The Birth of English 101
THE SOURCE: “Browning in Hackney” by Alexandra Lawrie, in Times Literary Supplement, Jan. 20, 2012.
For all its dubious practicality, English is still one of the most popular college majors around. But the discipline is relatively new to academia, even in the homeland of Chaucer and Shakespeare. Until the late 19th century, classics monopolized literary studies. The authorities at England’s preeminent universities, Oxford and Cambridge, “refused to accept English as a serious, scholarly discipline, deeming it too vague and ill defined to be taught and examined in a systematic manner,” writes Alexandra Lawrie, a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh.
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