The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #48: Canons (Within Canons)

General Introduction
– The end of an era
– What we want on our statues
– What’s on the blog?
– Freshman comp clichés
– More on DVD players in cars

What is a Canon?
– The Biblical Canon
– Inclusion and exclusion
– The Western Canon
– The six types of criticism and canons
– Lack of communication
– The relationship of canons and universities
– The element of suppression
– Multiple canons

The Biblical Canon
– Canons within canons
– The Lectionary as a cure
– The deuterocanonical books

Shakespeare! Shakespeare! Shakespeare!
– The center of the British canon?
– Poet or dramatist?
– Decentering Shakespeare
– Can we say who’s “better”?
– We take on the Shakespeare cottage industry
– Shakespeare and the “performative”

The American Canon
– Who’s our Shakespeare?
– Taking down Twain
– Creating the American canon (yes, I meant World War I)
– Modifying the canon
Longfellow’s disappearance
– The broadening of American-ness

And Now…David Grubbs Talks Beowulf
– How Beowulf misleads the masses
– The dearth of copies and references
– Possible replacements/supplements
– The tyranny of anthologies
– Chaucer’s similar situation
– Exilic literature

Blank Studies and the Canon
– Affirming specialized studies
– Do studies courses go too far?
– Biting the hand that feeds you
– Using studies tools in service of the canon
– A whiter shade of pale

The Canon and the Classroom
– How to shove it all in?
– Make them do the work
– Derrida and core curriculum
– Advice for laymen


Anglo-Saxon Poetry. Ed. S.A.J. Bradley. New York: Everyman, 1995.

Beowulf. Trans. Seamus Heaney. New York: Norton, 2001.

Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales. New York: Oxford UP, 2008.

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York: Norton, 1993.

Derrida, Jacques. Deconstruction in a Nutshell. Ed. John D. Caputo. New York: Fordham UP, 1996.

Dickinson, Emily. Collected Poems. New York: Barnes and Noble, 2003.

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. New York: Tribeca, 2011.

Felix. Felix’s Life of Guthlac. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1985.

Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Tribeca, 2011.

Freer, Coburn. The Poetics of Jacobean Drama. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1982.

Frost, Robert. The Poetry of Robert Frost. New York: Holt, 2002.

Gower, John. Confessio Amantis. Trans. Andrew Galloway. Kalamazoo, Mich.: Western Michigan U Medieval P, 2006.

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics. Trans. Bernard Bosanquet. New York: Penguin, 2004.

Hemingway, Ernest. Green Hills of Africa. New York: Scribner, 1998.

Lauter, Paul. Canons and Contexts. New York: Oxford UP, 1991.

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Poems and Other Writings. New York: Library of America, 2000.

Lydgate, John. The Troy Book. Kalamazoo, Mich.: Western Michigan U Medieval P, 1998.

Marlowe, Christopher. Doctor Faustus. New York: Norton, 2004.

Shakespeare, William. The Norton Shakespeare. New York: Norton, 2008.

Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Seattle: CreateSpace, 2008.

—. Pudd’nhead Wilson. Lawrence, Kansas: Digireads, 2005.

Wilson, Harriet. Our Nig. Seattle: CreateSpace, 2010.

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