English Professor Gary Harrison and his collaborators UNM professors
emeriti Paul Davis, David M. Johnson, Patricia Clark Smith and
John F. Crawford, recently published the Bedford Anthology
of World Literature, (Bedford/St. Martins, 2004)
a five-year project designed to bring world literature into
a world context.
is already surpassing sales projections at the collegiate level,
while volume six, focusing on literature since 1900, is also
being used in advanced placement courses in high schools nationally.
are sold in packages of the first and second three-set volumes.
Each package costs $60. It is an inexpensive way to build
a personal library of the worlds literature, said
Sea Scrolls, the Odyssey, The Aeneid, Bhagavad Gita, Confucius,
St. Augustine, Tao Qian, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and
creation myths from ancient Mexico all have a place within the
who came to UNM from Stanford in 1986, said he and the group
collaborated on an earlier two-volume text, Western Literature
in a World Context published in 1995. Paul [Davis]
and I, as well as those in the English undergraduate committee,
discussed bringing back the Great Books course, Harrison
Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant allowed the English
Department to publicize and offer the courses. The classes
were team taught with male and female instructors because gender
and culture affect the reading of literature, he said.
said that formerly most world literature courses had a Eurocentric
perspective. The literary traditions of Asia, Africa,
India and Latin America were virtually ignored, he said.
He added that the collaborators also made the effort to represent
oral and marginalized Western traditions better. There
are no established criteria for defining masterworks in genres
such as letters and diaries. They are usually overlooked,
corresponds to the six time periods commonly taught. Expanding
to six volumes allowed us to add maps, illustrations and to
put the literature in context, said Harrison.
decided to feature cross-cultural literary groupings. The books
feature In the World clusters written around a theme
history of religions, science, love, human rights, East
meets West, imperialism and more. In the Tradition
sections present poetry on love in the first three volumes while
the literature of war and American multiculturalism are featured
in the volume six.
help the students and instructors understand what
happened where with regard to history and politics, literature,
science, culture and technology, with more information available
via the Web. It is critical that students recognize world
cultures beyond their own, said Harrison.
at Bedford/St. Martins, a premiere English language publisher,
tagged the collaboration organic because the professors
hailed from one institution, allowing for close contact, regular
meetings and discussions so that the work could evolve appropriately
without someone taking a lead on any one section.
books will change the way World Literature is taught, understood
and appreciated, said Scott Sanders, English Department
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