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English Studies On This Side

Post-2007 Reckonings

Edited by Suman Gupta The Open University, UK and Milena Katsarska Plovdiv University, Bulgaria

Plovdiv University Press 2009


Suman Gupta and Milena Katsarska, 2009 Cover image Milena Katsarska Plovdiv University Press 2009 ISBN 978-954-423-568-0

Notes on Contributors Acknowledgements Introduction On English Studies and Philology, and on Collaboration and Contributions Suman Gupta and Milena Katsarska Part I Canon, Curriculum and Change 1 2 The Canon and the Curriculum W. R. Owens English Studies in Romanian Higher Education: A Brief Diachronic View Mihaela Irimia Defining the Literary Parameters of Englishness in Bulgarian Academic Culture: the Case of Marco Mincoffs History of English Literature Ludmilla Kostova Teaching English Literature and Cultural Studies in Bulgaria: A Contemporary Perspective Yordan Kosturkov On Restructuring Survey Courses in the BA Literature Curriculum in Bulgaria: A Contemporary Perspective Lubomir Terziev English One Discipline or Many? An Introductory Discussion Ann Hewings Global Englishes Joan Swann 7 14 15 17 45 47





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Part II Pedagogy, Practice and Policy 8 Tradition and Perspectives: Teaching General Linguistics to First Year Students of British and American Studies at Sofia University Alexandra Bagasheva The Changing Perspective of Teaching English Grammar at the University of Veliko Turnovo: A Case Study Boryana Bratanova




10 Promoting Cultural Studies in the Bulgarian University Context in the 1990s: Notes on Educational Practice Petya Tsoneva 11 Reading/Teaching British Culture from a Comparative Perspective? Pavel Petkov 12 The Practice of Note Making, or Literacy and the Study of English in Romania Ana-Karina Schneider 13 The Re-trainees Programme in English at the English and American Studies Department at Sofia University Madeleine Danova 14 Access and Equity Issues Engendered by Participation in English Language Study Programmes in Romanian Universities Silvia Florea Part III Collaborations and Circulations 15 Student and Faculty Exchanges Involving the English Department of Sofia University Alexander Shurbanov 16 Interview: Reflections on Collaborative Experience Michael Holman 4





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17 Between Sofia and London Simon Edwards 18 The Fulbright Program in Bulgaria Julia Stefanova Part IV The Comparative Perspective 19 Back to the Pre-history of English Literary Studies in Bulgaria: Ivan Shishmanovs Academic Project Cleo Protohristova 20 Myth and Ideology: British Romanticism in Comparative Literature Textbooks Vitana Kostadinova 21 Studying the Gothic Novel from a Comparative Perspective: Issues of Translation and Canonization Ognyan Kovachev 22 British Literature in the Context of Stage and Screen Arts Higher Education Iskra Nikolova Index

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Notes on Contributors
Alexandra Bagasheva is Lecturer in General Linguistics and English Syntax at Sofia University, Bulgaria. Her main interests are in the fields of cognitive linguistics, meta-linguistics, linguistic anthropology and philosophy of science. In her publications she tries to unify these interests. Recent publications include The Verb in the Preposition. The Preposition in the Verb (co-authored, in Bulgarian) in the volume On Man and Language in Honour of Maya Pencheva (2007, compiler and editor); In Search of the Language Organ (Re-visiting some conceptual discontinuities in linguistic theory) in Bulgarian Journal of American and Transatlantic Studies; issue 2 (2007). Boryana Bratanova is Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. Her research interests are in the fields of cognitive linguistics (the Prototype Theory, linguistic categorization, event construal, language and space), language typology, functional grammar, contrastive analysis, computational linguistics and computer-assisted translation. She has a number of publications on the relation between transitivity and causation, the language of emotions, and contrastive analysis of causative constructions in English and Bulgarian. She is a member of the Bulgarian Society for British Studies (BSBS). Madeleine Danova is Associate Professor at the Department of English and American Studies and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Languages at Sofia University, Bulgaria. She teaches American Literature and Culture and has taught various literary courses at other Bulgarian Universities and at SUNY, Albany. She has participated in a number of conferences and workshops on different aspects of American Studies as well as in several international projects on ethnicity, nationalism, language and identity. Simon Edwards is Principal Lecturer in English at Roehampton University, London, UK. He has published on the work of Dickens, Scott and Cooper, most recently contributing a chapter, 7

Home and Away with Walter Scott to the MLA volume Approaches to Teaching Scott's Waverley Novels (2009). He has lectured and taught extensively in South-Eastern Europe, including Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania. Silvia Florea is Associate Professor in the Department of British and American Studies, at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania. Her main interests are in higher education issues, discourse analysis, the semiotics of social difference, political economies of language, gender, class, and ethno-racial relations as well as cultural anthropology. She is the author of three books: Ways with Words (2001); Ezra Pound: His Poetic Universe and Its Reception in Romanian Literature (2003); and Between and Across Cultures: The Challenges of Education (forthcoming, 2009). Suman Gupta is Professor of Literature and Cultural History, Open University, and currently Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Roehampton University, UK. Since 2007 he has been coordinating the project on English Studies in Non-Anglophone Contexts: East Europe, involving collaboration with colleagues from three universities in Bulgaria and three in Romania. Gupta has published nine single-authored books including recently Social Constructionist Identity Politics and Literary Studies (2007) and Literature and Globalization (2008) six co-edited volumes, and over sixty chapters, articles and reviews. Ann Hewings is Senior Lecturer in Language and Communication at the Open University, UK. She previously taught English language in Europe, Asia, and Australia from primary to tertiary levels. She worked for a number of years on the COBUILD project, researching and contributing to English language reference materials. Her current research focus is disciplinary writing in English by students and academics in Anglophone and nonAnglophone contexts. Michael Holman spent his academic career (1966-1999) at the University of Leeds, where he was Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. He played a leading role in establishing and developing academic and know-how exchanges be8

tween the University of Leeds and institutions in Russia and Eastern Europe. For his contribution to Anglo-Bulgarian cultural relations he was awarded the Order of Stara Planina (First Class) by the Bulgarian Government and an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Sofia. He is Emeritus Professor of Russian and Slavonic Studies at the University of Leeds and is now resident in Kent. Mihaela Irimia is Professor of English and Director of the British Cultural Studies Centre (BCSC), Director of the Centre of Excellence for the Study of Cultural Identity, and member of the Doctoral School of the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Bucharest, Romania. She has authored some 200 articles and studies. Among her publications are: The Ineffectual Angel of Political Hijacking: Shelley in Romanian Culture, in Michael Rossington & Susanne Schmid (eds), The Reception of Shelley in Europe (2008); Lures and Ruses of Modernity / Leurres et ruses de la modernit (2007) (editor); and Travel (of) Writing (2006) (coeditor). Milena Katsarska is Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Her publications are in the fields of culture studies, intercultural communication and education. Among them are Migration, Modern Nationalism and Nostalgia for the Homeland in the Age of Globalization (2007, co-editor), Translation Practicum: English and Bulgarian (2008, co-author) and The Bulgarian Connection in Harry Potter in Gupta, ReReading Harry Potter (2009, 2 ed.). She is coordinator in Bulgaria of the Leverhulme Trust funded phase of the project this volume arises from. Vitana Kostadinova lectures at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Her area of specialization is British Romanticism. Her publications include the Bulgarian contributions to The Reception of Byron in Europe, ed. R. Cardwell (2004), and The Reception of P. B. Shelley in Europe, eds. S. Schmid and M. Rossington (2008). She is co-editor of Byron and the Isles of Imagination: A Romantic Chart (2009) and author of Byron in Bulgarian Context: Footprints on the Sands of Time (in Bulgarian, 2009). 9

Ludmilla K. Kostova is Associate Professor of British literature and cultural studies at the University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. Her book Tales of the Periphery: the Balkans in Nineteenth-Century British Writing (1997) has been frequently cited by specialists in the field. Her recent publications include Victimization and Its Cures: Representations of South Eastern Europe in British Fiction and Drama of the 1990s (2009) and Getting to Know the Big Bad West? Images of Western Europe in Bulgarian Travel Writing of the Communist Era (1945 1985) (2009). Kostova is an editorial board member of Journal of Multicultural Discourses and the Internet journal TRANS. Yordan Kosturkov teaches English and American literature at The Paissii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. His research interests are focused on British and American Postmodernism, Enlightenment, Willa Cather and American women modernists. He has published two books on American and English literature, News from the Past Century and The Secret Lives of the Great English Writers. He has also rendered into Bulgarian the work of authors like Lawrence Sterne, Willa Cather, Norman Mailer, Cynthia Ozick etc. Ognyan Kovachev is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Literature, Cinema and Visual Culture Masters Degree Program at Sofia University, Bulgaria. He is the author of The Gothic Novel: Genealogy, Genre, Aesthetics (2004, in Bulgarian), Literature and Identity: Transfigurations of Alterity (Sofia University Press, 2005, in Bulgarian), essays and articles in the fields of comparative literature, gothic, literature and film, and nationalism studies. Professor Dr. Sc. Iskra Nikolova teaches literature at the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, Bulgaria. She has publications in the field of literature, theatre, cultural studies. She is also a translator (from English and German) of plays, fiction, articles, essays. Her books include: Modus Operandi or the Collage Principle: John Gay's "Beggar's Opera" and Bertolt Brecht's "Dreigroschenoper" (2002), Texts in Motion: Problems of Translation and Adaptation (2005, winner of the ICARUS award of the Bulgarian Theatremakers Union), Pages and 10

Stages: Theories, Practices and Genre Developments in Contemporary Drama (2009). W. R. Owens is Professor of English Literature at The Open University, UK. His research interests are in early modern English literature, textual scholarship, and Book History. He is Director of The Reading Experience Database ( His publications include editions of John Bunyans Grace Abounding (1987), and The Pilgrims Progress (2003). Jointly with P. N. Furbank, he is author of four books on Defoe and General Editor of The Works of Daniel Defoe (44 volumes, 2000-2009). Pavel Petkov is a graduate of the University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria, where he received his Masters degree in 1999. He has earned his second Masters degree at Warwick University, UK. He has spent two years teaching English at Jinhua University, China. His interests are in travel literature. He is currently working on his doctoral dissertation on images of China in contemporary English-language travel writing. Cleo Protohristova, Doctor habil., is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Among her publications are: The Mirror. Literary, Metadiscursive and Cultural Comparative Trajectories (Plovdiv: Letera, 2004); West European Literature. Comparative Observations, Theses, Ideas (Plovdiv: Hermes Press, 2000, third edition 2008); Through the Looking Glass into the Enigma. Literary and Metadiscursive Aspects of the Mirror Metaphor (Shumen: Glauks, 1996); The Euphony of Discordance. Studies on Intertextuality (Sofia UP, 1991); and Imperfect Sentences. Essays on Bulgarian Literature (Plovdiv: Hr. G. Danov, 1990). Ana-Karina Schneider is Associate Professor at Lucian Blaga University, Sibiu, Romania. Her publications include a book entitled Critical Perspectives in the Late Twentieth Century. William Faulkner: A Case Study (Lucian Blaga UP, 2006), as well as an assortment of articles on Faulkners critical reception, English prose fiction, literary translation and reading practices. 11

She has been Manuscript and Review Editor of the journal American, British and Canadian Studies since 1999. Professor Dr. Alexander Shurbanov taught English Literature at Sofia University from 1971 to 2009. For a number of years he has been Head of the Department of English and American Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology. His studies deal primarily with English Renaissance literature. Shurbanov has translated into Bulgarian verse Chaucers The Canterbury Tales, Miltons Paradise Lost, plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries and modern English and American poetry. Julia Stefanova is Executive Director of the BulgarianAmerican Commission for Educational Exchange Fulbright since 1993. She is president of the Bulgarian American Studies Association (BASA) and a Board member of the European American Studies Association. Dr. Stefanova is Associate Professor of English literature at the Department of English and American Studies of Sofia University. Her fields of teaching and research are: English literature (18th century and Romanticism); transatlantic relations; American literature and culture; communication and literature; myth and literature; international education. She is a member of international associations and institutions of education, e.g. NAFSA, EAIE, ARCS. Joan Swann is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Language and Communication at the Open University, UK. She is a sociolinguist with interests in language and identity, and language and creativity. Recent books include The Routledge Companion to English Language Studies (2010, co-edited with Janet Maybin); Introducing Sociolinguistics (2nd edn 2009, with Rajend Mesthrie, Ana Deumert and William Leap); and The Art of English: Everyday Creativity (2006, co-edited with Janet Maybin). Lubomir Terziev is Lecturer in English Romanticism at Sofia University, Bulgaria. His research focuses on Romantic prose and poetry, more specifically the work of S. T. Coleridge. Theoretically, he is interested in the nexus between aesthetics and 12

politics, and is now in the throes of a dissertation entitled The Poet and the Politician in Coleridges Prose. He is in the process of setting up a Creative Writing Programme at Sofia Universitys English Department. Petya Tsoneva is an Assistant Professor at the University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. Her publications are in the field of British Studies. Among them is Metamorphosis and Identity Construction in Salman Rushdies The Satanic Verses in the University of Bucharest Review 1/2008 (47-52). Currently she is pursuing a PhD course in modern and postmodern studies.


Thanks are due to the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust for generously supporting the collaborative project English Studies in Non-Anglophone Contexts: Higher Education in Bulgaria and Romania, which made it possible for colleagues from several universities in the UK, Romania and Bulgaria to work jointly since 2007. This volume is a result of the project. The editors are grateful for the financial and administrative input of the Open University to the project, and for the support of all the institutions and departments to which the project collaborators are affiliated. We are indebted to all our project collaborators personally and professionally for their commitment and valuable contributions. The Paisii Hilendarski University and the Bulgarian Union of Scholars in Plovdiv hosted the workshop where the foundation for this book was laid. It is thanks to the financial and academic support of the Research Fund at Plovdiv University that this volume came into being. Suman Gupta and Milena Katsarska October 2009



On English Studies and Philology, and on Collaboration and Contributions

Suman Gupta and Milena Katsarska A Conflict of Faculties? Suman Gupta
This volume arises from a collaborative project on English Studies in Bulgaria and Romania which began in 2007, the year when both countries formally joined the European Union. It seemed an opportune moment for stock taking of the condition of the discipline in these countries for several reasons. Some concerned the disciplinary formation of English Studies in general, and some had to do with the specific social and cultural milieus of Bulgaria and Romania. In a general way, the global spread and dominance that the English language, and consequently English language cultural products, currently enjoys has naturally been accompanied by a growing interest in English Studies. English departments and subject centres have burgeoned and flourished of late in higher education around the world. However, the discipline itself if it can indeed be regarded as anything so unitary is currently both deeply divided and uneven. To begin with, English Studies is conceived along several disparate models in different contexts which seem to exist in discrete zones and do not really speak to each other. Moreover, the discipline continues to be troubled by the geopolitical dominance of Anglophone centres (primarily Britain and the United States), despite the global reach of the English language. Interrogating the presumptions that appear in and from these geopolitical centres within the broadly Anglophone sphere (from a variety of postcolonial and marginal positions) has occupied much of the last three decades and has made some headway in terms of general institutional visibility, but remains an incomplete project. The pursuit of English Studies in ordinarily nonAnglophone contexts has barely been scratched as an area of interest in general institutional terms, despite venerable academic traditions and considerable scholarly production. Thus the 17

particularities of English Studies in German or Russian or Chinese or Egyptian academies may be registered to some extent in those countries respectively, but very rarely appear in ostensibly panoptic or generalised accounts of the discipline. And English Studies in such contexts continues to be almost entirely neglected in academies of the Anglophone centres. However, some of the most interesting developments in the discipline are arguably taking place there, amidst the crossings and interfaces of languages, histories and cultural forms. This is evident in the English Studies scholarship that is prolifically produced in ordinarily non-Anglophone contexts; it is also apparent in English Studies curricula and teaching practices in higher education there, which necessarily accommodate the discipline amidst local realities and exigencies. In a general way then, the project in question approached English Studies in Bulgaria and Romania as case studies which could inform a larger project on English Studies in non-Anglophone contexts one that is germane to the discipline at large, wherever it may be pursued. Bulgaria and Romania both have considerable traditions of English Studies, dynamic academic communities and departments of English Studies in higher education institutions, with institutions which are open enough and scholars who are committed enough to enable such a collaborative project to be fruitfully undertaken. That briefly outlined general sense of the discipline which underpinned the collaborative project would hardly have made sense if it wasnt articulated in terms of the specifics of the Bulgarian and Romanian contexts. The general and the particular are in this instance mutually defined. English Studies in both contexts throws the general features of the discipline into relief, so to speak, because of specific common denominators and because of marked differences. The combination of common denominators and differences in Bulgaria and Romania enable us to characterise their distinctive relation to and difference from dominant and general accounts of the discipline their distinctive presence in English Studies. The common denominators are well known. Both countries were of the former Eastern Bloc, in both single-party communist governments collapsed in late 1989, and both went through a period of sweeping social and political transitions thereafter. To a great extent the latter were in 18

the direction of seeking integration with the transnational formation of the European Union, which was achieved for both in 2007. The experiences of communism, post-communism, transition toward liberal capitalism and EU accession are broadly common denominators which impinged upon all areas of study on academic institutional arrangements as on disciplinary pursuits. These experiences are also marked by the differences between the two contexts, and indeed by variegations within each of the two contexts, in ways which are expressed succinctly in the following chapters and which I therefore do not need to try and summarise here. As in any area of study, so in English Studies the particularities of the experiences of Bulgaria and Romania before and after 1989 and before and after 2007 were registered in a variety of ways. On the ground, in working out its methods and objects of analysis, the collaborative project in question was designed to take account of these. The idea was ultimately to engage the specificities and commonalities of English Studies in Bulgaria and Romania with a view to discerning what sort of vantage point is thereby obtained for reconsidering dominant and general accounts of the discipline. That is a very cursory and somewhat abstract account of the thinking behind the collaborative project this volume arises from. More flesh and life are added to this account in the chapters that follow. In practice, the project involved collaborations between colleagues from universities in Bulgaria (St Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia, St Cyril and St Methodius University in Veliko Turnovo, Paisii Hilendarski University in Plovdiv) and Romania (University of Bucharest, Ovidius University in Constanta, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu) and the UK (The Open University, Roehampton University in London). Some material was collected in Bulgaria particularly (determined by the practicalities of funding) to inform wide-ranging discussions along the lines sketched above: student surveys were conducted, interviews were undertaken, curricular content was charted, teaching practices were observed, and bibliographies were put together. Some of the results of these investigations are available on the project website at These investigations and the material accordingly collected were used as a spring 19

board for discussions on English Studies in Bulgaria and Romania, and in an Anglophone centre like Britain, and with a general global perspective. The discussions took the form of a series of workshops in the course of 2008 and 2009: in Veliko Turnovo and Plovdiv, in Cluj and Sibiu, in London. A core group of collaborators attended all the workshops, and other colleagues were invited to attend each according to proximity to the location of the workshop. Thus the workshops in Romania naturally had a strong input from colleagues in Romania, but maintained coherence with the projects overall objectives through contributions by some colleagues from Bulgaria and the UK. Similarly, workshops in Bulgaria had a strong Bulgarian contribution, but also significant input from Romanian and British collaborators. This volume is particularly a result of one of the latter, of discussions that took place in and around the workshop in the premises of the Bulgarian Union of Scholars, and with the support of the Paisii Hilendarski University, in Plovdiv in October 2008. Having gone briefly through the broad conceptual underpinnings of the collaborative project and this volume, I would now like to turn to a more individual perspective on one aspect of these. This perspective has a bearing on discussions in many of the chapters here and yet is not squarely addressed in them, and it explains to some degree the interest of British collaborators and authors here (including mine). This has to do with the different models of English Studies in different contexts mentioned above. In my view, it is most appropriate that this volume is published by the Plovdiv University Press because the collaborative project has its roots in Plovdiv. My first visit to Bulgaria in 2005 was to the Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv, when I first met colleagues in English Studies from there and other Bulgarian universities, in the context of a quite different project (on Globalization, Identity Politics, and Social Conflict, see I became vaguely aware then that these colleagues were affiliated to Philology Faculties dealing mainly with Modern Languages, among which English Studies figured. More precisely, I was aware of and had even passed through other philology faculties and institutes in continental Europe before that without giving the matter much thought, but in Plovdiv it was borne on me that my understanding of English Studies as a philological discipline was distinctly shaky. My 20

