My aim is to review recent debates about value in relation to literary texts, and about the value of literary study, and consider these in relation to the compromise over literary value current in the university English curriculum in the United Kingdom. While the intensified interest in literary theory has had far-reaching implications for methods of studying literature, and while certain areas of the curriculum (in terms of the texts studied) have changed radically, others have altered little in the second half of the twentieth century. However, the requirements of 'taught texts' have altered. The kind of text which is currently valued widely is that which is most productive - a term to which I shall return. The paper also assesses the effect of market forces and student preferences in a world of "academic capitalism" (the term is Harold Fromm's). I want also to consider the relationship between value and two other concepts: mastery and repetitio
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.