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Michael Maguire


A Disciplinary History and Theory of Contemporary Literature

My dissertation explores the tumultuous history of the university’s relationship with contemporary literature. I trace the constitution, production, and circulation of knowledge about contemporary literature from the first MLA panel on the subject to the formation of four key academic journals in the 1950s to the problems of research in a field wherein copyright restrictions obtain and distant reading methodologies appear necessary for a synoptic view. My project insists that the future of literary studies depends on the continued production of its object, and thus contemporary literature is the site at which our discipline must engage most urgently.