International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Book | Chapter

The discipline of literary studies

Stein Haugom Olsen

pp. 37-64

This chapter addresses the status of literary studies as an academic discipline, tracing its emergence as a field of study in nineteenth-century British culture and gauging to what extent the field can lay claim to being a discipline of knowledge. The chapter examines early ideals that the profession invoked to establish itself as a disciplinary matrix, including its values, the definition of its object of study, its conceptualisation of the relationship between the said object of study and its context, its methodisation of the ideals of taste, and critical judgement. The conclusion is that literary studies should rethink its relationship with cultural values and reconceptualise its status as "disciplined intellectual work' rather than as a discipline of knowledge.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-33147-8_3

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Olsen, (2016)., The discipline of literary studies, in A. Selleri & P. Gaydon (eds.), Literary studies and the philosophy of literature, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 37-64.

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