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Campus Fictions

Exemption and the American Campus Novel

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228 S. XIII, 228 p. 10 illus..

In englischer Sprache

Springer Nature Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-031-49911-1


Campus Fictions argues that the academic novel balances utopian and regressive tendencies, reinforcing the crises we face in higher learning while simultaneously signposting hope for a worn institution. Whether a bestseller such as Erich Segal 's romance Love Story (1970) or wonkier fare such as Don DeLillo's White Noise (1985), the academic novel mystifies the academy not only to a wide public but also-worse-to readers who might describe themselves as sympathetic to higher learning. The book takes an eclectic approach to the academic novel with chapters discussing, for example, the genre's rampant anti-intellectualism and its work refusals, studying novels such as Ishmael Reed's Japanese by Spring (1993) and Julie Schumacher's Dear Committee Members (2014). The book is also accompanied by the "Directory of the American Campus Novel " file, which tracks the genre by year, by setting, and by other datapoints that readers might make use of. Responding directly to Jeffrey Williams, the renowned scholar of critical university studies who implores faculty to "teach the university," the book 's conclusion describes strategies for putting these novels into circulation in the classroom. Through this breadth, Campus Fictions establishes the importance of maintaining hope in the field of critical university studies, which tends toward apocalypticism and perhaps therefore toward disengagement.

Wesley Beal serves as W.C. Brown, Jr. Professor of English at Lyon College in the United States. He published his first monograph, Networks of Modernism, in 2015.

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