Advertisement

Being Taught by Leavis

  • Steven CranfieldEmail author
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Abstract

What was it like being taught by Leavis? This chapter contains a personal account of Leavis as teacher by the author, one of the last generation of students to be taught by him at the University of York. It briefly summarises an extensive literature about Leavis’s teaching before going on to discuss the impact on the author of his teaching style and methods (in lectures, classes and reading seminars). The teaching approach adopted in Leavis’s seminar reading of Eliot’s poetry is explored and illustrated. Using the concept of supplementarity to frame the account, considerations are raised about what counts as ‘being taught’ when the teacher is as potent a thinker and practitioner as Leavis and which his particular example serves to accentuate.

Keywords

Leavis Teaching Modernism D. H. Lawrence T. S. Eliot Reflexivity Reader-response criticism Post-structuralism Derrida Supplementarity 

References

  1. Bell, M. (1988). F. R. Leavis. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Cambridge Quarterly (1996). F. R. Leavis special issue. Reminiscences and revaluations, 25(4), 303–425.Google Scholar
  3. Day, G. (1996). Re-reading Leavis: ‘Culture’ and literary criticism. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Derrida, J. (1976). Of grammatology. Trans. G. C. Spivak. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Eliot, T. (1940). East Coker. Collected poems 1909–1962. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  6. Eliot, T. (1942). Little Gidding. Collected poems 1909–1962. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  7. Ellis, D. (2013). Memoirs of a Leavisite: The decline and fall of Cambridge English. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Fielding, M. (2004). Transformative approaches to student voice: Theoretical underpinnings, recalcitrant realities. British Educational Research Journal, 30(2), 295–311.Google Scholar
  9. Fish, S. E. (1980). Is there a text in this class? The authority of interpretive communities. Harvard: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Harding, D. W. (1984). No compromise. In D. Thompson op. cit. (pp. 187–200).Google Scholar
  11. Holland, R. (2011). F. R. Leavis: The gnome of Cambridge. Tullibody: Diadem Books.Google Scholar
  12. Layram, M. (Ed.) (2011). Leavis-Brockbank letters. Unpublished. University of York: Borthwick Institute and Archives.Google Scholar
  13. Leavis, F. R. (Ed.). (1934). Determinations. London: Chatto and Windus.Google Scholar
  14. Leavis, F. R. (1948). The great tradition: George Eliot, Henry James, Joseph Conrad. London: Chatto and Windus (Reprinted 2008); London: Faber Finds.Google Scholar
  15. Leavis, F. R. (1969). English literature in our time and the university. The Clark Lectures, 1967. London: Chatto and Windus (Reprinted 1979); Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Leavis, F. R. (1975). The living principle: ‘English’ as a discipline of thought. London: Chatto and Windus (Reprinted 1998); Chicago: Ivan R. Dee.Google Scholar
  17. Leavis, F. R. (1976). Thought, words and creativity. London: Chatto and Windus.Google Scholar
  18. Leavis, F. R. (1986). Valuation in criticism and other essays. Ed. with introduction, G. Singh. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Leavis, F. R., & Bateson, F. W. (1953). The responsible critic. Reprinted in: A selection from Scrutiny 1968. vol 2. Compiled by F. R. Leavis (pp. 280–316). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. MacKillop, I., & Storer, R. (Eds.). (1995). F. R. Leavis: essays and documents. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. Ollin, R. (2008). Silent pedagogy and rethinking classroom practice: structuring teaching through silence rather than talk. Cambridge Journal of Education, 38(2), 265–280.Google Scholar
  22. Page, C. (1995). Cunning passages: Leavis’s lectures on poetry and prose. In I. MacKillop, & R. Storer op. cit. (pp. 92–128).Google Scholar
  23. Robinson, I. (2011). F. R. Leavis the Cambridge don. Newark: Brynmill Press. Retrieved May 16, 2015, from http://www.edgewaysbooks.com/ebooks/04leavis.pdf.
  24. Rosenshine, B., & Meister, C. (1992). The use of scaffolds for teaching higher-level cognitive strategies. Educational Leadership, 49(7), 26–33.Google Scholar
  25. Salutin, R. (1984). Marginal notes: challenges to the mainstream. Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys.Google Scholar
  26. Smith, J. A. (2014). Scrutiny’s eighteenth century. Essays in Criticism, 64(3), 318–340.Google Scholar
  27. Thompson, D. (Ed.). (1984). The Leavises: recollections and impressions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Tompkins, J. P. (Ed.). (1980). Reader-response criticism: from formalism to post-structuralism. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Watson, G. (1977). The Leavises, the ‘social’ and the left. Swansea: Brynmill.Google Scholar
  30. Williams, N. (1991). The last romantics. Screen two: Season 8, episode 11. London: BBC Television (29 March 1992).Google Scholar
  31. Wilson, R. (2012). Stand up for bastards. In T. Papadopoulou, & W. McKenzie (Eds.) Shakespeare and I (pp. 107–125). London: Continuum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership and Professional Development, Westminster Business SchoolUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK

Personalised recommendations