Multiethnic Literature and Canon Debates


By Mary Jo Bona

cover image of Multiethnic Literature and Canon Debates

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This groundbreaking collection reinvigorates the debate over the inclusion of multiethnic literature in the American literary canon. While multiethnic literature has earned a place in the curriculum on many large campuses, it is still a controversial topic at many others, as recent campus and corporate revivals of The Great Books attest. Many still perceive multiethnic literature as being governed by ideological and political issues, perpetuating a false distinction between highbrow "literary" texts and multiethnic works.
Through historical overviews and textual analyses, the contributors not only argue for the aesthetic validity of multiethnic literature, but also examine the innovative ways in which multiethnic literature is taught and critiqued. The following questions are also addressed: Who and what determines literary value? What role do scholars, students, the reading public, book awards, and/or publishers play in affirming literary value? Taken together, these essays underscore the necessity for maintaining vibrant conversations about the place of multiethnic literature both inside and outside the academy.
Multiethnic Literature and Canon Debates