<i>Scrutiny</i>'s Empire

Christopher Hilliard

in English as a Vocation

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695171
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949946 | DOI:
Scrutiny's Empire

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This chapter moves beyond Britain to examine the Scrutiny movement's fortunes overseas. In the late 1940s and 1950s, the Kenyon School of English and Eric Bentley's anthology for American readers drew Scrutiny into efforts to enshrine criticism (and in particular the New Criticism) in American universities’ English programmes. University English departments were reorganized along Leavisian lines in Ceylon in the 1940s and Australia in the 1960s. Australian literature was not a major concern for Samuel Goldberg, the architect of the ‘Leavisite’ experiment at the University of Sydney in the 1960s, but Goldberg's plans were nevertheless based on an interpretation of colonial culture that borrowed heavily from F. R. Leavis and Denys Thompson's early work. The cultural or ‘sociological’ interests of early Scrutiny writings would also function as models or suggestions for ways of writing about colonial or national literary cultures in contexts as various as India, New Zealand, and Scotland.

Keywords: New Criticism; Kenyon School of English; John Crowe Ransom; Lionel Trilling; British Empire; Australian literary criticism; Indian literary criticism; Sri Lankan literary criticism; Ceylonese literary criticism; Scottish literature; New Zealand literature

Chapter.  14963 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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