Canon Analysis

This paper, which when revised will appear as part of your final project, offers you an opportunity to use library and internet research to analyze the canon of literature established by the class you teach, or plan to teach.

I would think you would need a minimum of four pages to begin to explore this topic. Prepare a brief report on your findings to share with the class; include a 1-2 page summary to hand out.

Look at resources such as:

  • textbooks
  • anthologies
  • guides to literary study
  • institutional rules, requirements, expectations
  • special teaching editions of canonical works
  • on-line syllabi
  • on-line course resources from textbook companies, etc.

Consider questions such as:

  • What is the "standard" "canonical" content of this course?
  • How has the content of this course evolved over time?
  • Who decides what is taught in the course?
  • What class, race, gender, national, and global perspectives are represented in the canon of this course?
  • Based on the inclusion and exclusion in the canon of this course, what would appear to be the goals of the course?
  • How is literature approached in the course? (biographical, historical, literary tradition, theoretical, cultural studies)
  • How might the canon be evolved? What challenges and opportunities would evolving the canon entail?

Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised Date: 1/10