education and professional affiliations in Britain, India and elsewhere prior to that had been in English Literature departments or sub-departments in Faculties of Arts or Humanities. I also gradually became aware of, or rather put my mind to, the fact that the manner in which pedagogic arrangements are made for English Studies in Philology Faculties is somewhat different from those I have been accustomed to. These are necessarily programmes which combine courses in language/linguistics and literature/culture studies, and serve to develop practical and applied language skills among students (inevitably, given that it is an ordinarily non-Anglophone context that most students come from) as well as to cultivate an understanding of Anglophone linguistics, literatures and cultures. In other words, all students majoring in English or taking English in a combined programme have a more holistic exposure to all those strands of English Studies, which could be expected consistently with the philological tradition to inform and enhance each other. As Ann Hewingss chapter below observes, English Studies in Britain is a divided house, and in general these strands are held apart more emphatically in pedagogic practice, usually in an institutionally demarcated way. Various combinations and overlaps are available in programme pathways on offer in Britain, but on the presumption of separateness. In fact the juxtapositions of and expectations of mutual interpenetration between these strands that pertain to English Studies under Philology Faculties is a markedly unfamiliar notion in Britain and even in the United States (I explain the even below) now. One may go through shelves of critical theory textbooks and disciplinary overviews for English literature or linguistics or cultural studies produced since the 1970s for the academy in Anglophone centres and rarely encounter the term philology (I have looked). I also gathered that the institutional disposition of English Studies in Philology Faculties is generally consistent with that of other subject areas under their aegis. In fact philological structures and expectations sit more comfortably there, through well-established practice and ensconced conceptual precepts, in the study of Slavic languages, Romance languages, and obviously German and Classical languages, than perhaps in English Studies now. The perception that there is a sort of slip between the institutional arrangements and expectations of Philology Faculties and 21

the specific place of English Studies therein also grew on me gradually between 2005 and 2007, when the collaborative project was initiated. It was evident to me that, in terms of their sense of disciplinary affiliation and belonging, Bulgarian or Romanian English Studies colleagues spoke the same language as colleagues in Britain or the United States. Very few of the former appeared to think of themselves as English philologists in a broad sense, and preferred to identify their scholarly and pedagogic commitments distinctly in terms of English Literature and Cultural Studies, English Language and Linguistics, American Studies, at times Irish Studies, and (more unfamiliarly from a British point of view) British Studies. The last is rare in Britain as a clearly demarcated subject area, but easily anticipated as a natural correlative to approaching English Studies as consisting in a foreign language and literature (with traditional counterparts in the form of courses on British civilization or English-speaking civilizations). Besides, I was aware of the drive by the British Council to institute British Studies in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990s, and had regarded it (and still do) as an ideologically invidious move on the Councils part on grounds which are outside the remit of this paper. That English Studies colleagues in Philology Faculties seem to habitually present themselves in this fashion is, it seems to me, not merely a matter of being specific about their teaching and research interests. It is because within the Philology Faculty, the English Studies area is really disposed in a rather un-philological fashion as distinct sub-departments of language and linguistics, literature, culture studies, American studies etc. which do not greatly inform each other in pedagogic or scholarly matters. Indeed, I was given to understand that at some Bulgarian and Romanian institutions English Language and Linguistics and English Literature are seeking distinct and separate institutional status. The sub-departmental divisions within English Studies under Philology Faculties match largely institutional arrangements for English Studies under Faculties of Arts or Humanities. In practical terms, English Linguistics speaks as little or as much to English Literature in Bulgaria as in Britain as far as teachers and researchers go, even though the student experience and institutional arrangements of English Studies in Bulgaria have a more cohesive appearance than in Britain. 22

In other words, it seemed to me that in Bulgaria and in Romania English Studies is actively and perhaps somewhat uneasily straddling a kind of conflict of Faculties: trying to reconcile a philological model of the discipline with a humanities/arts model of the discipline in other words, trying to reconcile a cohesive language-literature-culture model with one which tends to hold linguistics/language, literature and culture studies apart (or starts by presuming a separation). The situation is further complicated by the status of English Studies as a foreign language and literature area, and therefore of an overlapping area studies sort of model at play alongside (for the purposes of this project, particularly associated with post-Second World War American Studies). From my individual perspective, this negotiation of multiple and apparently contradictory models was of particular interest in engaging the collaborative project. Admittedly, it is an interest that had derived to some extent from my own restricted Anglocentric view of English Studies. The travels of philology in relation to English Studies in Anglophone centres, and its current troubled status and indeed near invisibility therein, is an interesting issue and could explain a great deal about the ambiguous place of English Studies in Philology Faculties in Bulgaria and Romania and elsewhere. This introduction is not the place to explore that issue in an extended way, but a few gestures towards the background and debates at stake could be useful for approaching the following chapters. In line with my focus on English Studies here I confine my half-baked gestures to sources available in the English language, though any kind of adequate engagement with the matter would call for competence in a large number of other European languages. The transformation of the classical Roman philologus which lies halfway between scholar and critic and denotes a man with sufficient learning in language and literature to evaluate and give permanent form to the poetic text (Fantham 1989: 222) into the methodical philologist, with a particular scientific and interpretive interest in both classical and modern nationally-defined texts, in 19th century Germany is extensively charted ground. The ideas of Johann Gottfried Herder, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and Friedrich Schlegel are central to this area, as are those, with a hermeneutic turn, of Friedrich Schleiermacher. 23

Mueller-Vollmer usefully describes the transformation they wrought in bringing modern philology and correlatively a new hermeneutics into existence as involving two components: The first concerns the transformation of classical philology into a cultural science, whose task was defined as the critical authentication of the extant bodies of texts from Greek and Roman civilization through a process of reconstitution, classification and interpretation, with the aim of reconstructing in their entirety the cultures that had produced them. This transformation led to the encyclopaedic systems of the philologists and historians of the nineteenth century and has shaped the history of the human sciences until today. The second component is general hermeneutics, or hermeneutic theory proper as an independent field of inquiry. It is centred around the notion of understanding. (Mueller-Vollmer 2000: 177) Formulations by French Enlightenment philosophes and German idealist philosophers coalesced with a desire to reconstruct national consciousness, and inspired von Humboldts conception of a philological educational programme a unified project in language, literature and culture [which] achieved its most powerful form in 19th century Europe and which should be reconsidered seriously in the 21st, according to Hardcastle (1999: 32). Hardcastles is, incidentally, a lucid account of this complex process and of von Humboldts contribution to it. From the literary critics perceptive, Schleiermachers work on the hermeneutic dimension of philology, which seeks to excavate the linguistic underpinnings of texts as parts of linguistic systems and as individual context-specific constructs is equally noteworthy (for useful summaries see Mueller-Vollmer 179-82; and Hamilton 1996: 56-67). The philological project ruled supreme in human studies in Europe through the 19th century and much of the 20th century, and indeed still has a powerful existence. The first serious challenge to the philological endeavour to grasp culture by paying close attention to the forms and meanings of language in literature, came after Ferdinand de Saussures Course in General Linguistics appeared posthumously in 1916. The possibilities of synchronic linguistic analysis were introduced in the Course not so much by dismissing philology as by putting it aside: philological criticism is still deficient on 24

one point: it follows the written language too slavishly and neglects the living language (Saussure 1959: 1-2). In the latter half of the 20th century, as literary theory sought to integrate developments from Saussurean linguistics with a more philosophical approach to textual interpretation, and gradually took the institutional form of Theory (with the capital T marking some sort of institutional autonomy as a subject-area), the hold of the philological model was seriously interrogated. For English Studies in Anglophone centres the situation apropos the philology model was more complex even in the early stages of the discipline. As the various accounts of the history of English Studies in different continental European countries in Engler and Haass edited volume The European History of English Studies (2000) show, the development of a philological structure for Anglistik from Germany had a particularly strong and lasting influence. In Britain it was relatively modestly felt. Though philological ideas entered English educational thinking through the works of Coleridge, Carlyle, Arnold, Huxley, Mill amongst many other writers and thinkers (Hardcastle 1999: 42), their impact on the development of the academic discipline of English was modest. Nineteenth century scholarship in Britain on English language, history and literature do show a powerful subscription to the philological method, but institutionally there were stronger Evangelical and Utilitarian and particularly imperial ideologies at work which gave the academic discipline a different character especially in making English Literature (which became predominantly the discipline of English in Britain and the colonies) the conduit of social missions. Institutional developments along these lines have been extensively examined for England (e.g. Palmer 1965, Baldick 1983, Doyle 1989, Dixon 1991), Scotland (e.g. Crawford 1992), colonies like India and South Africa (e.g. Vishwanathan 1989, Johnson 1996). Perhaps a narrower focus on class divisions and broader view of imperial domains intersected on English Studies in Britain to contain its nationalist spirit to some degree at odds with the practice of philology, and despite philologys universalising philosophical underpinnings. In the early half of the 20th century the distinctive British model of English as an academic discipline was institutionally firmed up. By the end of the 20th century an 25

anti-philological drive from the United States simply confirmed that aspect of the discipline in Britain, and elsewhere where the British model was accommodated, despite sea changes at the instance of influences from the United States in other aspects of English Studies (especially in incorporating Theory and then identity politics). If in Britain the institutional inculcation of philology in English Studies has had a low-key presence, in the United States the case was the opposite. Historians of the discipline there (e.g. Graff 1987, Scholes 1998) chart a trajectory that embraced the philological model at an institutional level while making concessions to both home-grown and British departures. Scholars revered as institutional icons in the United States were thought of as philologists, such as Albert Cook, Edwin Greenshaw, Leo Spitzer, Erich Auerbach. As it happened, the drama of rejecting the philological model and actively forgetting (almost an oxymoron) it with the broad realm of English Studies in view and also with Comparative Literature within focus was overtly played out in the United States. A key moment in the drama was highlighted by Ren Welleks 1963 article American Literary Scholarship. This noted that, In 1900 a type of philological scholarship imported from Germany had triumphed in American graduate schools and in the production of American literary scholars (Wellek 1963: 296); gave reasons for that triumph; went on to observe that: By the mid-century, philological scholarship, though still entrenched in most graduate schools, was definitely on the defensive; its exclusive rule of the American universities was broken; and everywhere, especially among the younger men of the staff and the students, dissatisfaction with the system became so widespread that it seemed merely a matter of time when it could be seen as a historical phenomenon of American cultural history (298); and then delivered a burst of invective against such scholarship on Welleks own account: The useless antiquarianism, the dreary factualism, the pseudo-science combined with anarchical scepticism and a lack of critical taste characteristic of this scholarship must be 26

apparent to all today. The system has become almost too easy a target for ridicule. (299) He concluded by marking other distinctive approaches to literary studies that have emerged in the United States (New Humanist, Marxist, New Critical), and charting some of the reasons for American disaffection with philology (its affiliation with nationalism and ethnic particularities, Americas distance from Europe, and the remoteness from antiquity there). Wellek captured a political mood which was in fact felt widely in Europe too, and certainly taken to heart in the United States. A scathing radical critique of the place of Oratory and Rhetoric in English Studies, aligned with the philological model, in a politically conservative American academy by Richard Ohmann (1976) followed a decade later. The rise of theory mentioned above, and its institutional entrenchment as Theory, soon moved from linguistic and philosophical abstraction towards embracing a range of New Left political agendas (which Edward Said [1983] thought of as the worldly concerns of theory), especially along the lines of difference and postcoloniality and marginal identities (in terms of gender, race, sexuality, immigration). These ideological turns seemed antithetical to the nationalist and yet universalist, backward-looking associations of philology. By 1988, addressing a conference on What is Philology? at Harvard University, Wendell Clausen prefaced his call for a reconsideration of philological ideals with the words: Anyone who speaks of philology today must be aware that it has become, for many, a pejorative term, even a term of abuse (Clausen 1990: 13). And yet, those associations made with philology and so descried did not register the grand ambition of a unified project of language, literature and culture and nor did they do justice to the humanistic idealism that its proponents often and explicitly espoused. In a curious way, the drive of Theory and politics in English Studies in Anglophone centres indeed in linguistic, literary and cultural studies more broadly actually itself led to interdisciplinary interfaces between languages, literatures and cultures, with political and philosophical idealism implicit, which became institutionally respectable in the course of the 1980s and 1990s. That these moves resonated in various ways with the project of philology should have been self-evident 27

and probably were, but werent announced in so many words. Possibly a kind of shrill political correctness which makes mantras of normatively loaded words made it prudent not to call this a reiteration or reinvention of the philological project with expanded boundaries. Only very few distinctly muted attempts in that direction were made in the United States, usually by resorting to a sort of dumbing down of philology, by seeing it as less than what it was, or conceiving it more modestly than seems plausible. Most influential in this direction was Paul de Mans 1982 essay The Return to Philology, which looked back nostalgically to philological approaches taken in university courses in the 1950s at Harvard to observe: Mere reading, it turns out, prior to any theory, is able to transform critical discourses in a manner that would appear deeply subversive to those who think of the teaching of literature as a substitute for the teaching of ethics, psychology, or intellectual history. Close reading accomplishes this often in spite of itself because it cannot fail to respond to structures of language which it is the more or less secret aim of teaching to keep hidden. Attention to the philological or rhetorical devices of language is not the same as aesthetic appreciation, although the latter can be a way of access to the former. (Man 1986: 24) Perhaps it was de Mans continental European background which was making a return here, but as iconised a Theorist in the United States, as institutionally and academically valorised, could scarcely be disregarded. It is noteworthy though that de Mans sense of philology here seems a distinctly modest one: a matter of close reading for the purposes of teaching. It was so modest that it could be noted without considering its implications too deeply. But still it was de Man speaking, which was a big deal in the United States at the time. The Harvard conference on philology in 1988 referred above, where Clausen spoke, was organised by Jan Ziolkowski, who went on to edit the proceedings. In an engagingly forthright introduction there (Ziolkowski 1990), he recalled the difficulty he had in getting prominent scholars to participate in a conference on philology, and how useful it was to draw their attention to de Mans essay to secure 28

their agreement. Perhaps it was out of regard for de Man that on the whole the proceedings had an upbeat tone about philology. But it made little difference, and philology stayed out of the vocabulary of Theory and of English Studies in Anglophone centres. It makes timid and unobtrusive appearances once in a while, such as in Hans Ulrich Gumbrechts work on textual scholarship, where philology is cautiously removed from any contentious ambit into a narrowly applied one as a configuration of scholarly skills that are geared toward historical text curatorship (Gumbrecht 2003: 2). In continental Europe the philological model remained firmly entrenched for the study of modern languages, including by and large for English Studies. But particularly in English Studies this was a difficult negotiation. The postures against philology that had been struck in Anglophone centres of the discipline, particularly in the dominant United States, could hardly be disregarded: neither as a matter of academic interest nor as a matter of institutional prerogatives was that possible. What came to obtain was and is precisely the kind of in-between state of affairs, the straddling between two disparate models, with which I began these reflections. The adjustments that followed in the peculiar space of English Studies in Western Europe in the 1980s, so that the British/American models of the discipline could sidle in with the prevailing philological model, were naturally received with unease. Indicative here is a tirade against such adjustments, published in the form of an essay entitled English as a Foreign Literature and the Decline of Philology by T. A. Birrell in 1989. Drawing upon his experience of teaching English literature in Nijmegen University, Birrell here protests against the gradual demise of an assumption, an ethos, and an ideal, that can be expressed in the term Philology, or rather Philologie ... what humanism had originally meant for Latin and Greek, philology now meant for the whole family of languages a scholarly reverence for language, and for its expression in literature (Birrell 1989: 581-82). He effectively protests against the consequent separation of English language and literature through curricular reform, so that language teaching acquires a more independent and applied edge. It seems to me that in continental European English Stud29

ies particularly the uneasy negotiation between two models, which Birrell touched the pulse of, still continues. It appears as a backdrop of particular interest when we turn to the condition of English Studies in East and Central European countries such as Bulgaria and Romania. Negotiations between the two models of English Studies is of particular interest in contexts like Bulgaria and Romania because of some of the shared and differentiated experiences noted earlier amidst which the discipline has been constructed and pursued. In some of the following chapters much is said, for instance, about the importance of the history of communism, postcommunism, transition toward European integration for developments in English Studies. Behind those observations there remain some interesting questions which are yet to be reckoned with, which indeed some of these chapters begin to reckon with. Questions such as: How did the philological model for the study of modern languages negotiate with an ideologically led agenda in the communist period? Why did it persist or how did it accommodate itself with the exigencies of communist academic policy? What freedoms and restrictions did its persistence enable? How particularly did that work for English Studies? To what extent were the ideological proclivities of dominant Anglophone centres accommodated in the discipline in postcommunist and transitional dispensations? How forcefully and to what effect has that worked? It seems to me that the answers to such questions begin to surface in the chapters that follow, and no doubt will be productively engaged through further projects and discussions. These questions undoubtedly simmer near the surface of most of the following chapters. And they are of the greatest interest wherever English Studies in engaged, perhaps particularly from the somewhat blinkered Anglocentric disciplinary perspective that prevails in Britain and the United States. The issue of the two models is but one area in which fruitful further discussions can be expected. Certainly the following chapters give evidence of numerous other issues to do with English Studies that have already been more extensively and illuminatingly pondered in Bulgaria and Romania, with far-reaching potential effects on the academic discipline in general. 30

On This Side
Milena Katsarska Between December 2007 and May 2008, within the initial phase of the collaborative project which the present volume arises from, a comprehensive student survey was conducted in Bulgaria. This survey aimed at tapping into English Studies students perceptions about the tertiary level programmes that they are involved in, and prompted students to indicate what subject area they felt they were currently studying. Faced with a blank box on the survey form, some of them wrote English, others English Studies, others still English and American Studies. Some of those involved in joint subjects stated English and (another language). Quite a few responses both in single and joint subjects did use the Ph-word. In fact, a closer look at the 202 respondents from Plovdiv University reveals that 130 of them, coming from a range of programme backgrounds, have variously spelled out Philology more so the first and second year students than students in the later years of their study. Interestingly, a group of fourth year students who chanced upon what their juniors had written could not refrain from remarking on this oddity as, in their words, they were aware that such a concept did not exist in English-speaking worlds or, at the very least, would scarcely mean anything without a footnote. We could of course attribute the change from early to later years of study as a matter of changing perceptions of translation. In other words, possibly students in the early years tended to translate the Bulgarian literally and faithfully into philology, while those in later years went for English Studies as an idiomatizing and free translation, in Peter Newmarks (1981) terms, as a matter of language simply equivalence between the source and target texts. Alternatively, in all awareness that hardly anything in translation is language simply, we could try to imagine the footnote that those students considered necessary as one that clarifies the complex and slippery relation between English Philology and English Studies as programme labels, informed by the dynamics of disciplinary constructions and institutional spaces. 31

