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Literature and Criticism / British Studies / Irish Studies


The Profession of Eighteenth-Century Literature
Reflections on an Institution
Edited by Leo Damrosch

The Profession of Eighteenth-Century Literature will rapidly become essential reading for all graduate students and scholars in the field. By focusing on the institutional dimension of literary studies, the volume contributes to larger theoretical debates, and will interest many readers beyond eighteenth-century studies. Its contributors possess the authority to challenge even the most established
—John B. Clayton, Vanderbilt University

The Profession of Eighteenth-Century Literature brings together essays by many of today’s leading critics of eighteenth-century literature in an effort to assess the present status of their field. Precisely because there is no longer a consensus about how literature should be read, studied, or taught, this volume represents an occasion for currently active scholars to consider their relationship to the academic past.


The resulting essays interweave literary history with personal history. They offer reflections on some of the most influential scholars of the 1960s and on the origins of currently influential approaches to literature: new historicism, ideology, feminism, and cultural materialism and dialectic. Volume editor Leo Damrosch provides a postscript on the experience of developing a professional career. The prominent contributors, who have written their essays especially for this volume, are John Bender, Leo Braudy, Marshall Brown, William C. Dowling, William H. Epstein, Carole Fabricant, Donna Landry, Lawrence Lipking, Michael McKeon, David B. Morris, and John Richetti.


Leo Damrosch is professor of English at Harvard University. He is the author of six books on eighteenth-century subjects, including Fictions of Reality in the Age of Hume and Johnson, also published by the University of Wisconsin Press.

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August 1992
LC: 92-001076 PR
240 pp.   6 x 9

Book icon Paper $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-13304-7
Book icon Cloth $62.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-13300-9
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