Representations of Education in Literature

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This collection brings together contributions which deal with representations of different forms and levels of education. It emphasizes that while the locus or language of the narrative may differ, there is much common ground between divergent cultures. It also shows how representations of education can identify and signify on the diversity of cultures and traditions I the modern world, providing the reader with challenging images around which one can create new interpretations.


“The focus covers the entire spectrum of educational experience in the English speaking world, from post-colonial Africa to the contemporary United States. . . . Throughout the study, the style is lively, seldom losing sight of the seminal contexts outlined in Paul Nixon’s introduction. The sense in which Education, in all its guises and manifestations, implicitly informs and serves as a backdrop to Literature emerges clearly from the collection.” – J. J. O’Brien

“It is a novel collection that brings together a vast resource of writings than span an immense chronological and geographical order. Of particular interest. . . is the analysis of education in oppressed or developing societies, the varying role and the ‘imposition’ that education could be. The examples chosen, namely America, the Caribbean and Africa purposefully illustrating the case. A unique text which will serve as a good guide for students of education, sociology and literature. A rare combination but nonetheless, highly thought provoking.” – Rajash Rawal

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword by Malcolm Bradbury
1. Introduction (Paul G. Nixon)
2. Charlotte Brontë, Charles Babbage, and the Manufacture of Intelligence (Jennifer Ruth)
3. Sentimental Education: Frederick Douglass, Susan Warner and the Place of Literacy in Nineteenth-Century America (Jim O’Loughlin)
4. “Our brilliancies of theorising”: “Scylla & Charybdis” in Joyce’s Ulysses and the transformation of English studies (Andrew J. Shipe)
5. Representing the Adult Learner: Educating Rita and others (Kay Foster)
6. Re-Educating the Ethnic American Woman/Re-Educating Ourselves: (An)Other Bildungsroman Tradition (Laurie Grobman)
7. One Way into the Cul-de-sac: the Bildungsroman in the Colonies (Mary E. Donnelly)
8. The American College Experience: The Pull of the Past and the Tug of the Future (Samuel I. Bellman)
9. Education and Decolonization in a Melanesian Novel: John Saunana’s The Alternative (Robert Viking O’Brien)
10. Between Roses and Hibiscus: the Ambiguity of Education in Anglophone Caribbean Fiction (Eva Haxton)
11. “Miss Moore is besides herself”: Learning to Signify in Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson” (Mary S. Comfort)
12. The Bildungsroman, or the ‘Novel of Education in African Postcolonial Fiction: Tsitsi Dangaremgba’s Nervous Conditions (Kwakwo Osei-Nyame, Jr.)
13. The University as a Microcosm of Society: Two Nations in David Lodge’s Nice Work? (Ruth Wittlinger)

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