The first task of this section of the introduction is that: to give an imaginary footnote on what the previous section suggestively identifies as a kind of conflict of Faculties from an Anglophone perspective. In fact the previous section could be regarded as such a footnote, and here I begin by extending that footnote with a few further observations drawn from the perspective of my professional experiences which, unlike my coeditors, have not been confined to academies of Anglophone contexts. The second task of this section is to unpack the rationale behind this volume entitled English Studies on This Side: Post-2007 Reckonings, and highlight the dialogic links between its constitutive parts and the diverse voices which speak in it. In the following my position is informed by my involvement in the collaborative project this volume arises from, first as a research team member and then as coordinator for Bulgaria in it. More importantly, what I have to say draws on my personal professional experience as a graduate from the Sofia University English Studies programme in 1994 and subsequently as a lecturer and scholar in American Studies at the Plovdiv University English Department since 1995. It is especially with the latter in view that I would like to offer some, often speculative, observations on what it means to be positioned within a philological space while doing English Studies in Bulgaria at present. Indeed, the Bulgarian model for English Studies in higher education has been shaped since its inception along the lines of the German model of philology. In pragmatic terms this means that English Studies programmes are traditionally programmes which combine courses in language/linguistics and literature/culture studies. Additionally, they serve to develop practical and applied language skills among students (by curricular provisions which allocate about 1/3 of classroom contact hours to language practice) while cultivating an understanding of Anglophone linguistics, literatures and cultures that rely on and extend each other. In other words, in tune with the philological tradition, students majoring in English or taking English in a joint subject have a more holistic exposure to all those strands of English Studies than in Anglophone contexts, where language/linguistics and literature tend to be pursued (in pedagogic and scholarly terms) separately. To attempt to comprehensively 32

conceptualise the implications of a currently functioning philological model in relation to English Studies as a (provisionally singular) discipline with a global spread and practice is rather utopian. But it is certainly an enterprise worthy of extensive exploration, bearing in mind that traditional models maintain a strong hold in a number of contexts. One immediate observation along such lines comes to mind with regard to the interrelatedness of the philological project (from its roots in German idealist philosophy to its methodological heights in the 19th century and influence in the better part of the 20th) with national consciousness, which has been interrogated not only by the advent of Theory but also by present day fluidities of identities, communications and movements. From a contemporary point of view, it seems implausibly reductive and critically problematic to anchor English Studies to territorialities demarcated within, for example, nation-states and to thereby focus on national language/literature/cultures. However, English Studies BA degrees in a philological vein by and large structure disciplinary knowledge in courses from such a rationale. Further, to the extent that English Studies in Anglophone centres have been informed by a philological model (more so for the USA, see Graff 1987) there have been significant departures from that model: institutional developments there have inserted divides between linguistics, literature and area studies, and have been complicated by the specificities of Anglophone contexts. The influence of these Anglophone centres, however, can hardly be disregarded in Bulgaria or elsewhere when it comes to English Studies. Thus, the philologically organised department and degree subject in English Studies (necessarily English and American studies these days) in Bulgaria operates in the tension zones of centrifugal and centripetal forces of disciplinary developments and disciplinary knowledge organisation. Taken to the basic level of practical considerations: contemplating what, for instance, a four-year BA curriculum in English Studies should contain as a disciplinary core in a foreign language (a shrinking space for containing disciplinary knowledge) versus an ever expanding academic field (or shall we say fields?) does indeed evoke a sense of crisis. Negotiations on the BA level through a model of the discipline that seems 33

resistant to a number of developments (both related to understandings of disciplinarity and realities of today) and current practices push in a variety of directions: from departmental debates about an imminent split between literature and linguistics, to relegation of responsibility to students (who on an elective basis can choose to take courses in a variety of areas and combinations within the same programme), to setting up BA degree programmes within the paradigm of Applied Linguistics (usually combined as English and another language). In other words, both the contemporary pull and the expanding curriculum that the discipline of English Studies experiences today primarily occupy the elective margins, rather than the core, of a BA degree in the subject in Bulgaria. Also, the latter development I mentioned that of setting up English Studies programmes along an Applied Linguistics paradigm is fairly recent and is seemingly not given the weight accorded to a model of long standing or the nostalgic aspiration to be a roundedphilologist. Instead such programmes, which are structured either with a translation or education orientation, capitalise on such selling-points as: (a) drawing on explicitly contextuallyspecific and practice-oriented developments in linguistics; (b) being conceived of as a foundational degree in explicitly professional and job-market terms; (c) being in tune with EU-wide processes and policies (the Bologna Process, multilingualism and plurilingualism, etc). This in turn begs the question of where and how philology degrees, and perhaps the entailing philological model, could be positioned on the map of disciplines and subject areas especially in view of our case in point, English Studies. Deeper questions lurk behind that: how could a holistic language, literature and culture approach function given a deterritorialized (from national anchors) subject matter in English Studies? What is the philological models relation to the prevailing political economy, since it requires a considerable long term investment? What is the implicit and potential politics of philology? The answers to these are yet to be mooted and debated but the collaborative project on English Studies in Bulgaria and Romania, from which this volume arises, has provided the environment to begin identifying relevant issues and discussing them across institutional spaces. The above-mentioned institutional 34

and curricular considerations are indicative of tensions at a number of levels that are pertinent generally to European, ordinarily non-Anglophone, philologically-structured contexts of English Studies, as they are specifically to the two contexts in question here Romanian and Bulgarian higher education. I would like to think of these as productive tensions for they have stimulated scholars from a range of professional contexts to contribute to English Studies on This Side: Post-2007 Reckonings. As the previous section of this books introduction indicates, the subsequent chapters are informed by discussions that took place during and around a workshop held in Plovdiv in October 2008. In many ways the discursive workshop structure has been carried into the present volume, and the workshop exchanges are reflected in the dialogic links between the chapters and parts. These chapters are arranged under four broad parts. Each part brings together chapters which have a coherent emphasis, and it therefore makes sense to present them together. And yet all the parts and therefore the chapters within them are also related to the others. They are all concerned with disciplinary constructions and practices in relation to English Studies. The opening part, Canon, Curriculum and Change, initiates a complex mapping of the territory that this volume covers. Positioned within different professional contexts, the contributors here variously elucidate the links between processes of canon formation and their relationship to the pedagogical spaces of English Studies. The chapters examine the relationship between canon formation and the production of academic curricula in English Studies against a broad socio-cultural background. The background comprises factors such as Bulgarian, Romanian and UK constructions of Anglophone cultures and identities, interpretive and evaluative responses to Anglophone texts and discourses, as well as language politics given the global spread of English. The thread that runs explicitly or tacitly throughout this part has to do with change: change in terms of institutional and disciplinary developments in English Studies and in relation to shifting ideological dispensations. In this regard W. R. Owenss question, What, then, should the relationship between the canon and the curriculum be? posed towards the end of his detailed account of the relation between canon and 35

curriculum is worth recalling. And his subsequent answer is suggestive of where the critical potential to seek change in this respect might be located: It seems to me that it would be helpful to keep the two concepts separate as much as possible, and to recognise that a curriculum is and should be much more open to change than a canon. Mihaela Irimias chapter surveys the historical development of English Studies in Romania not so much in terms of institutionalization (e.g. following a chronology of subject, degree and department foundations) as through mapping a complex web of influences. This web of influences accounts for Romanian cultural identity construction and the role played therein by conceptions of Anglophoneness and Englishness in the cultural sphere generally and in the institutional spaces of English Studies particularly. In an imagological vein, Irimia places the idea of Anglophoneness in Romania as deriving from a range of extrinsic influences which gradually become interiorized. The chapter charts paths of continuities as well as ruptures in the process of the institutionalization and consolidation of English Studies in Romania. Keeping Irimias observations alongside Gavriliu, Hulban and Popas The History of English Studies in Romania (in Engler and Haas eds. 2000), and comparing these Romanian accounts with similar Bulgarian accounts such as Shurbanov and Stamenovs English Studies in Bulgaria (also in Engler and Haas eds. 2000) and indeed some contributions in this volume, calls into question some of the preconceptions that ostensibly underpin this volume itself and the project it arises from. Such a comparison, in my view, gestures toward a need to interrogate any easy lumping together of Romania and Bulgaria as being similarly placed in relation to English Studies by virtue of being non-Anglophone, European, post-communist, recently acceded, etc. On a related note, Ludmilla Kostovas chapter usefully takes a distinctive approach to the history of English Studies in Bulgaria. Here the concept of the literary canon is approached from the perspective of literary historiography, which necessarily partakes in pedagogical and larger cultural processes. Literary historiography is conceived as a driving force in the canon formation of a foreign literature and as implicated in identity construction and identity politics. Kostova fo36

cuses on a specific case study: the two-volume History of English Literature by the Bulgarian scholar Marco Mincoff, which has played a key role in the development of English Studies in Bulgaria. In Kostovas words the critical analysis positions the histories of foreign literatures within the broad context of crosscultural literary reception, with a view to examining the ways in which literary canons are formed in non-native cultural communities and singling out a major line of development in the reception of English-language literatures in the Bulgarian context. This chapter not only poses questions about the manner in which scholarly influence works within English Studies in Bulgaria, but also raises questions about the politics of identity construction in Bulgaria of essentialist Bulgarianness vis--vis the essentialised English Other during and since the period of state national communism. Yordan Kosturkov and Lubomir Terziev then respond in briefer chapters to some of the issues raised in this part already. They ponder the intersections between canon and curriculum with their personal professional experience in view. The chapters which conclude the first part take the discussion of curriculum and change to the area of language and linguistics. On the one hand, Ann Hewings addresses the question English Studies One Discipline or Many? and unpacks the plurality of understandings, constructions and academic practices that define disciplinarity. On the other, Joan Swanns Global Englishes brings to the fore the political implications of changing linguistic cartography in documenting and understanding the position of English as a global language. Here three approaches for coming to grips with the global spread of the language are discussed: linguistic imperialism, World Englishes, and English as a lingua franca. It is evident that these have a bearing on both English as a language of education and English as a subject of study, insofar as these are pursued in Bulgaria and Romania and as indeed in other ordinarily non-Anglophone contexts. The second part, Pedagogy, Practice and Policy, focuses on practices in teaching and learning and their relationship to the broader social and cultural environment. This begins by continuing with the focus on language and linguistics on which the pre37

vious part ended. Alexandra Bagashevas and Boryana Bratanovas chapters steer the discussion of English Studies towards specific cases of courses and classroom arrangements for teaching linguistics, against background shifts in dominant theoretical and pedagogic models and practices. While Bratanova addresses the critical implications of changing a core textbook in English grammar, Bagasheva details changes in the curriculum design and presentation of a foundational course in General Linguistics for undergraduates. The latter chapter draws a complex picture which moves between macro and the micro level concerns, and effectively conveys the negotiations that occur at the interface of current developments in linguistic theory and the pragmatics of linguistics pedagogy. The underlying ideological implications for the learning environment are also teased out, especially in charting the classroom as an intellectual space which both transmits and spatially constructs the discipline. Petya Tsonevas and Pavel Petkovs chapters thereafter move the emphasis to pedagogy in literature and culture studies by analysing an MA programme in British Studies set up at the University of Veliko Turnovo in the transitioning 1990s with the support of the British Council. These offer a critical account of the programme, examine the methodology that was adopted and the outputs that resulted, and express unease about the manner in which the balance of literature and cultural studies was negotiated. The role of the British Council is raised in these, albeit in an indirect fashion: to my mind, that is a matter of particular scholarly interest which is yet to be adequately addressed. The manner in which Anglocentric bodies, such as the British Council, have attempted to mould English Studies in Bulgaria and Romania and indeed internationally deserves closer critical attention. Further, this part of the volume touches upon some political factors and policy-making initiatives that impinge upon the pedagogical spaces of English Studies prior to and after EU accession in 2007. With regard to the specific pedagogic practice of note making, Ana-Karina Schneider argues that shifts in ability and attitudes in the Romanian university context are bringing about a new definition of English studies that hinges on the EU-regulated imperative that all language departments produce 38

active, marketable language skills. She goes on to illustrate how the shifts in question and their effects are leading toward a redefinition of literacy. The pressures put on pedagogic practice by transnational and national policy initiatives, and the contradictions which consequently arise, are the themes of both Madeleine Danovas and Silvia Floreas chapters. Both focus in different ways on the effects of policies which seek to widen the reach of education at national levels in response to EU initiatives. Both pay particular attention to the effects of these on the broad area of English Studies. Danova examines closely the background to the setting up of retraining programmes in Sofia University, which are designed to turn school teachers from various backgrounds into English teachers within brief and intensively-structured periods. Florea details policy initiatives in Romania to increase access to higher education, examines their modes of implementation, and assesses the results with English Studies as the arena in view. Various kinds of miscalculations and inadequacies are found in both the conceptualisation of the policies and in their implementation. One of her significant findings is that access may have widened numerically but has not broadened in the sense of extending evenly to different constituencies. Danovas and Floreas chapters highlight not only the contextual nuances of both countries as recently acceded EU members but also position English Studies in direct relation to employment, society and government policies. The third part, Collaborations and Circulations, turns to institutional collaborations and the circulations of ideas in other words, the scholarly and academic exchanges which have impacted on the development of English Studies. This part brings together personal recollections and retrospective reflections on such exchanges in Bulgaria. Irimias and Kostovas chapters in part one, I have noted, illuminate how a complex network of influences in and after the period of national state communism defined English Studies. The contributions in this part by Alexander Shurbanov, Michael Holman, and Simon Edwards discussing international institutional collaborations and exchanges throw light on the same area, but from a quite different direction. The collaborations and exchanges in question were between Sofia University and the Universities of Leeds and 39

Roehampton in the UK and SUNY Albany in the USA. These chapters not only complicate widely held notions of rigid ideological (and consequently academic) isolation between the two camps on either side of the iron curtain, they also clarify the personal investments that went into institutional links in terms of agents, benefactors and beneficiaries. These reminiscences present academic links that were formalized to varying degrees as enabling a mutually informative and rewarding environment for English Studies. Mutuality, of course, lies behind institutions which formalise academic and educational collaborations at the government level too, such as the Bulgarian American Commission for Educational Exchange Fulbright. The investment of the latter in the development of English and American Studies in Bulgaria is outlined by its executive director Julia Stefanova in the last chapter of the third part. Comparative approaches inform a number of contributions to this volume, but it is in the fourth part, The Comparative Perspective, that this is considered in a sustained fashion. Here academic spaces that do not fall, strictly speaking, within the institutionally demarcated territories of English departments or degrees and which nevertheless are relevant to the discipline are taken up. The chapters in this section discuss a potentially rich and yet relatively neglected area of cross-fertilization at the interface of English Studies and Comparative Literature Studies. In Bulgaria the latter are institutionally located within degrees in Bulgarian and Slavic philology as well as in Screen and Stage Arts. Thus Cleo Protohristova discusses the inception and conceptualization of foundational university courses in Western European Literatures in Bulgaria, and places the origins of the study of English literature there in historical terms. Effectively, she sees the emergence of English Studies within the philological project with which I began this section, and which is so widely prevalent in continental Europe. Chapters by Ognyan Kovachev and Vitana Kostadinova engage with specific issues at the intersections of Comparative Literature and English Studies, namely, with receptive fields and the framing (or positioning) of genres and periods. They focus respectively on the Gothic and on Romanticism in the Bulgarian scholarly and academic milieu under different historical and ideological dispensa40

tions. Coming from the institutional context of Stage and Screen Arts, Iskra Nikolovas chapter opens this volume to a revealing discussion of reception in performance, with particular attention to stage adaptations and performances inspired by English literary texts in Bulgaria. The above summary of the contents of the present volume is indicative of the range of issues that are covered. Various senses of occupying a location and being located underpin all the efforts here: within institutional spaces; with regard to disciplinary areas; in regional and national and continental and international grids; in terms of geopolitical demarcations (such as East and West); along the lines of phases and periods (such as pre- and post-1989); with regard to perceived cultural territories (such as Anglophone and non-Anglophone). And yet, none of these diverse ways of conceiving location and speaking from a location close the deliberations in this volume into rigid cells. On the contrary, every space of location flows into other spaces and every notion of location overlaps with other notions in each of these chapters, and across the chapters, and across the parts. There is an underlying sense of location, it seems to me, which holds this volume together; and yet, to try to articulate that sense of location in a definite way would undermine the enormous sense of fluidity and openness with which it is expressed here. Thats why the editors of this volume have chosen the indicative and yet undefined phrase on this side to try to convey the location of this volume as a whole. Taken together, the located points of view extended from the specific theoretical, professional, institutional, historical, geopolitical, and other contexts on this side are suggestive of the critical potential entailed in reckoning with English Studies as a global discipline. Works Cited Baldick, Chris. The Social Mission of English Criticism, 18481932. Oxford: Clarendon, 1983. Birrell, T.A. English as a Foreign Literature and the Decline of Philology. English Studies 70:6, 1989. 581-86. Clausen, Wendell. Philology. In Ziolkowski ed., 1990. 13-15. 41

Crawford, Robert. Devolving English Literature. Oxford: Clarendon, 1992. Dixon, John. A Schooling in English. Buckingham: Open University Press, 1991. Doyle, Brian. English and Englishness. London: Routledge, 1989. Engler, Balz and Renate Haas eds.. European English Studies: Contributions Towards the History of a Discipline. Leicester: The English Association for ESSE, 2000. Fantham, Elaine. The Growth of Literature and Criticism at Rome. In George A. Kennedy ed. The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Vol.1: Classical Criticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. 220-44. Gavriliu, Eugenia, Horia Hulban and Ecaterina Popa. The History of English Studies in Romania. In Engler and Haas eds. 2000. 231-265. Graff, Gerald. Professing Literature: An Institutional History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. Gumbrecht, Hans. The Powers of Philology: Dynamics of Textual Scholarship. Champaign IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003. Hamilton, Paul. Historicism. London: Routledge, 1996. Hardcastle, John. Von Humboldts Children: English and the Formation of a European Educational Ideal. Changing English 6:1, 1999. 31-45. Johnson, David. Shakespeare and South Africa. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996. Man, Paul de. The Return to Philology. The Resistance to Theory. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1986. 2126. [First published in TLS 10 December 1982.] Mueller-Vollmer, Kurt. Language Theory and the Art of Understanding. In Marshall Brown ed. The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Vol.5: Romanticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. 162-84. 42

Ohmann, Richard. English in America: A Radical View of the Profession. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Palmer, D.J. The Rise of English Studies. London: Oxford University Press, 1965. Said, Edward. The World, the Text, and the Critic. London: Vintage, 1983. Saussure, Ferdinand de. Course in General Linguistics. Trans. Wade Baskin. London: Peter Owen, 1959. Scholes, Robert. The Rise and Fall of English: Reconstructing English as a Discipline. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988. Shurbanov, Alexander and Christo Stamenov. English Studies in Bulgaria. In Engler and Haas eds. 2000. 267-292. Vishwanathan, Gauri. Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India. London: Faber and Faber, 1989. Wellek, Ren. American Literary Scholarship. Concepts of Criticism. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963. 296315. Ziolkowski, Jan. What is Philology: Introduction. In Ziolkowski ed., 1990. 1-12. Ziolkowski, Jan ed. On Philology. University Park PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990.


Part I Canon, Curriculum and Change

The Canon and the Curriculum
W. R. Owens
The issue of the literary canon has been a fiercely contested one over the past twenty years or so, and indeed debates about the canon have entered into the wider public discussion of literary matters in a way that few other debates among academics in the humanities have done. By the term literary canon is meant those works of literature regarded as possessing especial authority or literary merit, those that form the pantheon of great works from the past. The analogy is with scriptural canons, such as the collection of twenty-four books in three sections making up the Jewish religious canon as fixed in the second century BCE, or the collection of twenty-seven books making up the New Testament canon as fixed by the fourth century CE by the early Church Fathers. This analogy does not really hold, however, and part of me always wants to argue that the term canon is not an appropriate one to use about secular literature. The whole point of a scriptural canon is that, albeit after much controversy and debate, it is eventually fixed and closed and authoritative. We dont get books being added or taken away from the Bible every few years. By contrast, new secular literary works keep being published and some of these may have claims to canonicity, and be added to the canon, while some already in the canon may come to be questioned, and may eventually be dropped. However, despite the objections I may have to it, I cant deny that the term has been around for a very long time, and is probably here to stay. The construction of the literary canon has been studied in a number of valuable books in recent years, among them John Guillorys challenging Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation (1993), and Trevor Rosss wide ranging The Making of the English Literary Canon: From the Middle Ages to the Late Eighteenth Century (1998). 47

