For English Lit's canon debate: has anyone come across studies covering the assignment of freshman lit based on usefulness, readability, or interest? The main focus or the canon debate appears to be on traditional lit versus underrepresented groups. Do we have any peer-reviewed material on replacing Charles Dickens with John Grisham? I realize this may sound ridiculous, but I'm quite serious and would gladly make my case were I given more than fifteen hundred characters to do so. I do not enjoy assigning Moby Dick to sophomore English students. They don't read it. I know that, and I believe most of you do as well. Students rent the movie. They visit sparknotes.com or cliffnotes.com. They ask older classmates about the story. But they don't read. Literature, and also the act of reading, has serious value. But I cannot share that value with students if they refuse to read the material. I wonder if any academics have considered the possibility of selecting works based on readability, on contemporary appeal. Novels that place on the New York Times' Best-Sellers List have demonstrated they appeal to readers. Those books are devoured even when not assigned as part of a course. Surely some of them must possess literary value to rival that found in Hemmingway or Crane. I'm not looking for any rebuttal or opinions on this brief position. I would simply like to know if anyone can direct me to scholarly texts that have considered this idea.

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http://www.enotes.com/revising-literary-canon-essays/revising-literary-canon/representative-works

I understand that you are serious.  I agree with revising the canon as so many students will not read any lengthy, serious book. The reference link I have posted is enotes and gives you other reference material to help you with your search.  I have not taught college for a...

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http://www.enotes.com/revising-literary-canon-essays/revising-literary-canon/representative-works

I understand that you are serious.  I agree with revising the canon as so many students will not read any lengthy, serious book. The reference link I have posted is enotes and gives you other reference material to help you with your search.  I have not taught college for a long time, and cannot give you examples myself, but I certainly can agree with you that something needs to change.  Maybe paired books could be a solution if the right books were paired together. Good literature has been written since the year 2000 and should be part of the canon as students must look at the world view of contemporary writers also. 

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