chapter brings to the surface a critical problem for teachers making pedagogical decisions about how best to approach Cisneros’s deliberately ambiguous references to the assault on Esperanza and, more generally, the sexualization of women. As Cummins points out, though Mango Street can make radical points precisely because it is not explicit “about” the assault on Esperanza, such ambiguity risks re-creating a scenario that the MeToo movement actively resists: “minimizing the damage of violence against women because of the ambiguity”. Cummins’s chapter, as much an elaboration of solutions to the challenges of teaching Mango Street as it is an articulation of potential problems, serves as a powerful example of how intersections between canonical text and present-day world are rich sites for cultivating critical literacies and critical approaches to the teaching of literature.

Sulzer’s chapter punctuates this section, connecting what may seem for some students an entirely unreal dystopian textual world with the highly technologized worlds that students currently occupy. In response to the rise of dystopian literature in classrooms throughout the country, Sulzer offers two approaches for making what he calls “text-to-software” connections with dystopian literature. Software, argues Sulzer, “has much in common with dystopian themes of absolute control, inescapable environments, and rampant injustice”. Thus, using Brave New World as the focal text through which he illustrates these potential text-to-software connections, Sulzer helps to keep Huxley’s novel culturally relevant in today’s changing demographics by simultaneously asking and answering the question: “How can canonical dystopias speak across time in ways that inform our contemporary conversations about living in a software-driven world?”.

Applying Critical Lenses

While each of the chapters in this volume engages with critical theory to animate its respective discussion on the canonical text in play, four of the chapters make critical theory an explicit dimension of the actual pedagogical approach they explore and promote. For Carlin Borsheim-Black in “A Critical Race Approach to Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird” and Ashley Johnson and Mary Neville in “Using Counterstories to Critique Racism: Critical Race Theory, Beloved, and The Hate U Give,” critical race theory plays an essential role in unpacking both Lee’s and Morrison’s novels. For Borsheim-Black, critical race theory seems the needed antidote for a novel that has long been celebrated as an anti-racist manifesto, but that may implicitly promote racist ideologies. Using some of the tenets of critical race theory, Borsheim-Black delineates what she describes as a “critical race approach” to the teaching of To Kill a Mockingbird, or any literature-based unit that chooses to foreground race and racism. By articulating racial literacy objectives, applying critical race concepts to literary analysis, foregrounding counterstories, and implicating readers’ racial identities, teachers can prioritize racial literacy as a desired outcome of the English language arts curricula.

In a way, Borsheim-Black’s elaboration of an approach designed to promote racial literacy anticipates Johnson and Neville’s turn from the aesthetic appreciation of Morrison’s Beloved to an appreciation of Morrison’s work as inherently political. Working with three tenets of critical race theory – the ordinariness of racism in U.S. society, the importance of narrative and counterstorytelling; and the intersectionality of race, gender, and class – Johnson and Neville show how Beloved pairs in provocative and productive ways with Angie Thomas’s contemporary young adult novel The Hate U Give. By placing Beloved in conversation with The Hate U Give, critical race theory not only helps to decenter the canonical text, it also links the past (slavery) with the present to show the persistence of racism throughout U.S. history.

Moving from critical race theory to Marxist theory, Elizabeth Currin, Stephanie Schroeder, and Todd McCardle argue that students, when equipped with Marxist analytical tools, can “examine the nuances of social class through canonical American depictions of the White working class”. Through a Marxist analysis of both Pap in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and George Wilson in The Great Gatsby, Currin, Schroeder, and McCardle begin to trouble the depictions of these white working class characters as creations by those not of a White, working class background. Their Marxist analysis about the problems of representation in canonical texts proves relevant not only for the teaching of literature, but also for the teaching of critical media analysis. After all, and as Currin, Schroeder, and McCardle show throughout their chapter, the canonical representations of Pap and George – composed by non-working class, White authors – bear striking similarities to journalistic representations of White, working-class voters in the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections.

Mike Cook, Brandon Sams, and Parker Wade’s chapter “Interrupting Ideologies within the Canon: Applying Critical Lenses to Pride and Prejudice, Eleanor & Park, and Contemporary Life” looks not only at class, but also at gender. Practically counter-canonical in the way it critiques gender and class norms, Pride and Prejudice can offer rich soil for the cultivation of critical literacy. Cook et al. propose teaching with what they call a “constellation” of texts that help to interrogate gender and social class ideologies, pushing back against a singular and static notion of the canon. Canonical texts, they argue, can actually offer “radical possibilities for helping students problematize norms that have been canonized.”

