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The Teaching ArchiveA New History for Literary Study$
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Rachel Sagner Buurma and Laura Heffernan

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226735948

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226736273.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 September 2021

T. S. Eliot, Modern English Literature (1916–19)

T. S. Eliot, Modern English Literature (1916–19)

Chapter:
(p.46) Chapter 2 T. S. Eliot, Modern English Literature (1916–19)
Source:
The Teaching Archive
Author(s):

Rachel Sagner Buurma

Laura Heffernan

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226736273.003.0003

Literary critics have long imagined that T. S. Eliot’s The Sacred Wood (1920) shaped the canon and methods of countless twentieth-century classrooms. This chapter turns instead to the classroom that made The Sacred Wood: the Modern English Literature extension school tutorial that Eliot taught to working-class adults between 1916 and 1919. Contextualizing Eliot’s tutorial within the extension school movement shows how the ethos and practices of the Workers’ Educational Association shaped his teaching. Over the course of three years, Eliot and his students reimagined canonical literature as writing by working poets for working people—a model of literary history that fully informed his canon reformation in The Sacred Wood.

Keywords:   T. S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood, Renaissance literature, Workers' Educational Association, extension education, World War I, canon, close reading, John Guillory, Cultural Capital

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