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UNF professor releases “The Teaching Archive: A New History for Literary Study”

January 2, 2021

Book cover of “The Teaching Archive: A New History for Literary Study"Dr. Laura Heffernan, UNF associate professor of English and Director of the Digital Humanities Institute, and Dr. Rachel Sagner Buurma, associate professor of English literature and co-director of the Aydelotte Foundation at Swarthmore College, released their new book titled “The Teaching Archive: A New History for Literary Study” through the University of Chicago Press.


The Teaching Archive is the “surprisingly readable” story of nine literature courses taught at nine very different higher education institutions (working-class extension programs, community colleges, HBCUS, state universities, small liberal arts institutions, etc.) between 1916 and 1979.The book has been a work in progress for Dr. Heffernan for over a decade as she has traveled to archives throughout the United States and the United Kingdome with the support of a major American Council of Learned Studies (ACLS) grant and research funding from UNF.


 “The book is relevant to UNF in the sense that it brings the important pedagogical histories of state universities like ours back into disciplinary history, which has in the past largely focused on elite, private schools,” said Dr. Heffernan.


Louis Menand, writer and critic for The New Yorker, says that The Teaching Archive “reanimates our understanding of the profession.”


Dr. Alison Byerly, president of Lafayette College, says that the book offers “a compelling defense of the humanities as an active, integrated, and broadly accessible mode of education.”


Dr. Deidre Shauna Lynch, Ernest Bernbaum professor of literature at Harvard University, calls the book “remarkably well-researched, beautifully written, wise, and moving” and says that it “makes silenced classroom voices audible once more.”


To read the book’s synopsis, view the full list of review quotes, and purchase the book, visit the University of Chicago Press website.