Specialisation and Social Utility: Disciplining English Studies

Josephine M. Guy

in The Organisation of Knowledge in Victorian Britain

Published by British Academy

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780197263266
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734854 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Specialisation and Social Utility: Disciplining English Studies

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This chapter analyses the relationship between nineteenth-century and modern debates about the academic discipline of English. It discusses the development of the discipline of English in terms of wider changes in the social organisation of knowledge which took place in the late decades of the nineteenth century, particularly the processes which constitute professionalisation and specialisation. It suggests that a framework placing English in relation to general criteria for disciplinary knowledge represents a complete or sufficient understanding of its history. The chapter also discusses the role played by local institutional politics and practices and different countries and nationalities in the development of English as a discipline.

Keywords: academic discipline; English; professionalisation; specialisation; disciplinary knowledge; politics

Chapter.  9096 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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