According to Jan Gorak, in his earlier, but still useful book The Making of the Modern Canon (1991), the modern idea of a literary canon, in the sense of a list of secular texts required to be studied, first emerged in the middle of the eighteenth century. He quotes the German classical scholar David Ruhnken, who in 1768 described the way the ancient Greek teachers of oratory transmitted their knowledge to their students: From the great abundance of orators ... they drew up into a canon at least ten they thought most important (Gorak 1991: 51). These ten chosen orators became canonical for students of rhetoric, and in due course other lists were drawn up, setting out the canon of epic poetry, lyric poetry, and so on. Scholars have argued that the work of these Alexandrian canon-makers was crucial in ensuring the survival of many ancient texts, and Gorak suggests that the Victorian revival of the teaching of the classics performed a similar role, creating a canon of classical authors for study by generations of students. The process of literary canon formation seems to be bound up with the construction of curricula, and certainly the education system at all levels is a powerful means of institutionalising the official canon. Well come on to look in more detail at the relationship of the canon and the curriculum, but before we do we might note in passing that it is important to recognise that the official canon is by no means the only one. As Alastair Fowler has reminded us, individuals have personal canons, collections of works that they have read and that they value for personal reasons (Fowler 1979: 97119). He notes, too, that the canon is, effectively, restricted to what may be termed the accessible canon, those works that are kept in print, or are readily available in libraries. Within the official canon there are further selective canons, and critical canons, works valued by particular critics or readers. So, for example, Harold Bloom, in his book The Western Canon (1994) sets out a list of 3,000 books or authors that he regards as making up the Western literary canon, from which he chooses twenty-six books or authors, with Shakespeare at the centre, for discussion. It is also worth stressing the fact that the formation of canons of national literatures has by no means been the sole prerogative of the educational system, and that wider social, cultural, and 48

even technological and economic forces have been equally, if not more important. Im thinking here of William St Clairs book, The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period (2004), where he shows in enormous and compelling detail how the removal of perpetual copyright in a historic House of Lords ruling in 1774 led to an explosion of publication of cheap books and a great expansion of the reading public. St Clair argues that before 1774 the canon of English poetry, meaning by this the works of poets regularly re-issued by monopoly publishers and thus made available to the small number of rich readers who could afford to buy them, was a very limited one indeed. Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Prior, Thomson, Young and one or two others were re-issued, but the vast majority of older poets were never reprinted and were pretty much inaccessible to readers. Following the opening up of the market after 1774, publishers rushed to offer what was quite specifically marketed as a formal canon of English poetry, issued in uniform series, with titles like The British Poets (43 volumes), The Poets of Great Britain (109 volumes), The Works of the English Poets (75 volumes). The same thing happened with novels and plays, and these series were printed and reprinted on a vast scale. This old canon of English literature, as St Clair describes it, lasted from the 1780s through to the 1870s. Another development from outside the academy that bears on the concept and construction of the English literary canon is the advice given to readers by critics, reviewers and selfappointed pundits of one kind or another. Gorak notes, for example, that hundreds of books were published between the 1880s and 1940s offering readers lists of recommended titles. The emergence of these lists is no doubt related to the relatively recent availability of a mass of cheap literature, and to the development of a public library system. New and relatively uneducated readers, it was assumed, needed guidance in what to read. According to Gorak, the principles governing the selection of these recommended books seem to have varied enormously, but behind many of them lurked that idea that some books are good in the sense of being morally uplifting, while others are bad in the sense that they poison the characters of those who read them. More significant, perhaps, is the distinction he notes 49

between two basic types of list: the representative and the evaluative. Some lists tried to represent a whole culture, or a range of diverse cultures. Others were ruthlessly selective, in the manner of Ezra Pounds ABC of Reading (1934), which was designed to demonstrate that, in the construction of literary canons, poets knew best, not critics and certainly not professors (Pound 1961: 40, 45, 83). We can see, then, that at least before the twentieth century, canon formation was not wholly indeed was very little the prerogative of academics or teachers. When we come to look in detail at the processes by which certain authors get canonised, and not others, the picture gets very complicated indeed. It is well known that it took quite a long time over a century for Shakespeare to achieve his position at the pinnacle of the literary canon, and that the process was an exceedingly paradoxical and convoluted one. (For accounts of this process see, in particular, Taylor 1990 and Dobson 1992.) Having languished unperformed during the middle years of the seventeenth century when the theatres were closed during and after the English Civil Wars, some of Shakespeares plays returned to the stage following the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660 and the reopening of the theatres. What is significant, however, is that these plays were not at first popular with Restoration audiences, and only became so when substantially rewritten and adapted. We know from references in his diary that Samuel Pepys was not at all impressed by performances of Shakespeare plays that followed the original text, but once they had been adapted and the language had been made plainer, and they had been provided with lavish scenic effects, he adored them. He went to see the version of Macbeth as revised by Sir William Davenant eight times in less than four years. King Lear only became acceptable after it had been provided with a new, happy ending by Nahum Tate in 1681. This adapted version remained the standard acting text of this most famous play for over a century. Once reestablished on the stage, publication of Shakespeares plays became profitable and the great industry of editing his works began. A commemorative statue of the national bard was placed in Westminster Abbey in 1741, and the process of his canonisa50

tion may be said to have culminated in the great Shakespeare Jubilee of 1769 at Stratford-upon-Avon. The case of Aphra Behn is a good example of the opposite trajectory to that of Shakespeare. She was the first English woman to earn her living as a writer, and was recognised in her lifetime as one of the most prolific and successful writers of the age. Her most famous play, The Rover, was performed every season in London from 1677 to 1743, but then dropped from sight and was not performed again for over two hundred years. The reasons why Behn did not make it into the literary canon are complex, involving in part a wider cultural repudiation of the libertine ethos of Restoration drama, but what is interesting to consider is how and why, by the end of the twentieth century Behn was, at last, accepted as a canonical author. (I discuss the case of Aphra Behn in more detail in Owens and Goodman eds. 1996: 13175.) To my mind, one of the most convincing explanations of the ways in which writers (and artists and musicians) are restored to the canon and preserved in it is the one put forward by Frank Kermode in his book Forms of Attention (1985). According to Kermode, three things are needed: opinion, knowledge and interpretation. He takes as an example the case of Botticelli, who had been neglected for centuries. What changed this was that, at the end of the nineteenth century, a group of artists and writers who wanted to promote a different view of the early Renaissance rediscovered Botticelli and enthusiastically championed his work. Their opinion brought him back to notice, at which point knowledge, in the form of scholarly work by arthistorians, took over. But according to Kermode, this would not have been enough to keep Botticelli in the canon. What was also needed was interpretation, the process by which critics offer up to works of art the homage of fresh commentary though in the knowledge that such commentary is bound to be replaced by further commentary. The canonical work proves that it is canonical precisely because it generates and sustains this neverceasing process of interpretation. We can see these processes at work in the examples of writers such as John Donne or Aphra Behn, who though famous in their own time subsequently fell into almost total obscurity. In 51

the case of Donne, opinion, in the form of an essay by T. S. Eliot on The Metaphysical Poets, restored him to prominence at the end of two centuries of neglect. He was rediscovered because Eliot needed an earlier poet to support his own theories about the development of English poetry, according to which poets like Donne had possessed a mechanism of sensibility which could devour any kind of experience, a capacity subsequently lost when a dissociation of sensibility set in, but which modern poets, like Eliot, were trying to recreate (Kermode ed. 1975: 5967). Very soon, knowledge about Donne was being produced by scholars and editors, and the ensuing process of interpretation of his poetry has given Donne a seemingly unassailable place in the canon of English literature. Much the same thing happened with Aphra Behn. Her rehabilitation began when she came to be needed by early feminists like Virginia Woolf who wanted to uncover a tradition of writing by women. The opinion of these early feminists led in turn to the production of scholarly knowledge about Behn, in the form of learned books, articles and editions. Her works were in consequence revived on the stage, and are now being vigorously interpreted and reinterpreted, and are widely included in the university curriculum for English. This brings me back to the relationship between the canon and the curriculum. It is important here to remember that there is a school curriculum as well as a university curriculum. The concept of a canon is still very much alive in the school curriculum in the UK, though it is by no means a fixed or unchanging canon. The National Curriculum for English in secondary schools in England (see English 1999, 2009), as laid down by the government, includes a list of writers designated as major. These writers are all from the past, that is, they are all pretwentieth century. They represent the the English literary heritage, and teachers are required to choose the texts they prescribe for study by children from among their works. Shakespeare, needless to say, gets a mention all to himself, though it would seem that his importance is declining. In the 1999 National Curriculum it was compulsory for children to study two Shakespeare plays, but by 2009 this had dropped to at least one play by Shakespeare. The list of pre-twentieth century writers 52

prescribed for study also changes over time. The 1999 list included forty-seven writers published before 1914 and deemed to be canonical. By 2009 we find that the number of canonical writers has fallen to a mere twenty-six, as follows: Jane Austen, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Blake, Charlotte Bront, Robert Burns, Geoffrey Chaucer, Kate Chopin, John Clare, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, George Eliot, Thomas Gray, Thomas Hardy, John Keats, John Masefield, Christina Rossetti, William Shakespeare (sonnets), Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jonathan Swift, Alfred Lord Tennyson, H. G. Wells, Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Wordsworth and William Wordsworth. Twenty-five writers have been dropped from the 1999 list. They are: Matthew Arnold, Emily Bronte, Robert Browning, John Bunyan, Lord Byron, Wilkie Collins, Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe, John Donne, John Dryden, Henry Fielding, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Herbert, Robert Herrick, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Henry James, Andrew Marvell, John Milton, Alexander Pope, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edmund Spenser, Anthony Trollope, Henry Vaughan, Sir Thomas Wyatt. Five writers not on the 1999 list were subsequently added: Kate Chopin, John Clare, John Masefield, Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Wordsworth. It is not too difficult to see why these particular writers have now, belatedly, been accorded canonical status. What all this confirms is that knowledge of a literary canon is still seen as important in the education of children in the UK, even though the list of works designated as canonical may change to reflect changing social concerns. Although the word canon does not appear in the official documents, it is clear that the works of these writers from the past are being singled out as representative of the canon. Alongside these writers, teachers also have to include in their teaching of English what are evidently regarded as non-canonical writers. These include contemporary writers (a list of about forty names is provided to choose from), texts from what are described as different cultures and traditions (here a list of about twenty writers is pro53

vided to choose from), and a range of non-fictional and nonliterary texts, such as travel writing, reportage, and film. It seems that there is a canonical core of works from the past, but that the curriculum widens out to include a range of other, non-canonical or not-yet-canonical works. The same process can be seen in the construction of the curriculum of English Studies in higher education in the UK. Although university departments of literature do not have a National Curriculum prescribed by government authority in the way schools have, they can be seen nevertheless as the transmitters of a canon not very different from the one laid down for schools by the government. Depending on your point of view, this can be seen as a good thing, or a bad thing, or simply as an inescapable fact. Terry Eagleton, in his widely read textbook, Literary Theory: An Introduction (second edition, 1996), does not mince his words. University departments of English, he says, are part of the ideological apparatus of the modern capitalist state, and the literary canon is there to serve the ends of the state. In his view, teachers of literature, along with critics and theorists more generally, select certain literary works as ones which are more amenable than others to the discourse of literary criticism, and it is these works, and no others, that form the agreed canon. He represents this process of selection as nothing more or less than an exercise of power: the power of policing writing, dividing it into literary and non-literary, and the power of certificating those who are judged to be able to participate in the discourse about these canonical works. The power of this literary discourse is itself at the service of what Eagleton describes as the ruling power-interests of society at large, whose ideological needs will be served and whose personnel will be reproduced by the preservation and controlled extension of the discourse in question (Eagleton 1996: 17477). Eagletons view of the matter would seem to leave little or no space for criticism or alteration of this state of affairs. Despite what he says, however, the dominant ideology does not seem to have been so completely pervasive as to have stifled all dissent. The canon has in fact been violently attacked from many quarters. Numerous critics have pointed out that literary works by women, minority ethnic groups, or working class peo54

ple have been largely unrepresented in a canon dominated by dead, white, male, Western writers, and have argued strenuously for the inclusion in the canon of more women writers, black writers, non-Western writers, and even though much less frequently working class writers. These critics of the canon have had a good deal of success in opening up the curriculum to a range of hitherto unrepresented and unstudied writers, and to other forms of writing not traditionally regarded as literary. This has been enriching not only politically but aesthetically as well. Students at university level, if not in schools, are now made aware that the literary canon is not something simply there in nature, but has been constructed and changed over time in a whole range of complicated ways by different people and institutions all with their own agendas. It is worth noting, however, that as in schools, so there is a definite shift in the university curriculum towards the more contemporary, and away from study of works from the past. Concern about this trend can be discerned in the English Subject Benchmark, a document produced by a group of about a dozen academics from a range of institutions in the UK, designed to provide a framework for undergraduate degree programmes in English. It was subject to quite widespread consultation within the English Studies community before being adopted and published by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in the UK in 2000, with a second version following in 2007 (see English Subject Benchmark Statement 2000, rev. 2007). Proposals for undergraduate programmes of study in English are obliged to make reference to it, and to indicate how the programme complies with the framework it lays down. The Benchmark document did not specify individual texts for study, and indeed took a very generous view of what the study of English could include: In addition to the study of literature and language, the subject can also incorporate comparative literature and literature in translation, drama, creative writing, film, and the study of non-literary texts. The only change of substance in the document between 2000 and 2007 was the insertion of a paragraph (2.3) noting the extraordinary growth of Creative Writing within English Studies, its popularity with students, and its close and productive affinity with the study of English literature and language. 55

In setting out the subject knowledge a graduate in English should be able to demonstrate having acquired the document recognised a wide diversity of approach and content within degree programmes. It is significant, however, that the one stipulation it felt it had to make was that, for Single Honours students, the curriculum had to include knowledge of writing from periods before 1800 a clear recognition that, in the absence of such a stipulation, the inexorable drift towards study of contemporary or near-contemporary literary works would continue, at the expense of older works. The same trend towards the contemporary is seen also in data from a report entitled Survey of the English Curriculum and Teaching in UK Higher Education, published for the English Subject Centre in 2003 (Halcrow Group Limited 2003). This was based on information provided by teachers of English at fiftythree institutions in the UK (just under half of the total). One of the sections of the report was about coverage and aims of the curriculum. This began by seeking responses on the factors or principles that guided academics in the design of degree courses in English. The highest importance was placed on coverage of literary periods, which was followed closely by development of reading/interpretative skills and specialist interests of staff. The importance of giving students choice came fourth in order of priority. Also important was the study of individual authors, cultural history, theme-based courses and theoretical issues. The next section surveyed the range of compulsory and optional courses offered to students. The courses (or modules) most often made compulsory include English Language, Critical/Literary Theory, Shakespeare, and a range of period courses. The range of optional courses offered is very wide indeed, with the two highest ranking being Late-Twentieth Century and Contemporary and Modernist Writing, followed by Renaissance, Victorian and Medieval. The others are mostly linked to period study, with a particular emphasis on the modern and contemporary, including Womens Writing, Creative Writing, Film, and Twentieth-Century American Literature. The final section which is relevant here is an analysis of the popularity of these optional courses with students. Most popular of all are courses in Late-Twentieth Century and Contemporary 56

Writing, followed by courses on Shakespeare, Modernist Writing, Twentieth-Century American, Womens Writing, Creative Writing, and Film. The pull of the modern with the sole exception of Shakespeare is very clear. Here, then, is evidence of ways in which the curriculum in English is changing. There can be little doubt that some of these changes are related to competition between some institutions for students. The clearest example of this is the rapid growth of provision in Creative Writing, in response to strong student demand. Sensitivity to student interests and preferences is likely to increase if, as seems possible, student numbers begin to decline. English has historically been a highly popular subject with students in the UK, but there are some signs that the study of English literature (more so than English language) may be declining in schools, leading to a decline in applications for university places, and that numbers of undergraduates in the subject have remained buoyant only because less well-qualified students have been accepted (see Barry 2002: 3035). What, then, should the relationship between the canon and the curriculum be? It seems to me that it would be helpful to keep the two concepts separate as much as possible, and to recognise that a curriculum is and should be much more open to change than a canon. It is true, and important, that the literary canon (as opposed to a scriptural one) is not, and never has been, a fixed and immutable entity. For an example of the way in which it changes, we need only think of novels by Defoe or Dickens. In their own ages, these novels were regarded as mere popular entertainment, but they are now regarded as classics of English literature, and are very firmly in the canon. It has recently been argued that the reception of literary texts involves a continuous process of mutation, and that for canonization to occur, a text must be inherited, transformed, responded to, deformed, developed, and imitated in future texts, in the literary and other traditions to which it gives birth, in being read (Bennett and Royle 2004: 230). The extraordinary reception history of Defoes Robinson Crusoe, and the myriad ways in which it has been circulated, adapted, appropriated and written back to, is an excellent example of this. However, to recognise that the literary canon changes over time does not mean that it has no stability whatsoever. In57

deed if the concept is to have any continuing usefulness, the canon must represent in some sense the body of works that are agreed (at least for the time being) to be valuable, and around which develops a scholarly and critical discourse. It is hard to see how the discussion of literary texts could proceed in the complete absence of an agreed canon of works. A curriculum, by contrast, has no requirement to be representative, or to have any evaluative force. It certainly carries academic authority, and no doubt, in a context where the profession of literary criticism is largely consolidated in academic institutions, it will interact in complex ways with canon-formation. For example, their inclusion on school or university curricula may ensure that otherwise little-known texts are made available in print and thus may potentially assume canonical status. Nevertheless, a curriculum is essentially something that is put together for specific pedagogic purposes and which can be constantly changed and revised at will. Those who construct a curriculum in literature should feel themselves at perfect liberty to include works from outside as well as inside the canon, depending on what it is that they want to teach, and that they feel will engage the interest of students. Change in the curriculum is not a matter of the same long-term cultural significance as change in the literary canon. Works Cited Barry, Peter. Editorial Commentary. English, 51, Autumn (2002): 3035. Bennett, Andrew and Nicholas Royle, An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory, third edition. Harlow: Pearson Longman, 2004. Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1994. Dobson, Michael. The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship, 16601769. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction, second edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996. 58

English Subject Benchmark Statement. London: Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2000; rev. 2007. 20 August 2009. < benchmark/honours/default.asp>. English: The National Curriculum for England. London: Department for Education and Employment and Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 1999, 2009. 10 August 2009. < english/keystage3/>. Fowler, Alastair. Genre and the Literary Canon. New Literary History, 11 (1979): 97119. Gorak, Jan. The Making of the Modern Canon: Genesis and Crisis of a Literary Idea. London: Athlone Press, 1991. Guillory, John. Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1993. Halcrow Group Limited, with Jane Gawthrope and Philip Martin. Survey of the English Curriculum and Teaching in UK Higher Education. English Subject Centre Report Number 8, October 2003. 10 August 2009. <http://www.english.>. Kermode, Frank ed. Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot. London: Faber and Faber, 1975. Kermode, Frank. Forms of Attention. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. Owens, W. R. and Lizbeth Goodman eds. Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon. London: Routledge, 1996. Pound, Ezra. ABC of Reading. London: Faber and Faber, 1961. Ross, Trevor. The Making of the English Literary Canon: From the Middle Ages to the Late Eighteenth Century. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1998. St Clair, William. The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Taylor, Gary. Reinventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the Present. London: Hogarth Press, 1990. 59

English Studies in Romanian Higher Education: A Brief Diachronic View
Mihaela Irimia
One As a subject taught at tertiary level, English Studies is roughly a one-century old discipline. To do justice to its historical evolution and its historico-cultural embeddedness, at least at this point, it had better be referred to as a cluster of disciplines in Romanian education and, more extensively, in Romanian culture. Its variegated nature may be accounted for in terms of its increasingly richer and more consistent contents. The disciplines spread also needs to be kept in view, and can be seen horizontally in terms of its geographic extension, or vertically in terms of the hierarchic order and qualitative status of its components. These are factors of undeniable relevance in any analysis of the twentieth-century development of English Studies. No Romanian adult with a decent amount of education will have failed to decode at least once in their lifetime the catchphrase of identitary purport, tout Roumain est Franais. The phrase is so catchy that it walks on its own legs, as it were. As it sends an immediate echo in Romanian-speaking circles, it has made cultural currency in twentieth-century Romanian. It provides a fairly comprehensive definition of the Romanian character, whatever that may be. Rhetorically elegant to win over sophisticated audiences, the phrase has also proved influential among people with less refined or detailed knowledge of the Romanian language, culture, or history. Briefly, it does ring a bell, and a very meaningful one, when it comes to defining the national character; and it seems the more persuasive, if more elusive, while addressing foreign interlocutors. A schematic picture of the Romanian character put forth in the language of Voltaire or Molire or Descartes is regarded as peculiarly indicative. As in any imagological context, the choice of terms and 61

concepts is an instrument in the analysts hands. In the particular case of foreign languages, be they subjects taught in schools or at university level, or regarded as carriers of cultural identity, things are not widely different. Unlike most Western cultures, Romanian culture comes of age at the same time as its national identity. It goes nonetheless through the typically European wave of revolutionary movements in the mid-nineteenth century, deploying the apposite symbolic weapons in an identity-based confrontation of no small consequences, in the wider European cultural context. Known as Romanticism, in literary terms, this period is coextensive with modernization throughout the society of the time. The conceptual scaffolding, like indeed the philosophical, aesthetic, moral, civic, political and national agenda of Romanian Romanticism, is so intimately related to the question of modernization that in this particular case Romanticism as both historical occurrence and forma mentis stands for modernity as such (Clinescu 1941: 125-418; Cornea 2009: 359-526). Two sets of mentalities are historically supplanted in the process: the Wallachian-Moldavian, with its Byzantine-Slavonic background; and the Transylvanian, with its Austro-Hungarian one. Behind them lies an essentially Romance identity hidden in Cyrillic script, to the effect that what sounds Latin to the ear reads Slav to the eye. The old age of religious literature, courtly chronicles and princely edicts (Clinescu 1941: 67) is irreversibly superseded by a process of Westernization between the late eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth. In the absence of a Western-style Renaissance, with the exception of Polish influence in Moldavia, and of a genuine Enlightenment, with the exception of coala Ardelean (the Transylvanian School), Romanian Romanticism takes upon itself the task of defending and asserting the foundationalist agenda of European culture at home. Ion Eliade Rdulescu, Mihail Koglniceanu, Nicolae Blcescu, Alecu Russo, Dimitrie Bolintineanu, Cezar Bolliac, like the bard Vasile Alecsandri and the national poet Mihai Eminescu, are significant names, in this respect. Hence its strong civic component, its national and nationalistic accents, its militant tone. Romanian modernity steps in as a belated phenomenon combining Enlightenment with Romantic principles, 62

values and institutions. As in other cultures in Central-Eastern Europe, this is more obviously part of a long modernity process than in the Western half of the old continent. From the educational and literary, and effectively the cultural, perspective the 1820s to the 1840s witness the shaping of the national idea as they burn long phases of historical evolution, combine genres and start conceiving of modern institutions. Synchronization with the Occident becomes the rule of the day. The elite travel to the West, they seek emancipated schooling and hold the strong belief that this will promote them up the scale of values, from the strictly spiritual to the downright pragmatic. People in big money send their sons, and more scantily their daughters, on a sui generis Grand Tour, and expect their offspring to come back home mature in every sense of the word. The latest French fashion in garments and hairstyles goes hand in hand with enjoying and clamorously delighting in translations from world literature. Molire, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Goethe, Ossian, Young, Volney, Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Scott, Byron, Hugo, Schiller, Pushkin and the like come to the fore, leaving behind Greek-speaking moralizing stories and belated romances grafted on home-made balladry, all texts that had been the pastime of the literate few, if narratives of wider cultural recognition (Clinescu 1941: 125-166). The intelligentsia of the day deem it their duty to promote civilization and progress in the track of the Encyclopdie and the French Revolution. This is the time when Romanian wins the battle of its full acknowledgment as the national language of the three historical principalities, putting a definite end to its schizophrenic condition. From now on, what sounds Latin to the ear reads Latin to the eye. The first literary text printed in exclusively Latin script just one year before the revolutionary 1848 is Byrons Don Juan, Cantos I and II, from the French! The salons had cultivated a taste for Englishness via the French cultural filter, in both Walachia and Moldavia, while German was the literary conduit for the intellectual circles in Transylvania. At the crossroads not only of the great powers, but also of their respective cultures and linguistic vehicles, the English language, its literature, English-speaking culture and civilization treads onto the stage of public life in what is now Romania. 63

