Thursday, December 3, 2009

Topic: The Relevance of Abraham Lincoln.

10-second review: 2009 is the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Why study Lincoln in a literature course? Six scholars and teachers suggest reasons.

Title: “Reflections on Lincoln and English Studies.” Douglas Wilson; Steven Mailloux; Nan Johnson; John Stauffer; Tony Wolk; and John Schilb. College English (November 2009), 160-173. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Quotes in response to the question, “Why study Lincoln today in English?”

“…a major contributor to the flowering of art and expression that became known as the American Renaissance.”

“…those in our discipline who privilege the study of literature and those who do the same with rhetoric.”

“…engaging students in the study of great words.”

“The story of Douglass and Lincoln’s literacy dramatizes the power of language of self-making. It also offers a salutary counterpoint to prevailing theories of education, which emphasize breadth over depth, movies and Internet-surfing over sustained reading, and a sampling of subjects and books instead of total immersion in a few works of great merit.”

“…immersing English students in a vital period of this country’s history….”

Lincoln’s prowess with words makes him relevant to our discipline.”

: I’m inclined to explore Lincoln’s rhetoric. RayS.

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