It is possible for students to obtain advanced degrees in English while knowing little or nothing about traditional
scholarly methods. The consequences of this neglect of traditional scholarship are particularly unfortunate for the (5) study of women writers. If the canon—the list of authors whose works are most widely taught—is ever to include more women, scholars must be well trained in historical scholarship and textual editing. Scholars who do not know how to read early manuscripts, locate rare books, establish (10)a sequence of editions, and so on are bereft of crucial tools for revising the canon.
To address such concerns, an experimental version of the traditional scholarly methods course was designed to raise students’ consciousness about the usefulness of (15)traditional learning for any modern critic or theorist. To minimize the artificial aspects of the conventional course, the usual procedure of assigning a large number of small problems drawn from the entire range of historical periods was abandoned, though this procedure has the obvious (20)advantage of at least superficially familiarizing students with a wide range of reference sources. Instead students were engaged in a collective effort to do original work on a neglected eighteenth-century writer, Elizabeth Griffith, to give them an authentic experience of literary scholarship
(25)and to inspire them to take responsibility for the quality of their own work.
Griffith’s work presented a number of advantages for this particular pedagogical purpose. First, the body of extant scholarship on Griffith was so tiny that it could all (30)be read in a day; thus students spent little time and effort mastering the literature and had a clear field for their own discoveries. Griffith’s play The Platonic Wife exists in three versions, enough to provide illustrations of editorial issues but not too many for beginning students to manage. In addi- (35)tion, because Griffith was successful in the eighteenth cen- tury, as her continued productivity and favorable reviews demonstrate, her exclusion from the canon and virtual dis-
appearance from literary history also helped raise issues concerning the current canon.
(40)The range of Griffith’s work meant that each student could become the world’s leading authority on a particular Griffith text. For example, a student studying Griffith’s Wife in the Right obtained a first edition of the play and studied it for some weeks. This student was suitably (45)shocked and outraged to find its title transformed into A Wife in the Night in Watt’s Bibliotheca Britannica. Such experiences, inevitable and common in working on a writer to whom so little attention has been paid, serve to vaccinate
the student ---I hope for a lifetime—against credulous use of reference sources.
17.The author of the passage is primarily concerned with
(A) revealing a commonly ignored deficiency
(B) proposing a return to traditional terminology
(C) describing an attempt to correct a shortcoming
(D) assessing the success of a new pedagogical approach
(E) predicting a change in a traditional teaching
18.It can be inferred that the author of the passage expects that the experience of the student mentioned as having
studied Wife in the Right would have which of the fol- lowing effects?
(A) It would lead the student to disregard information found in the Bibliotheca Britannica.
(B) It would teach the student to question the accuracy of certain kinds of information sources when studying neglected authors.
(C) It would teach the student to avoid the use of refer-ence sources in studying neglected authors.
(D) It would help the student to understand the impor-tance of first editions in establishing the author-ship of plays.
(E) It would enhance the student’s appreciation of the works of authors not included in the canon.
19. The author of the passage suggests that which of the following is a disadvantage of the strategy employed in the experimental scholarly methods course?
(A) Students were not given an opportunity to study women writers outside the canon.
(B) Students’ original work would not be appreciated by recognized scholars.
(C) Little scholarly work has been done on the work of Elizabeth Griffith.
(D) Most of the students in the course had had little opportunity to study eighteenth-century literature.
(E) Students were not given an opportunity to encoun-ter certain sources of information that could prove useful in their future studies.
20. Which of the following best states the "particular pedagogical purpose" mentioned in line 28?
(A) To assist scholars in revising the canon of authors
(B) To minimize the trivial aspects of the traditional scholarly methods course
(C) To provide students with information about Griffith’s work
(D) To encourage scholarly rigor in students’ own research
(E) To reestablish Griffith’s reputation as an author
21. Which of the following best describes the function of the last paragraph in relation to the passage as a whole?
(A) It summarizes the benefits that students can derive from the experimental scholarly methods course.
(B) It provides additional reasons why Griffith’s work raises issues having to do with the canon of authors.
(C) It provides an illustration of the immediate nature of the experiences students can derive from the experimental scholarly methods course.
(D) It contrasts the experience of a student in the experimental scholarly methods course with the experience of a student in the traditional course
(E) It provides information that emphasizes the suita- bility of Griffith’s work for inclusion in the canon of authors.
22. It can be inferred that which of the following is most likely to be among the "issues" mentioned in line 38?
(A) Why has the work of Griffith, a woman writer who was popular in her own century, been excluded from the canon?
(B) In what ways did Griffith’s work reflect the polit- ical climate of the eighteenth century?
(C) How was Griffith’s work received by literary critics during the eighteenth century?
(D) How did the error in the title of Griffith’s play come to be made?
(E) How did critical reception of Griffith’s work affect the quantity and quality of that work?
23. It can be inferred that the author of the passage con- siders traditional scholarly methods courses to be
(A) irrelevant to the work of most students
(B) inconsequential because of their narrow focus
(C) unconcerned about the accuracy of reference sources
(D) too superficial to establish important facts about authors
(E) too wide-ranging to approximate genuine scholarly activity
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