More than ever cosmopolitanism is the decisive factor in the establishment of an institutionalized culture. A civically sensitive press advocates the case of Romanianness before the historic 1859 Union of Walachia and Moldavia as the national state, while it will not be before 1877 that national independence from the Ottoman rule is attained. Education takes impressive leaps, with universities founded in Iai (Jassy), in 1860, and Bucureti (Bucharest), in 1864, focusing on the bulk of national literature, while cultural societies and theatres militate for Romanian identity. Between concept and sentiment, the national spirit is in equal proportion discovered and invented, like elsewhere on the Continent. The Transylvanian School had capitalized on the old chroniclers we come from Rome syndrome. Snowballing into radical Romanticism, related issues come to the fore, among which the conviction that national frontiers, given to humans by nature and God, are sacrosanct, as are racial and linguistic purity. An obsession with the heroic grandeur of national history is found in mid-nineteenth-century classics texts advancing the imperative that all Romanians have one language and one literature common to all of them, and that this cultural asset must be coupled with the moral commandment of union through culture. This is the case of Koglniceanu, Blcescu, and Bolliac, in the first place, all authors of manifestos supporting the common national appurtenance of Romanians in the historical principalities. Two To recapitulate: historically, politically and emotionally Frenchoriented Romanian culture asserts itself as by and large permissive to Western values, a process markedly that is obvious in its modern age. The shelves of its real or imaginary libraries have hosted compendious editions of the great Western classics. All the great names stemming from this tradition have been honoured. Due homage has been paid to relevant moments in European history. These are all proofs of synchronization with modern tendencies across the continent. While definitely European itself, Romanian culture has traditionally made a religion of emphasizing its Latin origin and Christian allegiance, components regarded as assets in the romanticized nineteenth-century discourse of national promotion. Only in recent decades, like every 64

other national culture in Europe, has it been more sensitive to the allogenous element in its identity. The case of English and Englishness or, rather, Britishness, is a special one in the Romanian collective unconscious. England and the English is the current metonymic umbrella under which it travels. Hardly felt as offensive by cultural or political elites in this country, it may appear less representative to early twentieth-century audiences, now exposed in unprecedented measure to multiculturalism and cultural diversity of various types. To British people, instead, the formula sounds little convincing, even less satisfactory, these days, owing to the same developments and attitudes in recent years. Globalization is certainly at work in such matters, as well. But not one really widely-read and widely-travelled Romanian would think of placing the English outside the Continent that odd category which the British consider so natural. Modern Romanian culture cannot separate its legacy and filiation from its status as the Hinterland of France. Added to its long-term memory, this results in a telling identity complex: on the one hand, the acute awareness of a wrong location on the map, far from its natural source Rome, in premodern times; on the other, a sense of prolonged estrangement for being kept away from its full-fledged modern metropolis Paris. Anecdotal cultural history has it that the Poles and the Romanians have done the wrong thing in legitimising their religious identities given their geographic locations and ethnic stocks: of Slav descent, the Poles should have been Christian Orthodox, while the Latin roots of the Romanians should have allotted them to the Roman Catholic community. In both cases, narratives of national identity have taken such matters into account. Along the centuries, Romanian identity has confected protectors deemed capable of supplementing its symbolic bereavement from Rome and Paris. Indeed, a few symbolic swings of the pendulum have traversed modern Romanian identity, promoting this or that currency on the regional and then international cultural market. The language of officialdom is Greek, Turkish and even Russian in the mid- and late 1800s, as the political wand orchestrates one or another identity-based symphony or cacophony. Their coexis65

tence with the widely spoken vernacular provides an image similar to that of the parallel use of Norman French and AngloSaxon in the medieval history of English and Englishness. The use of French supplanting the former languages of authority in the wake of European revolutions only reinforces the view of a schizophrenic cultural identity. French, then German and Italian, French again, and, by violent historical accident, Russian again, coins are the cultural currency of the historical provinces all through the 1900s (Piru 1981: 45-167, 248-278, 347-397). Romanian modernity, in broad lines, completes the cycle of its being under more than one foreign mantle, to show a fully grown body only in the 20th century. The last third of the past century witnesses the eventual and, as it seems, irreversible, replacement of these historically validated coins with English coins, to carry on in metaphoric terms. Minted in the workshops of sameness and otherness, these effigies of cultural appurtenance are all underlain by the Latin element. We come from Rome is the echo resounding along the corridors of our national identity. When English came massively to the fore already in the early 1970s and appeared to not only not lose, but gain menacingly more and more terrain in the next decade, it became fairly obvious that something was happening running against the grain of historically settled accounts. As an academic subject, English became the one leading modern language in Romanian education, superseding diplomatic and chic French, cornering the easily understandable idiom of the Italian peninsula (some of our ancestors home), putting to shame German, the language of enterprising and rigorous communities (some on Romanias national territory). Three A document signed in the 1580s by Franco Sivori (Bodea 1974: 810) has come down to us. It deserves some attention not only for political, but more potently for cultural reasons. Sivori was the Italian secretary to the then Wallachian Prince Petru Cercel and an apparently honest judge of the formers deeds. He praised the Princes taste for Italian gardens betraying an opening to Western Latinity, and commended his decision to have a new and modern capital built in accordance with European architec66

tural requirements. One of the things he seems to have admired in the natives of the land remains though of the linguistic domain. We learn that the educated classes were very good linguists, that what we now call metonymically for the historical principalities, the Romanians, were perceived as able to pick up any language with no difficulty. Not few, according to the same Italian source, were found conversant with four or five languages for daily communication. This testimony carries significant weight in specialized linguistic circles as a signal transcending the long and slow phases of modernization in Romanian culture. Sivoris account lays bare a phenomenon not uncommon in populations living under imperial rule. Yet the case of Romanian may be somewhat sui generis as it shows reiterated changes of direction in pursuance of synchronization. In immediate touch with a number of Oriental languages in its premodern history, Romanian culture perceives the Frenchification of the administration, education and public life as a huge leap forward on the path to modernity, in the nineteenth century. The takeover performed by English in the last three decades of the twentieth century was of equal force and significance. Let us consider the emergence of English as a university subject, or else of Anglophoneness [...] in [an] ordinarily nonAnglophone context (Engler and Haas 2000: 132), against this complex cultural background. The case of Bucharest is the most exciting beyond the status of the city as capital of the modern nation-state. The University of Bucharest was founded in 1864. It promoted Latin as the one linguistic antenna able to capture the specificity of the humanities. In contradistinction, and following belatedly a Western tradition whereby the classics legitimated the moderns, French was cultivated as the langue de socit of the place, only elegantly transplanted into academic environments. It took another decade for the other Latin sister language, Italian to step in. It was not before the 1890s though that Slav languages were taken on board. Yet another decade on, German became a discipline in its own right. Spanish was not ushered in before 1930, while Russian, in 1934, rounded off the first three decades. Finally, in the turbulent year 1936 a Chair of English was set up. Professor John Burbank was the first head of an English Department at the University of Bucharest ever. He 67

had an assistant of native stock in the person of the late Professor Ana Cartianu, at the time a fresh graduate from Bedford College, University of London. But English had been taught as a university subject in the Romanian academe before the establishment of the Bucharest chair. Iai (Jassy) had prefaced the move with its own chair as early as 1917. This had been the fruit of Professor Ion Botezs assiduous activity. It was followed by the foundation of the Cluj chair in 1921, owing to Professor Peter Grimm. Thus within roughly a quarter of a century, and in times of troubled European history, English assumed a dignity consistently praised by historian and philologist Nicolae Iorga. His studies about Anglo-Romanian relations go to the press in 1917, and 1931, with, in the last case, a preface signed by R.W. Seton Watson, Professor of London University. An Anglo-Romanian Association had been set up in London in 1917, with such distinguished members as the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Mayor. 1922 saw the creation, in the British capital, of a Romanian Chair bearing the indelible imprint of Professor Marcu Beza. Bezas impeccable knowledge of English culture was doubled by refined Oriental and comparative folklore studies. In 1930, the now world-famous historian Iorga was bestowed upon an honorary title by Oxford University. Bogdan Petriceicu Hadeu and George Clinescu complete the list of famous Romanians with sustained interest in English culture at a time preceding any form of institutionalization of English Studies in Romania. The beginnings of English as a tertiary level education subject are now documented. During its fiftieth anniversary, at the University of Bucharest, the much regretted Professor Ana Cartianu provided a description not devoid of pathetic nuances (Dumitriu 1987: 63). To give a sense of conditions at the time, let us underline that there was no room for an English Seminar, and there were scarcely any printed materials for the use of staff or students. To add to this paucity of means, the staff was severely undermanned, as it simply consisted of the head of department and his assistant, otherwise exceptionally dedicated and hardworking. More severe still was the situation of the student population whom they served. There was but a handful of young people with a consistent French humanistic education from secondary 68

school, but no English. Professor Burbank offered a first course in English poetry on chronological grounds, but focusing on absolutely basic skills, such as the plain and literal decoding of the primary texts (Dumitriu 1987: 63). These were provided with no insignificant amount of effort. Close reading became an intellectual exercise out of mere necessity, while it was the fashion of the day in the West and in America. A symbolic Mr. Jourdain the French, again!, Molire, encore une fois was impersonated in staff and students willing to go English! The irony of things is that the newly established English Department in Bucharest had a short-lived quiet existence. Soon its founders contract expired and a vacuum threatened to annihilate the only just-started enterprise. Professor Drago Portopopescu, from Chernovtsy University, succeeded John Burbank and acted as head till his tragic death in the deeply problematic year 1948. There followed an innovative drive, with English pursuing the path of other humanities and gradually gaining the status of a recognized discipline. Protopopescu brought to the place and the subject called English the fame of a distinguished specialist. Of rare cultural distinction, a gentleman in every sense of the word, he was an astute translator from the English original, rather than from (usually French) mediated versions. Author of The English Phenomenon (1936), he anticipates with grace and erudition developments that we now consider modern, if not downright postmodern. The thorough reader will detect, between the lines of his otherwise traditional literary history, a persistent interest in identifying the spirit of the literature/culture under scrutiny. When he embarks upon analysing the national English character, he plumbs its depth in Shakespeare and the novel. This is a couple of symbolic worth for the modern spirit as such, and one that has been theorized on by critics of the forefront. In anticipation of studies on the emergence of the English literary canon in conjunction with the institution of the national poet (Dobson 1992), interpretative scholarship (Walsh 1997) and the origin and spread of the national spirit (Anderson 1983), the Romanian Anglicist passes solid critical judgments. Protopopescus analysis is doubled by observations easily qualifying now as pertaining to imagology, mentalities, or cultural specificity. His comprehensive study of Congreve, a 69

brilliant doctoral dissertation under the supervision of the celebrated Sorbonne Professor Louis Cazamian, bears evidence to this. Unfortunately unpublished, the dissertation capitalizes on previous investigations (Protopopescu 1923). The Romanian critic halts more than once to consider the imbricated discourse of modernity, as when he takes the Restoration dramatist and theoretician as testimony for the constitutive difference between romance and the novel. We normally refer the debate to Fieldings theorizing metatexts, yet back in the 1920s most pertinent statements were made in Paris to show that this particular English phenomenon had a longer tradition still. They were made by a remarkable young Romanian intellectual. The 1948 educational reform resulted in a number of reshuffles, some profitable, like the emergence of timid American Studies, some less so, like the later fusion of several institutions dealing with foreign languages under the aegis of the Faculty of Philology. Professor Dumitru Chioran, founder of the most comprehensive and cosmopolitan school of English linguistics in Romanian higher education, was head of department and then Dean of the Faculty of Germanic Languages and Literatures, into the 1960s and 1970s. By then, our golden generation of Anglicists had made an assertive appearance in the public arena. Mentors of dozens of generations, translators of literary masterpieces from and into English, literary critics and linguists, the late Leon Levichi, Dan Duescu, Virgil tefnescu-Drgneti, Andrei Banta, and Ioan Aurel Preda have remained as many luminaries in our memory. The Levichi-Duescu tandem cannot be dissociated from the best versions of Shakespearean and, more widely, Elizabethan dramatic texts in Romanian (Duescu and Levichi 1964, Levichi 1964, Levichi 1982-1992), while Dan Duescu has left behind the only single-handed translation of the complete works of Geoffrey Chaucer (1964, 1978, 1986), an absolute record not only in Romanian but in any other culture. tefnescu-Drgneti foreshadows a consistent history of English and Romanian language studies (1970), Andrei Banta remains a most talented lexicographer (with Levichi and Gheorghioiu 1974, with Levichi and Nicolescu 1974) and translator (Wilde 1967, Butler 1970, Thackeray 1975, Hardy 70

1984), while Ioan Aurel Preda is the indisputable theoretician of English Romanticism in this country (1982, 1994, 1998). The celebration of half a century of English Studies in Romanian education, in 1986, was crowned by forty four generations of specialists in the field produced at the University of Bucharest. Fresh blood had started to be pumped into the English Department in the early 1970s, to the effect that one and a half decades after, the contrastive analysis and generative linguistics team was flanked by a solid British and a strong American literature and civilization component. The 1989 changes only favoured a considerable expansion of the last two, with unprecedented MA programmes in British Cultural Studies and American Studies making impressive contributions to the general progress of English as an academic discipline. They have also emphasized a marked interdisciplinary approach to the cultural phenomenon, opening up avenues and perspectives practically unattained before, and placing Anglo-American Studies at the level of contemporary developments in the Western academe. Indisputably the language of communication for whomever wants to pursue serious academic studies in Romania and then overseas, English has become a tool for non-Anglicists as well, and one could hardly imagine research and innovation in numerous fields without its substantial contribution. Departments of foreign languages for special purposes have been solidly ESP departments since before the fall of the Wall in the whole of Central Europe. The yearly student intake at the English Department of Bucharest University has more than quadrupled since the early 1990s and teaching staff has almost doubled, while quite a substantial number of MA programmes either focus on British and American cultural identity or resort to English as the vehicle of other disciplines or, more often than not, interdisciplinary studies. The one really great record in postcommunist years has been the impressive amount of grants, scholarships and fellowships in English-speaking countries which have brought exposure for Romanian Anglicists. The British Council and British universities are now natural contacts without whom we could hardly be what we are, as are the cultural sections of the US and Canadian embassies and the transAtlantic academic counterparts of Romanian universities. 71

Works Cited Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1983. Banta, Andrei, Andreea Gheorghioiu and Leon Levichi, Dicionar frazeologic romn-englez [Romanian-English Idiomatic Dictionary]. Bucureti: Editura tiinific, 1966. Butler, Samuel. i tu vei fi rn [The Way of All Flesh]. Trans. Andrei Banta. Bucureti: Univers, 1970. Bodea, Cornelia. Societatea feudal romneasc vzut de cltori strini (secolele XV XVIII) [Romanian Feudal Society Seen by Foreign Travellers (15th-18th Centuries)] by Paul Cernovodeanu. Slavic Review, Vol. 33, No. 4 (Dec. 1974), 810. Clinescu, George. Istoria literaturii romne de la origini pn n present [A History of Romanian Literature from Its Origins to the Present]. Bucureti: Fundaia Regal pentru Literatur i Art, 1941. Chaucer, Geoffrey. Povestirile din Canterbury [The Canterbury Tales]. Trans. Dan Duescu. Bucureti: Editura pentru Literatur Universal, 1964. Chaucer, Geoffrey. Troilus i Cresida [Troilus and Criseyde]. Trans. Dan Duescu. Bucureti: Editura Univers, 1978. Chaucer, Geoffrey. Legenda femeilor cinstite i alte poeme [The Legend of Good Women and Other Poems]. Trans. Dan Duescu. Bucureti: Editura Univers, 1986. Cornea, Paul. Originile romantismului romnesc [The Origins of Romanian Romanticism], Ediia a II-a. Bucureti: Cartea Romneasc, 2008. Dobson, Michael. The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation and Authorship: 1660-1769. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992. Don Juan de la Lord Byron, poem epic [Don Juan of Lord Byron, An Epic Poem]. Trans. Ion Eliade Rdulescu. Bucureti: n Tipografia lui Eliad, tiprit n alfabet de tranziie, 1847. 72

Dumitriu, Geta. English Studies at the University of Bucharest. Analele Universitii Bucureti, Anul XXXVI, Bucureti, 1987, 61-75. Duescu, Dan i Leon Levichi. Shakespeare Antologie bilingv [Shakespeare A Bilingual Anthology]. Bucureti: Editura tiinific, 1964. Engler, Balz and Renate Haas eds. European English Studies: Contributions towards the History of a Discpiline, Vol. I. Leicester: The English Association for ESSE, 2000. Hardy, Thomas. Micile ironii ale vieii [Lifes Little Ironies]. Trans. Andrei Banta, Bucureti: Univers, 1984. Iorga, Nicolae. A History of Anglo-Roumanian Relations. English translation printed by the Societatea anglo-romn, with a Preface by R. W. Seton Watson, Bucharest, 1931. Iorga, Nicolae. Histoire de relations anglo-romaines [A History of Anglo-Romanian Relations]. Jassy: Imprimerie Progresul, 1917. Levichi, Leon. Teatrul Renaterii engleze [English Renaissance Drama]. Bucureti: Editura Pentru Literatur Universal, 1964. Levichi, Leon, Andrei Banta and Adrian Nicolescu. Dicionar englez-romn [English-Romanian Dictionary]. Bucureti: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste Romnia, 1974. Piru, Alexandru. Istoria literaturii romne de la nceput pn azi [A History of Romanian Literature from Its Beginnings to the Present Day]. Bucureti: Univers, 1981. Preda, Ioan Aurel. Literatura englez. [English Literature] In Angela Ioan ed. Arte poetice Romansimul [Poetic Arts Romanticism]. Bucureti: Editura Univers, 1982, 116-211. Preda, Ioan Aurel. Studies in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature. Bucharest: Bucharest University Press, 1994. Preda, Ioan Aurel. English Romantic Poetics. Iai: Institutul European, 1998.


Protopopescu, Dragosh. Unknown Congreve: A Sheaf of Poetical Scraps, one of which has not hitherto been published, together with more lines in his praise, and a new letter. Bucureti: Cultura Naional, 1923. Protopopescu, Drago. Fenomenul englez [The English Phenomenon]. Ediie ngrijit de Dan Grigorescu i Horia Florian Popescu, Studiu introductiv, note i comentarii de Dan Grigorescu, Bucureti: Editura Grai i Suflet Cultura naional, 1996. Shakespeare, William. Opere complete [Complete Works], Voll. I-IX, ediie ngrijit, studiu introductiv, note de istorie literar i comentarii de Leon D. Levichi; note de Virgil tefnescu-Drgneti. Bucureti: Univers, 1982-1992. tefnescu-Drgneti, Virgiliu and Martin Murrell. Romanian. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1970. Thackeray, William Makepeace. Virginienii [The Virginians]. Trans. Andrei Banta. Bucureti: Univers, 1975. Walsh, Marcus. Shakespeare, Milton, and Eighteenth-Century Literary Editing: The Beginnings of Interpretative Scholarship. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Wilde, Oscar. Teatru (Lady Wyndermere i evantaiul ei, O femeie fr importan, Un so ideal, Salom) [Plays (Lady Windermeres Fan, A Woman of no Importance, An Ideal Husband, Salome)]. Trans. Andrei Banta. Bucureti: Univers, 1967.


