Professors, Publishers, and the Heath Anthology

Speaking at a meeting of the American Association of Publishers held in May 1990, Professor Kenneth E. Johnson of Florida International University concluded a talk on the relationship between publishers and the English professoriate with these remarks:

"The big publishing event this year for professors has been the introduction of the Heath Anthology of American Literature. Here is a clear manifestation at a pedagogical level of what is going on at the level of research. The entire questioning of what literature we choose to include in order to represent a literary history and tradition has been intensely critiqued. The hegemony of a predominantly anglo high culture has been seriously undermined by the valorizing of popular cultural discourse, folklore, and the discourse of minorities and women. The Heath Anthology's inclusion of representatives from this previously marginalized discourse forces we teachers of American literature to put our intellectual money where our pedagogical mouths lie. If in the past there was a problem selecting among the various authors of a traditional canon, this problem has been radically increased. It remains to be seen whether the conservative market of textbook adoption will support this venture, but as an intellectual and a teacher, I applaud the risk taken by Heath."

Contents, No. IV