English and disciplinary consciousness
What do the changes I have discussed in the previous chapter mean for how we study English as a discipline? Students studying English are sometimes confused by the fact that different critics seem not only to disagree about what a work of literature means or about how good it is but also about how to approach it, and even the overall point of what it is they are doing. As I’ve suggested, the confusion isn’t the student’s fault but stems from more, perhaps, from the different practices in the discipline. This chapter suggests that thinking about English as a discipline, with its many different strands, helps resolve some of these difficulties.