Defining the Literary Parameters of Englishness in Bulgarian Academic Culture: the Case of Marco Mincoffs History of English Literature
Ludmilla Kostova
Over the last eighty years or so, the writing of literary histories has been a major point of reference in debates over the nature and functions of literature and literary criticism. While earlier commentaries tended to focus on the difficulties besetting the production of properly literary histories (cf. Wellek and Warrens diagnosis of the failure of most literary-historical studies to be strictu senso literary and historical [1977: 253]), the resurgence of ethno-nationalisms and other forms of cultural and religious particularism in the 1990s and 2000s has led to the recontextualisation of the study of literary-historical writing and a preoccupation with its cultural-political uses. To date the dominant trend among scholars addressing the subject is to stress the role that literary histories have played in nation-building processes, especially in the (re-)invention of the national past and its canonisation and commemoration through the efforts of academies, universities and other professional bodies and institutions.1 This has led to the neglect of historical works on the literatures of other nations. Such neglect is unjustified: rather than being divorced from identity politics, histories of foreign literatures are known to have heightened awareness of cultural differences and shared features across regions and continents, as is borne out by Hippolyte Taines controversial but nonetheless seminal History of English Literature (1863) and the writings of the eminent philologists Erich Auerbach, Leo Spitzer and Ernst Robert Curtius. Moreover, historical accounts of foreign literatures have moulded large-scale pedagogic projects, as is demonstrated by the example of mile Legouis and Louis Cazamians 1924 A History of Eng75

lish Literature, which became a standard textbook for university students throughout Europe in the interwar years and the three decades following the Second World War. This article attempts to redress the current critical imbalance by briefly considering histories of foreign literatures within the broad context of cross-cultural literary reception, examining the ways in which literary canons are formed in non-native cultural communities and singling out a major line of development in the reception of English-language literatures in the Bulgarian context. However, the main focus here is on a specific case study: Bulgarian scholar Marco Mincoffs two-volume History of English Literature. Parts of this text were first made available for circulation in 1947, it subsequently went through several editions (roughly, between 1970 and the late 1990s2) and is still being used by students of English3 and other readers with an interest in English literature. The History has thus played a key role in the development of English studies in Bulgaria and this, in itself, seems a satisfactory reason for concentrating on it here. To be able to contextualise Mincoffs book and motivate our choice still further, we need to glance briefly at its authors professional biography insofar as it, too, provides insights into the cultural and institutional make-up of English studies in Bulgaria. Marco Mincoff (1909 1987) taught at the University of Sofia between 1939 and the mid-1970s. Prior to his appointment, he studied in Berlin on a Humboldt scholarship and obtained his doctoral degree there (Shurbanov and Stamenov 2000: 269). What Auerbach identified as the themes and methods of German intellectual history and philology (quoted in Damrosch 1995: 106) and perceived as a major influence on his own work also affected Mincoffs development and this might explain the wide range of philological skills that he possessed and tried to pass on to his students and colleagues at the University of Sofia. He became the founder of that Universitys Department of English Philology and initially taught all core subjects on the curriculum (Shurbanov and Stamenov 2000: 270). Subsequently, as the level of professional expertise within the Sofia Department became higher, he was able to devote himself to English Renaissance drama, which was his main area of specialisation. 76

Mincoffs History may be said to continue the nineteenthcentury tradition of narrative histories of literature:4 it presents the development of English literature over a fairly long period of time, starting from its dawn in the Old English period to what is traditionally seen as the eclipse of Romanticism in the late 1820s. The book was initially written and circulated at a time when Bulgaria was dominated by a repressive political regime that was downright paranoid about ideological infiltration in any shape or form and therefore made the adoption of a pristine Marxist approach mandatory for scholars in the humanities. Contrary to that injunction, Mincoffs History employs interpretative strategies that are historicist but have little to do with the standard Marxist approach and its key analytical categories of class membership and class struggle. The text therefore poses important questions about its authors attitude to the dominant ideology of the party state and its cultural hierarchy5 as well as about conditions of intellectual production and, indeed, reception in Bulgaria under communism. As was indicated above, the History went through several editions and is still being used by students and other interested readers. Despite generational differences between the texts consumers, attitudes to it have been predominantly positive. The general tendency has been to view it as a highly reliable source of knowledge and information. Regrettably, the Historys exceptional reputation, coupled with a view of Mincoff himself as the patriarch of English studies in Bulgaria (Shurbanov and Stamenov 2000: 269), has resulted in the virtual absence of critical commentaries on its genre, methods of interpretation, links to major literary-critical and literary-historical practices and trends in the West, and the conception of Englishness which it conveys. This article will reflect on those and other related issues.

I. Contextualising Histories of Foreign Literatures and Mapping the Reception of English Language Literatures in Bulgaria
Histories of foreign literatures are part of the area of crosscultural literary reception. While a lot of the factors operating within this area are similar to the ones that characterise literary 77

reception in native cultural contexts, there are also significant differences in degree if not in kind. Thus, non-native readers are more likely to approach foreign literary texts, especially realist novels, as document[s] of life (Friedberg, quoted in Grosman 2002: 6), providing information about a more or less familiar foreign reality, rather than native ones. Poetry, on the other hand, may be interpreted as a literal or metaphorical expression of the spirit of the foreign nation to which a particular poet belongs. In addition, cultural stereotypes about the foreign nation and other identity constructs strongly affect perceptions of foreign literatures. Slovene scholar Meta Grosman is correct in stressing the changeability of such constructs (6). She also draws attention to the importance of studying the dynamics of cross-cultural reading interests and responses [my emphasis] (6) and taking into account specific issues such as differences between generations and changing political attitudes when we approach non-native perceptions of foreign literatures. To varying degrees, all those complex socio-cultural factors influence the writing and reading of histories of foreign literatures. Constructs of foreign identities and realities also impact upon the formation of canons in non-native contexts, and canonisation is a key factor in the conception and writing of literary histories. In an article that was written over twenty years ago but, to my mind, still retains a modicum of relevance, Frank J. Warnke speaks of the influence of national mirages, stereotypical representations of a given foreignness, along with accidental social and political factors (e.g. scandals and cases of political persecution), on the canonisation of foreign authors and texts (Warnke 1988: 50). He defines this kind of canonisation as casual (50) and contrasts it with the professional canonisation which results from cognizance of the literary canon(s) accepted in a particular native cultural context (51). While Warnke does not deny that there is an arbitrary element in professional canonisation, he definitely privileges it at the expense of the casual variety. This is borne out by his vision of the expansion of the Western comparatists canon through the inclusion of masterpieces from the native canons of nonWestern literary communities (55). In other words, the literary 78

comparatists journey to the heights of Weltliteratur should follow canonical routes rather than profit from casual detours. Practice clearly shows that the reception of foreign literatures is affected by both casual factors and professional knowledge of the literary areas that a particular native cultural community regards as canonical. Despite the reservations we may have about Warnkes views, the distinction that he makes between casual and professional canonisation can be helpful if we decide to approach literary reception from a historical perspective. Casual canonisation usually precedes professional engagements with a foreign literature or, for that matter, the overall culture of which the literature in question is part. For instance, a movement from casual to professional canonisation may be said to characterise the Bulgarian reception of English-language literatures from the late nineteenth century to the present. Thus, in the 1890s Bulgarian littrateurs were strongly motivated by cultural-political considerations in their choice of English-language authors and texts. In addition, some of them worked with a predominantly negative view of Englishness,6 which was above all conditioned by a wider Bulgarian reaction to Pax Britannicas imperialist policies in the Balkans but was also inspired by a tendency in certain Continental intellectual circles to denigrate the insularity, mercantile spirit and gross materialism of the English (I have discussed this elsewhere, see Kostova 2008: 48-53). Professional Anglicists, when they appeared on the cultural scene in the 1920s (Shurbanov and Stamenov 2000: 267), sought to dispel historically and politically conditioned prejudices and increase general knowledge of what one of them termed AngloSaxondom (Stefanov 1919).7 The study of authors and texts that had achieved canonical status in native Anglophone contexts was part of this corrective tendency within which we should also place Mincoffs History of English Literature. Despite the fact that it was written and circulated under communism, when there was a general return to the casual variety of literary canonisation for political reasons, it is organised through the selective use of patterns of canonisation typical of native Anglophone contexts in the 1940s and 50s. 79

II. Marco Mincoffs History of English Literature

(1) Target Audience, Genre and Authorial Stance Written in English, Mincoffs History must have been produced to compensate for a lack: Bulgarian students of English, or, for that matter, other readers with an interest in English literature, had limited access to English-language literary-critical texts during the authors teaching career. This was partly due to the fact that well-stocked libraries providing books for specialised readers were a relatively new feature in the Bulgarian context: the National Library in Sofia, for instance, was set up as late as 1878 and the buildings in which it was housed were severely damaged during the 1944 bombing of Bulgarias capital. After the imposition of a Soviet-style communist regime in 1944 and especially after that regimes hardening from 1947 onwards (see Kostova 2009: 114-115), severe restrictions were imposed on the flow of books from the West. Leaving the political factors aside, Mincoffs situation was roughly comparable to that of Auerbach during his exile from Nazi Germany. While teaching in Istanbul, he tried to make up for the scarcity of scholarly books there by writing his Introduction aux tudes de philologie romane (published in 1949). His aim was to enable his Turkish students to master the essentials of Romance philology. The German-Jewish scholars handbook subsequently benefited from the success of his opus magnum, Mimesis (published 1946), and his own removal to the heart of American academe (Auerbach eventually became Professor of Romance philology at Yale). Nowadays it is frequently cited by an international community of scholars mostly on account of the lucid definition of philology it provides.8 Had circumstances been different, Mincoffs History might have similarly reached a specialised but nonetheless fairly wide international audience of Anglophone readers, regardless of the fact that it was published in Bulgaria. However, that was definitely not the case. Despite occasional thaws, Bulgarias communications with the West remained difficult throughout the communist era, and even contacts with fraternal countries from the former Eastern bloc did not result in an unlimited exchange of books and information. As Shurbanov and Stamenov (2000) have shown, Mincoffs work was highly appreciated by the interna80

tionally renowned Soviet Shakespearean Alexander Anikst (272), and one would presume that there were other eminent academics in Eastern Europe, who knew about it. It is doubtful, though, that either Anikst or any of the others went so far as to use their Bulgarian colleagues texts in their own classrooms.9 We may therefore assume that Mincoffs History was primarily targeted at the relatively small segment of Bulgarian society that possessed sufficiently high proficiency in English at the time. Ideally, this segment was intended to develop into an elite of well-trained professionals possessing specialised knowledge and philological skills, whose relevance to lower-order pedagogic tasks, such as teaching English to beginners, for instance, was anything but obvious. Like Auerbach before him, Mincoff must have seen the challenge of philology [as] the disciplinary challenge of a craft [my emphasis] (Lerer 1996: 4), which was hard to master. The History, alongside with such areas as historical linguistics, textual criticism, theoretical grammar and stylistic analysis that Mincoff had likewise tried to make accessible through textbooks (discussed in Shurbanov and Stamenov 2000: 272-73), was a means towards that end. Despite the Historys ostensible distance from pragmatic pedagogic concerns, it exemplifies the genre of the university textbook which is still among the distinctive features of the Bulgarian academic context. Rather than being a collaborative enterprise, providing different perspectives on the object of investigation, this type of book is usually the work of a single author and purports to acquaint students with facts and interpretations that have gained general acceptance in the academic world. Judging the academic quality of such a book can be difficult because, among other things, it rarely contains explicit references to the work of other scholars. In this respect Mincoff did better than most authors of university textbooks in the past and present.10 In his Preface to the third revised edition of the History (1976), he admits that he owes a debt [of gratitude] to other workers in the field and that he has not acknowledged it through specific references (Vol. 1: 6). Mincoff attributes the omission to lack of space but likewise claims that crediting his sources would have been fairly difficult as on a number of occasions, a hint from another [was] elaborated in a different way 81

(Vol. 1: 6). This suggests that he perceived his History as being much more that a compendium of other peoples literaryhistorical and philological ideas. To make up for the absence of proper referencing in his text, Mincoff directs his readers to the general reading lists at the end of each of the two volumes (Vol. 1: 598-601; Vol. 2: 422). The lists include other comprehensive literary-historical surveys such as The Cambridge History of English Literature (1907 1916), Legouis and Cazamians Histoire (1924) and The Oxford History of English Literature (1945), historical studies by E. M. W. Tillyard, H. B. Charlton and J. D. Wilson and other critics from the English-speaking world as well as recent work on Shakespeare, the eighteenth-century novel and the romantics by established or rising scholars from the Soviet Union and the GDR such as Alexander Anikst, Anna Elistratova and Robert Weimann. Leaving aside the fact that the lists are far from reader-friendly (the bibliographical items are not arranged in alphabetical order, no information is provided about places of publication or publishers), one cannot help asking if they include all of the texts that the author used or would have liked to recommend to his readers. There is also the question of the critical texts availability to those readers. It is unlikely that students would have had access to the English- and German-language studies, listed in the bibliography, outside the Library of Sofia University or the National Library. Only the critical texts in Russian were easier to procure and students were in a position to study them at home. Curiously, the reading lists contain no references to work written in Bulgarian and only two of the sources Mincoff lists were published in Bulgaria and produced by the author himself. While it cannot be denied that whole areas of English literature had not yet been explored by Bulgarian scholars, nevertheless, thought-provoking articles had been written about some of the romantics, Byrons work in particular was at the centre of an important critical debate in the 1920s11 and by the late 1960s there was already a body of work by some of Mincoffs own colleagues at Sofia University (for details see Shurbanov and Stamenov 2000: 273-76). His apparent indifference to work produced by other Bulgarian scholars corresponds to the stance of 82

an authoritative insider that he adopts in the History. There is little indication in the book of his Bulgarian identity or of the fact that he is addressing a predominantly Bulgarian community of readers. (2) Conception of Literary History and Methods of Interpretation As stated in the Preface to the History, Mincoffs main aim is to present the facts of English literature as a constantly evolving process [my emphasis] (Vol. 1: 5). The stress on continuous evolution rather than on conflicts, contradictions or sudden leaps marks his conception of literary history as developmental (Perkins 1992: 1). In a history of this kind, the movement from an earlier phase to a later one involves transference and preservation rather than interruption. Mincoffs developmental view of literary history is further illustrated by the following passage: It is always difficult to give anything approaching a clear definition of a historical period, because no change in outlook ever comes suddenly, breaking sharply with everything that has gone before. The new period is always firmly rooted in what has preceded it, no matter how violently it may seem to be revolting against it, and its seeds have been slowly germinating long before they burst into full growth. (Vol.1: 207) This is strongly reminiscent of the ideas of Wilhelm Dilthey for whom an event goes through a series of changes of which each is possible only on the basis of the previous one (quoted in Perkins 1992: 2), but what is more to the point is that the passage is part of Mincoffs section on the Renaissance. Orthodox Marxist scholars in post-Second World War Bulgaria usually followed Frederick Engels in representing the Renaissance as the greatest progressive revolution that mankind had so far experienced (Engels 1974: 252) and emphasised the insurmountable differences between it and the barbaric Middle Ages. Mincoff traces the tendency of exaggerating the magnitude of this particular epochal change back to Enlightenment thought (Vol. 1: 207), thus problematising the conventional opinion, advocated by the Bulgarian cultural hierarchy, that Marx and Engels formulated and substantiated a new view of the Renaissance, ... 83

which differed radically from the views of earlier bourgeois cultural historians (Krylov 1976). The History provides a number of other examples of such corrective historicising, especially in the sections on medieval literature (Vol. 1: 7- 206). This was undoubtedly Mincoffs reaction to the ubiquity of clich-ridden discourse which glorified the founders of Marxism and, in the process, effectively divorced their ideas from their historical contexts. By and large, Mincoffs approach to English literature is historicist in the sense that he demonstrates how literary works are formed by their historical contexts and, in the manner of other developmental historians, presents those contexts as exist[ing] simultaneously with or just prior to the work (Perkins 2000: 2). His methods of interpretation are similar to those of the early and mid-twentieth-century British critics listed in his bibliography: H. B. Charlton, J. Dover Wilson and E. M. W. Tillyard. As Duncan Salkeld has demonstrated, all three rejected the early twentieth-century critical favour for genius and the assumption that Shakespeare, for instance, transcend[ed] mere contingencies of early modern politics or history (Salkeld 2001: 60). While latter-day historicists have objected to the clear distinction [they made] between fiction and reality and their tendency to regard history as a realm of objectively ascertained facts, truths and moral universals (Salkeld 2001: 61), it cannot be denied that their interpretations possessed considerable heuristic value at the time. It should likewise be borne in mind that the texts by Eastern European scholars that Mincoff included in his bibliography were not substantially different from the work of the old historicists. The differences were a matter of specialised perspective rather than kind. For instance, even Weimanns approach to Renaissance drama, which was the most consciously Marxist of the three mentioned already, took into account the role played by audiences and performers.12 The Soviet scholars Anikst and Elistratova similarly studied the historical contexts conditioning the literary texts with which they were concerned. In addition Anikst borrowed from Bakhtin in his commentary on the festive character of Shakespeares comedies (see Anikst 1980: 377382). We may surmise that Mincoff added the texts of those au84

thors to his reading lists because they were free from ideological clichs and fulsome homage to the founders of MarxismLeninism. In addition, Mincoffs historicist approach to canonical authors such as Shakespeare, Byron and Shelley contrasts strongly with the prevalent mode of literary consumption (Tihanov 2001: 77) in post-Second World War Bulgaria. The majority of Marxist literary critics and lay readers of the time continued a tradition of the glorification of literature and the idealisation of great writers which they had inherited from the nineteenth century and which was not all that different from the Anglophone trend of venerating Shakespeare that the old historicists reacted against. Mincoffs sober examination of the significant circumstances of writers lives and inquiry into the reasons for the psychological effects that literary works produce differ markedly from the emotionally coloured, celebratory discourse of the majority of his contemporaries in Bulgarian literary criticism. While Mincoff pays considerable attention to style and structure, his main concern usually is with the overall meaning of the literary work rather than with its formal characteristics.13 Such an orientation is intimately linked to what Perkins has identified as one of the functions of literary history: to recall the literature of the past, including much that is now seldom read (Perkins 2000: 12). Moreover, close reading in the strict sense would have limited the scope of his literary history because it necessarily depends on an extremely small canon (Moretti 2000: 57). The History thus came to encourage what Moretti was to call distant reading (Moretti 2000: 56) later on. However, during Mincoffs teaching career, this readerly practice was not merely the outcome of the books readers sheer inability to deal with the enormous number of plays, poems and prose texts, included in it, but was also a matter of not having access to a lot of those texts. As already indicated, access to Western books, irrespective of when they were produced, was subject to political control. To provide a clearer idea of how literary meanings are constructed in the History, I consider a specific example here. Mincoff usually contextualises authorial strategies and plot motifs in historical terms. In the process, romantic conceptions of original85

ity and uniqueness are rendered problematic. This is well illustrated by his readings of Shakespeares plays (Vol. 1: 339-363, 367-379). Interestingly, his level-headed historicising of the plays is occasionally interrupted by passages such as the following: The real power of poetry consists in something that defies analysis. Put up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them, says Othello when confronted by Brabantios angry mob of followers, and the effect lies not in any one point, but in the flowing together of many effects. (Vol. 1: 377) The interruption, however, is temporary. The author breaks the spell of the real power of poetry by examining the contexts behind the multiplicity of effects and relating them to the associations they call up in the readers mind (Vol.1: 377). The end result is a convincing analysis that disproves Mincoffs opening statement about powerful poetrys resistance to analysis. To the clarification of meaning through textual analysis and examination of the readers associations we can add the parallels between literary and art history that Mincoff makes in his chapter on the Baroque vision (Vol.1: 457-66), inter alia. Apart from being influenced by Heinrich Wlfflins writing on Baroque, he may have been familiar with the theory of Wlfflins friend Oskar Walzel about the mutual illumination of the arts (quoted in Tihanov 2001: 62). As Galin Tihanov remarks, Walzel tried to free the study of literature from the framework[s] of cultural [and social] history (62). Given the political situation in Bulgaria and the literary-critical practices sanctioned by the cultural hierarchy, one suspects that Mincoff would have welcomed an approach to literature that would be unencumbered by narratives of class antagonism and simplistic distinctions between progressive and reactionary writers or ideologically acceptable and unacceptable texts. Hence the alternatives which he provides in his History: the parallel between literary production and architecture in the chapter on the Gothic renascence (Vol. 1: 63-65), the extended comparisons of the Renaissance and Baroque styles in literature and the visual arts in the chapter on Baroque noted above and the tentative attempt at a parallel between the representation of nature in the poetry of the younger romantics Shelley and Keats and Turners mature painterly style (Vol.2: 257). 86