Considering Whom We Teach

The final section of the edited volume underscores an approach that is central to the book as a whole: considering the 21st century student who reads and learns from the canonical text. This approach makes explicit the specific lives and identities of English language arts students and curricularizes their stories, backgrounds, and voices as part of the canonical curriculum.

For example, Thein reflects on her own teaching experiences with Of Mice and Men noting the inclination to look for and teach the novel in ways that mask – or altogether ignore – emotion. Thein admits her teaching of Of Mice and Men swept aside students’ emotional responses to the novel because those responses did not align with the canonized emotional expectations of that text. In light of that experience, she argues, “emotion is always already in our classrooms; it cannot be invited in or dismissed” and suggests that attention to students’ emotions and emotional responses can signal their engagement with the text as well as their critical interpretations of it.

McNeill and Hines see potential in the canonical text for engaging English learners. Drawing upon cosmopolitan literacies and experiences in McNeill’s classes, they use canonical texts like Great Expectations and Romeo and Juliet to cultivate empathy and social action by positioning students as critical producers of knowledge, rather than mere consumers of a canonical curriculum. Tasked with describing their own ENL experiences, students created graphic novels of their own life stories, “highlighting their lived experiences, transnational identities, and home cultures…making peers aware of oppression and inequities around the world. In so doing, those students sensitized their classmates to global perspectives and deepened students’ emerging cosmopolitan literacies”. As a result, students in the class fostered solidarity, as part of the mission of cosmopolitanism is to widen students’ understandings of the world and to nurture a deep and abiding responsiveness to others’ cultural norms and values, demonstrating a respect born of cultural sensitivity.

Canady and Scott describe a pedagogical approach – art as imitation – that they used in a teacher’s classroom to assist students in making connections between their lives and the canonical text being studied, in this case, Romeo and Juliet. Rather than focus solely on the canonical text, though, Canady and Scott rely on the documentary Romeo Is Bleeding to teach alongside the play. The documentary investigates how students from California rewrite Shakespeare for their own language, context, and purposes. In working with a local teacher and inspired by the documentary, Canady and Scott observed how students, for an actual classroom assignment, rewrote Shakespeare’s words to reflect their own lived worlds, hence bridging art and life. They conclude that this assignment, inspired by the documentary, allowed for students to be “reconnected” with the canon and Shakespeare, specifically, “opening an avenue for the poetic voices of historically minoritized youth in a way that legitimizes, or ‘canonizes’ their own stories”.

Lastly, in “Teaching Critically for Freedom with 1984,” Styslinger, Walker, Byrd, and Hostetler close this volume with a chapter that seeks to elevate students’ voices during the teaching of 1984, a text that deals largely with the limitations of free speech and the manipulation of language. Cleverly presented as a kind of critical pedagogy, Styslinger et al.’s workshop model encourages student response, choice, and voice through a plethora of reading and discussion opportunities, prompts, and strategies. In the process, students’ meaning-making becomes a democratic endeavor because “They come to understand their role as critical citizens and the power of their voices. They come to recognize and practice those skills necessary for living within a democracy”. Ultimately, the students themselves, in conversation with the canonical text, construct knowledge that is vital to their own citizenry and social identities, including the need to be free to question, to doubt, to voice, to imagine, and to create without fear of retribution.

Conclusion

One benefit of these four approaches – decentering the canon, making contemporary connections, applying critical lenses, and considering whom we teach – is that they arose organically from teachers’ and students’ interests and questions and their desire to elicit culturally relevant and social justice-oriented themes. In other words, instead of following some canonical script, these authors imagined new possibilities for and with the canon as a larger genre. Rather than reinscribing potentially irrelevant, staid texts and narratives of generations past, these authors found inventive ways to flip the canonical script, to humanize word and world, and to produce what bell hooks (1991) refers to as critical fictions, where the once “canonized mind” is liberated, and “the imagination is free to wander, explore, question, transgress” (p. 55). We believe in a new generation of the English curriculum and applaud the contributors of this book in challenging the canonical genre by imagining the work the canon can do in the world when the ideologies of the canon meet the minds and hearts of powerful teachers and students.

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