Schools of fiction

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This dissertation argues that American literature played a central role in the development of the modern school system at the turn of the twentieth century. Modern education is often associated with the rise of the technosciences and the marginalization of literary studies. Even within English departments feelings of crisis have predominated since the founding of the discipline more than a century ago. "Schools of Fiction" examines the work of writers and educators side by side to demonstrate how American literature became an animating force in scholastic life after the Civil War, when the modern program for formal education, extending from kindergarten to graduate school, was first coming into existence. If writers compelled educators to reexamine the school and its function in American society during this period, educators also pressured writers to reimagine their relationship to the growing audience of twentieth-century readers. It was the reciprocal, often combative exchanges between literary discourse and its institutional context, this dissertation argues, that produced what we now think of as modern American literature and enabled the school to become, in John Dewey's words, "a genuine form of active community life, instead of a place set apart in which to learn lessons.".


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2017
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Frank, Edward Morgan Day
Associated with Stanford University, English Department.
Primary advisor Jones, Gavin
Thesis advisor Jones, Gavin
Thesis advisor McGurl, Mark, 1966-
Thesis advisor Ruttenburg, Nancy
Advisor McGurl, Mark, 1966-
Advisor Ruttenburg, Nancy


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Edward Morgan Day Frank.
Note Submitted to the Department of English.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2017.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2017 by Edward Morgan Day Frank
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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