(3) Examining the Parameters of English Literary Uniqueness Mincoffs History is largely informed by the post-Romantic assumption that a national literature is defined by its uniqueness and difference from other literatures. The author continually makes parallels between English and French literature but despite shared features that become apparent in the process, he stresses the specificity of English literary evolution. In the context of the History, English literary uniqueness is a function of the distinctiveness of English identity. Mincoffs conception of that identity plays a key role in the organisation of his literaryhistorical narrative. As was already remarked, his view of Englishness is best linked to a corrective tendency in Bulgarian culture that aimed at dispelling historically and politically conditioned prejudices about the English and, in the words of another Bulgarian exponent of the same trend, at driv[ing] away the mist [that concealed] [their] true image (Hristoforov 1945: 8). Following a well-established precedent in nineteenth-century historiography, the author of the History approaches English national identity in terms of its Anglo-Saxon roots. 14 Early in his book, he describes the Anglo-Saxons as a warlike and seafaring people (Vol. 1: 7) and underscores their attachment to freedom. Love of freedom, on the other hand, is defined as a shared Old Germanic characteristic: Mincoff speaks of the Anglo-Saxon witena gemot and the Icelandic ing as political institutions safeguarding individual independence and ensuring respect for traditional laws (Vol. 1: 9). For him the Anglo-Saxon legacy has foundational importance (Young 2008: 32) and exercises lasting influence on the later stages in the development of English national identity. Significantly, Mincoff views the Reformation as a manifestation of that influence and goes on to stress the Germanicity of Protestantism [my emphasis] (Pittock 2003: 266). In the wake of a long line of Victorian and Edwardian historians, fiction writers and literary critics, he proclaims Protestantism a religion of individualism, continuing the tradition of liberty and outspokenness, itself an ancient heritage, if not from the first Anglo-Saxon settlers, at any rate from their cousins the Normans (Vol. 1: 226). Mincoff further maintains that: 87

Religious individualism brings with it literary individualism; it may be a coincidence, but it is only the Protestant countries that have produced true romantic poetry. England had two romantic ages that of Elizabeth, and the 19th c. [...] Catholicism has mainly supported classicism, and England, though she bowed down to the literary dictatorship of France for over a century, never felt really at ease with classicism [my emphasis]. (Vol.1: 226) Identifying ideological blind spots in this passage is anything but difficult. The view of the English as essentially individualistic and therefore predominantly Protestant and constitutionally opposed to the literary restrictions of classicism is at variance with present-day anti-essentialist attitudes. For most European scholars working in the humanities today, nothing is naturally given and ethnic, cultural, national or gendered essences do not exist (Dahinden 2008: 56). Nor do religious or literary ones. However, while decrying Mincoffs essentialism, we should not forget the conditions in which the earlier stages of his Historys reception occurred. Members of the texts target audience under communism were undoubtedly attracted to it on account of its difference from the bulk of Bulgarian academic accounts of literary history. In practically all of those, religion was either written off as the opiate of the people or religious conflicts were defined as clashes masking genuine collisions between antagonistic classes and concealing deeper economic contradictions. Religious doctrines as such were not discussed and most Bulgarian students had no idea what distinguished Roman Catholicism either from the plentiful crop of Protestantisms that the Reformation had brought into existence or, for that matter, from their own countrys traditional religion of Eastern Orthodoxy. For all its essentialism, Mincoffs distinction between Catholicism and Protestantism along the lines of individualism and independence must have provided a glimpse into an area that was seldom deemed worthy of serious examination at the time. The authors violation of this particular ideological taboo, though, should not lead us to idealise his text uncritically. To my mind, another of the Historys shortcomings is Mincoffs tendency to portray the British Isles as a principally monocultural and fundamentally monolingual site. This is a direct conse88

quence of his privileging of Englishness. The author does pay some attention to Scottish writing, especially in the sections on the later eighteenth century (Vol. 2: 138-142, 156-165) and Romanticism (Vol. 2: 263-286) and even goes so far as to attempt a definition of a Scottish cultural identity. On the other hand, the Irish antecedents of writers such as William Congreve and Richard Brinsley Sheridan are only noted in passing and Welshness is completely absent from the book. In addition, Mincoffs emphasis on English uniqueness appears to have affected the overall organisation of his literaryhistorical narrative. Throughout the History, poetry and verse drama are given prominence over prose writing. The author identifies suggestion as the very soul of English poetry (Vol. 2: 51). One of the most memorable narrative strands in his text traces the emergence of a tradition of poetry of suggestion during the Renaissance, its subsequent replacement by a rhetorical poetic model imported from France, and its eventual re-emergence, albeit in a somewhat modified form, during the Age of Romanticism. For Mincoff the rhetorical model is best exemplified by the literary output of Alexander Pope, whose poetry of statement, he claims, stands outside the main tradition of English poetry (Vol. 2: 51). The authors account of the birth, flowering, temporary loss and recovery of an authentically English tradition of poetry is by no means novel and can be traced back to statements made by some of the romantic poets themselves in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It is congruent with Mincoffs earlier statement about the two romantic ages of English literature and reflects the centrality to the literary historians task of such cultural-symbolic constructs as Englishness. Mincoffs narrative of the destiny of the genuinely English tradition of poetry appears to have likewise affected his system of literary canonisation. While unaffected by distinctions between reactionary and progressive authors and trends, the canon he favours in the History is close to that of New Critics in the sense that he, too, exalt[s] Donne and the Metaphysicals (Wellek 1995: 60) and prefers Keats to Byron. However, he differs from them in his attitude to the classicists Dryden and Pope whom he regards as outsiders to the main tradition of English poetry (Vol. 2: 51). Unfortunately, his History does not address 89

the development of poetry in the twentieth century. There are brief references to it, which are scattered through the text and are not sufficient for us to judge Mincoffs attitude to T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound or any of the other modernists. On the basis of what we do find in the history, though, we may conclude that Mincoff revised rather than reproduced conceptions of the English poetic canon in the English-speaking countries which were typical of the 1940s and 1950s and still retained some influence in the 1960s and 1970s. Conclusion In closing, it should be pointed out that the above analysis is incomplete and does not do justice to the multiplicity of themes and strands of interpretation that Mincoffs History provides. It thus leaves room for further discussion and criticism. Such issues as Mincoffs apparent inclination to represent English literature as the domain of male writers and the marginalisation of women need to be addressed in all seriousness and related to the literary historians ideological and aesthetic orientation. As was already remarked, Mincoffs interpretation of the literary-historical parameters of Englishness shows practically no traces of Marxist influence, despite the fact that his book was produced and circulated in Bulgaria under communism. Whether this was a consequence of a special relationship with the Bulgarian cultural hierarchy or a sign of what Andrei Pleu has diagnosed as the arbitrariness of the totalitarian system (Pleu 1995: 61-71) must remain an open question. There can be very little doubt, however, that communist-era readers viewed the History as an alternative account of the evolution of one of the core European literatures15 and appreciated its divergence from standard literary-historical narratives. I attempted to elucidate possible responses to select aspects of Mincoffs text but for a more comprehensive representation of readers reactions to it we would need a fully fledged archaeology of reading (Bracewell 2009: 6) that would help us reveal the complexities and ambiguities of cultural production and consumption under communism. Mincoffs History testifies to some of those and rereading and critiquing it in the present is an ethical as well as a professional task. 90


There is substantial critical literature on the subject. See, for instance, Linda Hutcheon, Interventionist Literary Histories: Nostalgic, Pragmatic, or Utopian? (1998), Nation Building and Writing Literary History, ed. Menno Spiering (1999), Stephen Greenblatt, Literary History and Racial Memory (2001), and the special issue of Modern Language Quarterly 64.2 (June 2003). The edition cited by Alexander Shurbanov and Christo Stamenov in English Studies in Bulgaria (2000) dates back to 1970. The most recent edition by Pleiada Publishing House, Sofia, came out in 1998. See; downloaded on 6 Sept. 2009.

At present Mincoffs History is included in the literature syllabuses of all Bulgarian departments of English studies at the state universities of Sofia, Veliko Turnovo, Plovdiv and Shumen as well as at the South Western University of Blagoevgrad.

On the specific features of narrative literary histories, see Perkins 1992: 3. I have borrowed the phrase cultural hierarchy from Katerina Clark and Michael Holquist, who use it about a politically powerful faction of literary theorists in the Soviet Union in the 1920s. See Clark and Holquist 1984:198. Bulgarian representations of Great Britain and its cultures share the Continental-European synecdochic reduction of Britishness to Englishness. In the present context I opt for the latter rather than the former as the debate over the meaning(s) and ethno-cultural provision of Britishness is irrelevant to my topic. Moreover, Mincoff works with a conception of Englishness rather than Britishness. On Stefanov as the pioneer of English studies in Bulgaria, see Shurbanov and Stamenov 2000: 267-8. Philology is the set of activities that concern themselves systematically with human language, and in particular with works of art composed in language. (quoted in Lerer 1) My inference is borne out by information provided by colleagues from key Romanian universities, who were students of English in the 1970s and 80s. They confirmed that students of English and other specialised readers in their country were unfamiliar with Mincoffs History at the time. Knowledge of his work only reached Romanian schol-


ars after the establishment of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) in 1991 and the exchange of information between national organisations of Anglicists it made possible.

A latter-day example of this approach of withholding bibliographical references is provided by Simeon Hajikossevs monumental History of Western European Literature of which 4 volumes have been published to date. For details, see the authors website,; downloaded on 10 Sept. 2009. On work about the romantics and Byrons reception in the 1920s, see Kostova 2008 53-57. My reference is to Weimanns early work which is cited by Mincoff, not to the critics more recent studies of literature and the theatre. Wellek reaches a similar conclusion with respect to the critical practice of the New Critics, see Wellek 1995: 5572. On the background of this view and other ideas of Englishness and Saxonism in the nineteenth century and later on, see Young 2008 1139. On the influence of Scottish Enlightenment thought on nineteenthcentury Saxonism/Teutonism, see Pittock 2003: 260-272. For an elucidation of core literature, see Moretti 1998: 171 174.






Works Cited Anikst, Alexandr A. Zanayatat na dramaturga (The Dramatists Craft) [Original Russian title: Remeslo dramaturga]. Translated into Bulgarian by Yano Stoevski. Sofia: Nauka i izkoustvo, 1980. Bracewell, Wendy. Balkan Travel Writing: Points of Departure. Balkan Departures. Travel Writing from Southeastern Europe. Ed. Wendy Bracewell and Alex Drace-Francis. New York/Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009. 1-24. Clark, Katerina and Michael Holquist. Mikhail Bakhtin. Cambridge, Mass., and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1984. Dahinden, Janine. Deconstructing Mythological Foundations of Ethnic Identities and Ethnic Group Formation: AlbanianSpeaking and New Armenian Immigrants in Switzerland. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 34 (2008): 55-76. 92

Damrosch, David. Auerbach in Exile. Comparative Literature 47.2 (1995): 97-117. Engels, Frederick. Dialectics of Nature. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1974. Greenblatt, Stephen. Literary History and Racial Memory. PMLA 116.1 (2000): 48-63. Grosman, Meta. American Novels through the Eyes of Slovene Readers. Language & Literature XXVII (2002): 512-531. Hristoforov, Assen. Skitsi iz London [Sketches from London]. Sofia: Hristo G. Danov, 1945. Hutcheon, Linda. Interventionist Literary Histories: Nostalgic, Pragmatic, or Utopian? Modern Language Quarterly 59.4 (1998): 401-417. Kostova, Ludmilla. Claiming a Great Briton for Bulgaria: Reflections on Byrons Bulgarian Reception (1880s-1920s). Byron: Heritage and Legacy. Ed. Cheryl A. Wilson. New York: Palgrave, 2008. 45-60. Kostova, Ludmilla. Getting to Know the Big Bad West? Images of Western Europe in Bulgarian Travel Writing of the Communist Era (1945 1985). Balkan Departures. Travel Writing from South Eastern Europe. Ed. Wendy Bracewell and Alex Drace-Francis. Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009. 105-36. Krylov, B. Preface. Marx and Engels on Literature and Art. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976. 6 Sept. 2009 < preface.htm>. Lerer, Seth. Introduction. Literary History and the Challenge of Philology. Seth Lerer ed. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1996. Mincoff, Marco. A History of English Literature. 3rd ed. 2 vols. Sofia: Naouka i izkoustvo, 1976. Moretti, Franco. Atlas of the European Novel 1800 1900. London: Verso, 1998. Moretti, Franco. Conjectures on World Literature. New Left Review 1 (2000): 54-68. 93

Perkins, David. Is Literary History Possible? Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. Pleu Andrei. Intellectual Life under Dictatorship. Representations 49 (1995). 6171. Pittock, Murray G. H. Historiography. The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment. Ed. Alexander Broadie. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003. 258-279. Salkeld, Duncan. New Historicism. The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism. Vol. IX: Twentieth-Century Historical, Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001. 59-70. Shurbanov Alexander and Christo Stamenov. English Studies in Bulgaria. European English Studies: Contributions towards the History of a Discipline. Ed. Balz Engler and Renate Haas. Published for the European Society for the Study of English by The English Association, 2000. 267-292. Spiering, Menno, ed. Nation Building and Writing Literary History. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1999. Stefanov, Konstantin. The Bulgarians and Anglo-Saxondom. Bern: Paul Haupt, 1919. Tihanov, Galin. Why Did Modern Literary Theory Originate in Central and Eastern Europe? (And Why Is It Now Dead?). Common Knowledge 10 (2001): 61-81. Warnke, Frank J. The Comparatist's Canon: Some Observations. The Comparative Perspective on Literature. Approaches to Theory and Practice. Ed. Clayton Koelb and Susan Noakes. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1988. 48-56. Wellek, Ren. The New Criticism: Pro and Contra. The New Criticism and Contemporary Literary Theory. Connections and Continuities. Ed. William J. Spurlin and Michael Fischer. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1995. 55-72. Wellek, Ren and Austin Warren. Theory of Literature. 3rd ed. New York and London: HBJ, 1977. Young, Robert J. C. The Idea of English Ethnicity. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. 94

Websites:; accessed on 6 Sept. 2009.; accessed on 10 Sept. 2009.


Teaching English Literature and Cultural Studies in Bulgaria: A Contemporary Perspective
Yordan Kosturkov
Since its inception as an academic discipline, English Literature (including Cultural Studies) has been taught in Bulgaria with the double purpose of improving the level of language proficiency of students and cultivating a critical awareness of literary and cultural issues. While originally a number of university students were taught the language from a beginner level, for some three decades from the late 1950s the focus was shifted to a higher academic level due to the appearance of the so-called English language secondary schools1 even though most of the students proceeded to practice their university knowledge as secondary school teachers, translators, interpreters and in tourism. The demand in terms of employment and application was pretty well met and the only major change in curricula was the introduction of special courses in translation. There had been small-scale attempts at problematizing the training, and what had been originally innovative gradually became routine yet a positive routine yielding good fruit. In fact, without going into too much detail, the described situation was standard with English learning in general. In the following, however, I draw upon my professional experience and observations to focus primarily on teaching Literature (and Cultural Studies, as much as they were specified) and the impact it had on related areas. In recent years the situation has changed dramatically. The demand for catering to employment prospects has increased enormously and, despite many compromises, is far from being met. Students now come from their secondary schools with insufficient preparation at an intermediary level of English and are often unable to cope with the academic level of the core disci97

plines, traditionally taught in English from the introduction of the very first curriculum. Indeed, many students now prefer to change their academic interests and major in business and economics, for instance, beyond the narrow context of Liberal Arts education. Thus, their BA studies of English serve as a language training basis. The present academic curricula have changed in an effort to meet these new demands. Further changes have taken place in adapting the course of studies to average European standards, for better or worse. However, in general the present curricula for BA students are pretty well established. By comparison, in this regard graduate schools still need significant restructuring and clarification of their legal status. There are few, if any, doctoral schools in literature. Part of the problem is that there are not enough habilitated advisers, and most doctoral candidates are in the self-instruction option. Under the present system, the best BA students are often unable to pursue a masters degree, eventually to the detriment of doctoral studies. While external (foreign) professors can act as advisors, doctoral degrees earned outside the country are at present not easy to legalise locally. The legalisation process (defence etc.) happens outside universities at a national board session, and the current option of local universities legalising the status of such doctoral students and approving habilitation is not common and regarded as less prestigious. At present no concern is felt about the possible overproduction of masters students, largely because of the devaluation of the BA degree. In any case such concerns would not be credible since few choose to go to graduate school (except for the retraining graduate school) and there are many obstacles in the path of admission to graduate schools. There are however fears about the overproduction of doctorates. The common method of delivering literary knowledge in Bulgaria is the period-wise survey, which makes a great deal of sense since students entering university are often totally unfamiliar with English or American literature (some initiation used to happen and may still be happening at the special language secondary schools). Admission to universities does not require any knowledge of literature but basic general English skills. The typical traditional structure for contact that has been in use 2 hours lecture time and 2 hours seminar time is preserved, even 98

when there is a shortage of the legally required number of habilitated lecturers. There is a growing tendency to problematize the offered contents of courses in seminars, while lectures predominantly seek to inform. Interactive methods or discussion is seldom encouraged in lectures and students continue to record the wisdom of the lecturer in a formal fashion: at a lecture a student typically listens attentively and diligently takes notes. There is no special training in instruction-skills for professors and they perform as they wish, usually reproducing their teachers practices best, or worst. This in turn happens with the students subsequently. No training in literature teaching methods is offered (except for the retraining graduate school). Standards of performance prescribed by the Ministry of Education are unnecessarily restrictive about creative methods of literature and language teaching. These standards are not determined by results, and teachers are required to follow the rigid obsolete routine although it kindles little interest in literature, which is exacerbated by the decreased general proficiency of English. As a whole the system is obsessed with linguistic methods. Strict requirements laid down by methodology experts from the Ministry of Education normally check secondary school teachers initiatives of applying innovative approaches. Many of these teachers find it convenient to continue to reproduce the basic methods they acquire through observation of their professors at universities. Despite such misgivings about prevailing approaches to lecturing, the informative lecture is appropriate in Bulgaria also because there is a shortage of textbooks and books in general. The situation has improved in recent years primarily through donations from abroad. In principle students can order books, but this is a tremendous strain on their often meagre budgets. Library space in universities is generally very limited indeed and disposed in extremely traditional ways, thus discouraging many students from using it. Very few manuals are produced by local scholars nowadays, although it used to be a common practice in the past. Only students of Bulgarian and English literature mixed groups are exposed to the very useful courses of Western European literature on offer, which place students in a broader literary context. Only at a few universities is literary theory deliv99

ered in English, and mostly theory courses are not tailored to provide for the needs of learning English (or American) literature. Very few courses in the literatures of English speaking countries other than Britain or the United States are available. A very positive recent change has been the introduction of elective and core elective courses. In relation to the transferable credits system that has been introduced, there is a need to restructure core courses, the core electives and electives. Comparative studies are not encouraged and lack of knowledge of the native literature also has a negative impact on English Literature studies. These deficiencies are naturally reflected in the careers that students pursue after university. A significant number go on to engage in literary or general and special translation (written, as well as interpreting). I present a few observations here related to literary translation: the situation is similar in other areas involving translation. The history of literary translation from English into Bulgarian which naturally has a significant role in English studies and a strong impact on publishing is relatively young, starting in the late 19th c. Until the 1940s translations reflected the condition of academia, then concerned with making a canon in a nonEnglish native language environment or following the canon of the native English environment. The period from the 1940s till the 1960s was characterized by a strong ideological bias in selecting works for translation, thus establishing a convenient canon within the canon which reflected the Soviet taste and vision of British literature and was suspicious of modernist fiction. Subsequently, however, for various reasons (in particular due to more adequate academic training), publishers have encouraged the production of translations. Consequently, the publishing business has broadened its scope (although annual government quotas on the number of books from different foreign languages were maintained for a while), and has indeed developed beyond the rigid and narrowly-focused conventional university literature curriculum. The latter continues to ignore popular culture, for instance, and in the past publishers also used to ignore such genre/category novels (except for lucrative crime and mystery and science fiction) which produced, in the absence of copiers, secret lending libraries of romance. Currently, literature pro100

grammes offer students limited opportunities to become familiar with authors outside the canonical few, especially since they are discouraged from reading genre/category fiction. All these factors have impinged upon the development of the publishing industry in relation to translations. The expanding scope and depth of this area is because book publishers have taken the initiative, since even university professors are totally unfamiliar with all new trends. Significantly, it is mostly former students of English who are now into translation and publishing. Let me conclude these reflections on the current condition of English literary studies in Bulgaria on a note of looking back. In doing this I take my cue from Ludmilla Kostovas paper, which appears in this volume. Marco Mincoffs History of English Literature (1970) has played a dominant role in the development of English Studies in Bulgaria. It evolved out of a course of lectures, as required by the authorities of the day, delivered by Bulgarias most eminent professor of English. Prior to the formal publication in 1970, however, Mincoffs lecture notes were circulated in mimeographed copies. In the official publication some of the flavour of the lectures (references to contemporary events, culture, literature etc.) was lost, since the author was primarily restricted by the pre-set length requirements of the publishers. This was in the days of rationed paper supply, when possibly only the classics of Marxism were not limited in their print runs. Yet, even then Mincoffs History was seen as a corrective to and departure from the Soviet style textbooks, such as Aniksts History of English Literature (1956), or the History of English Literature (1943-1956) of the Academy of Science of the USSR. It was also regarded as superseding books in the area available in the Bulgarian language, such as Mitov and Peshevs Western European Literature from the Great French Bourgeois Revolution to the Paris Commune (1963). Mincoffs book was regarded effectively as a work of national scholarship, a Bulgarian history of English literature. Its publication, as required at the time, was preceded by a discussion at the university in which some of the academic community were critical of the content, finding it too academically high brow. But its impact since publication has been unquestionable. The division of the History into two parts was merely technical, but was 101

subsequently reflected in university curricula and also inspired shorter manuals published by colleagues. There are now more and more imported British histories of English Literature available in Bulgaria (mostly in libraries) and some scholars today are inclined to criticise Mincoffs book in comparison to these. Irrespective of that though, I feel that the academic achievement of Mincoffs History of English Literature should be firmly recognised. This achievement is considerably more noteworthy than that of recent Bulgarian scholars of English Literature who, with few exceptions, remain minor or even excluded from the broader Bulgarian community of literary scholars, historians and theorists, even when it comes to comparative studies. Among scholars of English Literature from non-Anglophone countries the reputation of Marco Mincoff is usually high and should serve as a beacon to modern scholars. Notes

The American College in Lovetch was set up in 1950. In 1958, the two English classes which were moved to Sofia, were granted the status of an English Language High School. The Plovdiv English Language High School was also founded in 1958.

