3 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2021
    1. It’s not an accident or a misfortune that great-books pedagogy is an antibody in the “knowledge factory” of the research university, in other words. It was intended as an antibody. The disciplinary structure of the modern university came first; the great-books courses came after.

      It seems at odds to use Charles W. Eliot as an example here as his writings described by Cathy Davidson in The New Education indicates that Eliot was specifically attempting to create standards in education that are counter to Menand's argument here.

    2. The idea of the great books emerged at the same time as the modern university. It was promoted by works like Noah Porter’s “Books and Reading: Or What Books Shall I Read and How Shall I Read Them?” (1877) and projects like Charles William Eliot’s fifty-volume Harvard Classics (1909-10). (Porter was president of Yale; Eliot was president of Harvard.) British counterparts included Sir John Lubbock’s “One Hundred Best Books” (1895) and Frederic Farrar’s “Great Books” (1898). None of these was intended for students or scholars. They were for adults who wanted to know what to read for edification and enlightenment, or who wanted to acquire some cultural capital.

      Brief history of the "great books".

  2. Nov 2021
    1. it must be acknowledged that conservatism is never more respectable than in education, for nowhere are the risks of change greater.

      —Charles W. Eliot

      And here I thought I was original in thinking this... :)