Works Cited Anikst, Alexandr A. Istoriya angliskoi literaturyi [History of English Literature]. Moscow, 1956. Istoriya angliskoi literaturyi.[History of English Literature], vols. 1-3. MoscowLeningrad. Academy of Science of USSR Publishers, 1943-1958. Mincoff, Marco. History of English Literature, Part I and II. Sofia: Naouka i izkoustvo, 1970. Mitov, Dimitar and Alexandar Peshev. Zapadnoevropeiskata literatura ot velikata frenska burzhoazna revoljutsiya do Parizhkata komuna. [West-European Literature from the Great French Bourgeois Revolution to the Paris Commune] 4th edition. Sofia: Naouka i izkoustvo, 1963.


On Restructuring Survey Courses in the BA Literature Curriculum in Bulgaria: A Contemporary Perspective
Lubomir Terziev
This paper presents my perspective, based on my professional experience and observations, of some current academic attitudes to higher education in Bulgaria. I also suggest possible lines of reorganization in the curriculum of the survey literary courses at Sofia Universitys English Department. The need for modifications in a model based on the systematic and gradual accumulation of erudite knowledge is dictated by the changing requirements of our students in the conditions of a market economy. Sofia University, which is still widely recognized as the premier university of this country, is slowly but steadily losing big chunks of its cultural capital as a result of shifting attitudes to the value of academic knowledge. So we, teachers of literature, occupying a space beyond obviously pragmatic agendas, can no longer sustain the supercilious assumption that the market value of our philological erudition should be taken for granted. Let me first try to account for the conservative drive, which I find to be quite pronounced among Bulgarian teachers and academics. In a recent article, published in one of Bulgarias most influential cultural weeklies, Kultura, a leading education expert gives the following diagnosis of the predicament of Bulgarian education: The problem is that there are no personalities in our schools who could forge horizontal bonds with their peers, tolerate difference, ... form groups and teams, and make up an environment of intelligent togetherness. This goal is not on our agenda because we have all been brought up to believe in the hierarchical paradigm in which progress is proportionate to ones status ... (Petrov 2006) 103

As a matter of fact, the problem seems rooted in the prevalence of a regressive narrative about the loss of an overwhelmingly good standard of education which was established in the days of socialism. The socialist model of education, which is to a large extent the model to this day, would value versatility at the expense of specialization. At high school level, students had to plod their way through intricate math equations, inscrutable chemical formulae, and detailed historical lessons. Top grades in most subjects were vital because the average grade across all subjects was an important part of the criteria for admission to universities. According to the popular myth, this educational system fostering erudition, combined with our unique national genes, has made of us one of the most intelligent nations in the world. With the advent of democracy and globalization, a climate of laxity and indolence has set in, which has led to the deterioration of educational standards. Against this backdrop, universities, and philological departments in particular, would be seen as the last resort of erudition. As a matter of fact, this elitist attitude is largely reflected in the patterns of admission to university. Our students sit highly competitive and difficult admission tests, for which, in most cases, their high school teachers are unfit to prepare them. Actually the gap between the average level of competence attained by school leavers and the levels required at the doors to the University could be seen as a desperate attempt on the part of academia to batten on remnants of former glory. As far as our English department is concerned, the same attitude is reflected in the preservation of the old structure of our introductory Literature courses. Based on a purely chronological principle, our survey of English literature starts with Langlands Piers Plowman and ends with Fowless The French Lieutenants Woman. The curriculum is divided into three separate courses covering Medieval and Renaissance Literature, 18th century and Romanticism, and the Victorian period to the present day. Each of these courses spans over 30 weeks (2 semesters) and students are exposed to 30 hours of lectures and 60 hours of seminars. As most canonical figures are included in the exam questionnaire, we find ourselves trotting through voluminous texts like Tom Jones and Pamela. What aggravates 104

matters is that this ambitious agenda is pursued in the context of several parallel compulsory modules in linguistics and a number of demanding language courses. Such a monumentally extensive model of introducing literature to undergraduates has its upsides, of course. The meaningful rationale behind it could be that during the initial stages of literary education a rigorously logical framework of literary tendencies and intellectual paradigms needs to be built up in the students minds. A looser structure might well bring about confusion and serve as an off-putting factor. Any excessive equivocation at this stage might well trigger defensive responses. A narrower scope might well leave students unprepared for further stages of literary education. Moreover, Bulgarian schools bequeath us students trained, when it comes to literature, in one of two equally problematic traditions of performance: the reproductive and the impressionistic. The former expects students to recycle an inflated critical jargon that remains essentially incomprehensible and alien to them. Ironically, most of these quasi-professional analyses of literary works are written by university teachers. The other tradition draws upon many school teachers expectations that their students should demonstrate originality of thought and expression, albeit unearned. The criteria of assessment are, of course, rather vague. As my daughters Bulgarian teacher told me, she expected fresh metaphors and that the essay should catch her imagination. With such a legacy, it seems natural that most students end up ignorant about major tendencies in the history of literature. Therefore, the systematic chronological survey of literary history seems a reasonable and inevitable option at university level. There seem to be, however, a few pitfalls about such a curriculum. First of all, the very chronological philosophy of the courses presupposes a strong focus on the historical context. This, as Ben Knights suggests, might leave us without much time to make significant statements about texts (Knights and Thurgar-Dawson 2006: 13). The teacher might well end up trapped in the vocabulary and concerns of surrogate historicist discourses without ever looking into the rhetorical texture of the literary medium. Secondly, the culture of unequivocal statements of the sort Neo-classicists cherish reason whereas the Romantics cherish 105

sentiment might create the fallacious impression that erudition amounts to a collection of pigeonholed assertions. Despite our hope that this dependence on reductionism and simplification will be overcome at later stages of literary education, this is often not the case. Actually, in our so called state exams, which students sit at the end of their fourth year of study, a significant proportion of the responses amount to biographical sketches or statements about a writers belonging to a particular tradition. Thirdly, a tightly packed chronological curriculum very often makes for monologue-based teaching. From the students perspective, they are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of required reading and resist by failing to read, which makes dialogue in the classroom unthinkable. From the teachers perspective, there is so much contextual information to convey that one often finds oneself reeling it all off, facing a silent audience of scribbling students. I think of myself as a student-oriented teacher but when I teach my Romanticism course I seem to answer part of the description in the Teaching Quality Assessment Report, which Ben Knights mentions in his paper. In some of my seminars students are given too few opportunities to contribute.1 Even more importantly, this hectic rhythm of assessment-oriented teaching is not conducive to the patience and time one needs to elicit responses from the more introverted students. Thus, usually the most outgoing and articulate would speak, which could easily create distorted opinions about intellectual capacity. Interestingly, in such an environment, even students presentations often fail to displace the teacher from his centre stage position of authority. I wonder if any teacher is fond of those moments when a student is giving a presentation and the rest, instead of listening or asking questions, wait for your grunts of approval, which are a sign for them that they need to put their pens down to paper. I envisage two directions of possible modification: (a) a considerable reduction of survey course syllabi; (b) more emphasis on student-oriented courses which tap on students creativity or attract students attention through a symbiosis between literature and more pragmatic disciplines such as language teaching or translation. Of course, there is no way we can do without introductory courses. They form, in a sense, the backbone of the B.A. curriculum. What I suggest is a more balanced approach to dif106

ferent models of acquiring knowledge and skills through the study of literature. In what follows I will have enough space to describe briefly the benefits of an elective Creative Writing course I launched a few months ago together with a colleague. It was a one-semester course (30 hours) meant for our fourth-year students. Fifteen students signed up, the minimum for an elective being six. The project has in effect altered many of my theoretical presuppositions about teaching Literature. I approached the endeavour with a number of misgivings: the fuzziness of the concept of creativity and the risk that the whole thing might easily degenerate into a confidence course. Since we are all sensitive when it comes to discussing our own work, even more so when we consider it a product of our creative mind, the teacher might all too easily opt for what I would call the pretty-muchanything-goes option. In other words, a facilely positive atmosphere might substitute for genuine critical thinking. These fears have been dispelled since it turned out that our students derived pleasure from critically reviewing both their peers performance and their teachers opinions. Here are some of what I consider the strengths of the course: (1) It develops the ability to overcome ones vanity or shyness, to take criticism, and respond coherently to it. Students receive our detailed reviews of their own and their peers texts and are invited to make motivated comments. This teaches them, among other things, to refrain from sweeping generalizations and ad hominem attacks. (2) Students learn to produce critical statements beyond the level of pure intuition. At the same time, they are allowed some scope for intuitive liberties. Thus, the pretheoretical intuitive urge could be mildly suppressed or guided without being chastised. (3) Students find themselves in an atmosphere where they care and are cared for. The fact that their own texts are at stake makes for a level of involvement that could hardly be achieved in conventional survey courses. (4) One of the most withdrawn students on my Romanticism course has proved a most talented writer and an articu107

late critic. In other words, here I see a different, I should say, fairer, distribution of the power of voice. (5) This course seems to make possible what I would call a random access approach to acquiring erudition. By following up on references that crop up in our reviews or in the course of the discussion students develop an interest in a number of theoretical concepts and literary texts. Our email boxes are cluttered with messages inviting us to talk about the objective correlative, Camus LEtranger or Faulkners The Sound and the Fury. In conclusion, I want to say that no matter how good the format of our courses might be, what matters most is who walks into the classroom. Unfortunately, in Bulgaria the teaching profession is grossly underestimated and underpaid. If in England students have to work part time in order to make it through university, in Bulgaria both teachers and students work part time in order to teach and study. It is clear that the economic situation in this country will not change for the better any time soon. However, the teaching profession could be given an institutional boost. What we need badly is a well designed system of teaching quality assessment. It is true that the mostly oral performance of a teacher is more difficult to assess than the written performance of a researcher. But it is common knowledge that the most prolific researcher is not necessarily the best teacher. Notes

The quotation from the Teaching Quality Assessment Report is extracted from a plenary talk that Ben Knights gave at a British Council Video Conference in 2006.

Works Cited Petrov, Rumen. Internet? Predi tova e inteligentnata zaednost. [The Internet? Intelligent Togetherness Should Come First] Kultura Weekly, 31st January 2006. Knights, Ben and Chris Thurgar-Dawson. Active Reading Transformative Writing in Literary Studies. London: Continuum, 2006. 108

English One Discipline or Many? An Introductory Discussion
Ann Hewings
For those educated in an Anglophone country the study of English may invoke memories such as Shakespeare, modern drama, or learning to spell and punctuate. For those in non-Anglophone countries, English may connote learning the language, learning about English-dominant countries, cultures and politics, or reading and studying English literature. What is meant by English or English Studies is clearly not straightforward, stable, or universal. What exactly is English as a discipline, particularly in higher education (HE) contexts? One way of considering this is to focus on disciplinarity from an applied linguistics perspective. From within English Studies, as broadly conceived in the United Kingdom, the subdiscipline of applied linguistics has focused on disciplinarity as it relates to writing in the academy. It has developed an array of methods drawing on ethnography (Drury 2001, Lea and Street 1998, Swales 1998), discourse analysis (Coffin 2006, Hewings and North 2006, MacDonald 1994, Samraj 2008, Wignell et al 1989) and corpus analysis (Harwood 2005, Hyland 1999, Thompson and Tribble 2001) for examining disciplinary norms. Attention has been given especially to the epistemology of disciplines, what counts as knowledge in a discipline, and how this is manifest in texts written by students and academics: what counts as evidence for claims; what are valid research questions and goals; how the existing literature is drawn on and cited; and how texts are structured. The purpose of much of this research has been to help writers, both non-native speakers of English (NNS) and native English speakers (NS) to write in ways valued within their discipline (Bazerman 1988, Becher 1989, Charles 2006, Harwood 2005, Hewings 2004, Hewings and North 2006, Hyland 2000, MacDonald 1994, North 2005, Samraj 2008, 109

Swales 1990). For academics, this may result in greater success in getting work published; for students, it may help in understanding the expectations of their discipline at a practical level, but also implicitly at an epistemological level (Lea and Street 1999). How the members of a disciplinary community write the genres of their discipline both reflects and constructs the discipline. Through the analysis of writing, the significance of disciplinarity has become more apparent. Acknowledging that academic writing is contextually bound not just by genre, but by disciplines and sub-disciplines has resulted in analysis of student and professional academic writing initially in the sciences, but latterly covering other academic fields as well. English as a discipline, rather than a language, has had relatively little attention (exceptions include Afros and Schryer 2009, MacDonald 1994). Indeed, delimiting English or English Studies is itself problematic: Historically, the field of English Studies has included a number of sub-disciplines including the study of Modern Literature, English Language, Medieval Literature, Performance Studies, Critical Theory and Creative Writing. (HEA English Subject Centre1 Website) When different geographical, historical, political and institutional perspectives are added, English Studies becomes even less clearly defined. I do not propose here to analyse the writings of students or scholars engaged in English Studies, but rather focus on the scope of the discipline as encountered in HE institutions predominantly in England, but bringing in examples from other geographical and educational contexts. I look in particular at breadth of coverage across three areas of current interest in the United Kingdom: literature, language and creative writing. The question of whether this examination will uncover one discipline or many has implications for scholarly exchange and for pedagogy. Disciplinary construction Charles Bazermans well-known work on the experimental article in science began with his perception of the problem of teaching writing to university students if teachers do not know what constitutes an appropriate text in their students discipline (Baz110

erman 1988). This highlights the discipline as a significant entity comprising both a body of ideas and body of people, an interplay of the cognitive and the communal (Becher and Huber 1990: 235). Bechers work (1987) on categorising disciplines within universities led to a four-way classification: Pure Sciences, Humanities, Technologies, and Applied Social Sciences. English does not fit neatly into any of these groups. The study of literature and creative writing would fall within Humanities while applied linguistics and English language would probably be included within Applied Social Sciences. Students writing an English literature essay may approach their task with a humanities-based orientation to the task concerned with particulars, qualities, complications, and interpretation. In contrast, the more social scientific approach where the search for patterns and evidence to support generalisations is common would be more usual in English language assignments. The significance of disciplinarity to students and their writing practices has been the subject of a number of studies. At a practical level, students will observe that there are differences in, for example, referencing practices. But the differences are more subtle and significant than just surface features. Berkenkotter et als (1991) study of a graduate student during the early years of his doctoral study in Rhetoric revealed aspects of a disciplinebased socialisation process evident in his writings. They generalised their findings as follows: Graduate students are initiated into the research community through the reading and writing they do, through instruction in research methodology, and through interaction with faculty and with their peers. A major part of this initiation process is learning how to use appropriate written linguistic conventions for communicating through disciplinary forums. (Berkenkotter et al 1991: 191) A study of undergraduate students undertaking a history of science course found that those students who had previously taken arts-based courses such as English, History, and Philosophy achieved significantly better marks than students who had previously taken science-based courses (North 2005). This reflected the arts/humanities disciplinary orientation of the course. North concluded that even when writing essays on the same topics, 111

aspects of students writing reflected the views of knowledge typical of their disciplinary background (449). Previous disciplinary experience and knowledge, then, can be either an advantage or a disadvantage depending upon how closely it fits with a students present study. This finding and other similar findings (Hewings 2004, Lea and Street 1998) have significance for students undertaking interdisciplinary study or for those in disciplines which embody a variety of epistemological models such as English language and English literature. Attention to disciplinarity focuses attention on the social as well as the intellectual in academic knowledge construction. While disciplinary norms and traditions have a socio-historical basis, they also have a current regulatory function. What counts as knowledge, the epistemology of a discipline, is policed by disciplinary insiders, such as journal editors and reviewers at a research level, and HE teachers and their departments at a pedagogical level. Added to that are university management structures and quasi-governmental institutions such as, in England, research councils and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), the body responsible for creating benchmark statements for major higher education discipline areas. For researchers outside Anglophone countries, becoming an insider within the discipline can also be affected by factors such as geography and language. Knowledge of the current interests of the discipline may depend on an ability to travel to conferences, access specific libraries, collect relevant data, and publish in highstatus international journals. All these are likely to be more difficult for researchers in certain parts of the world. In addition, prestigious publications are likely to require writing in a foreign language English (Lillis et al, forthcoming). The discipline itself is therefore influenced more strongly by those in what have come to be known as Anglophone-centre countries. The discipline of English in England English is a versatile academic discipline characterised by the rigorous and critical study of literature and language. It is concerned with the production, reception and interpretation of written texts, both literary and non-literary; and with the nature, history and potential of the English language. The 112

study of English develops a flexible and responsive openness of mind, conceptual sophistication in argument, and the ability to engage in dialogue with past and present cultures and values. The subject also has a special role in sustaining in the general community a constantly renewed knowledge and critical appreciation of the literature of the past and of other cultural forms. (QAA 2007) This description of English by the QAA highlights the study of both literature and language as integral to the discipline. However, an examination of some of the degree programmes in English in universities in English-speaking countries illustrates a more varied picture. The curricula in some of the longer-established universities reveal a strong focus on literary studies and therefore a lesser role for English language or creative writing. In the English degree at the University of Cambridge, for example, the emphasis is on literature written in English, and indeed predominantly from the British Isles. A comparative dimension is possible through the study of literature in a European language or Old English. English language only appears as one of the optional courses and even then it is the study of literary uses of the English language. Creative writing is accepted for assessment purposes but is not actively taught. The University of Oxford has a degree nominally called English Language and Literature, but again the emphasis is on literature written in English. In the second year there is one compulsory course2 on English language and there is currently discussion about making this optional. Trinity College in Dublin, despite having a degree called English Studies, is entirely literature focused. Similarly, Yale University's web description of their English Language and Literature degree makes no mention of language. Harvard University, too, focuses on literature. However, Yale and Harvard also include creative writing within their English departments. Of interest is the contrast between the older, more established universities and a range of others. The English School at Oxford was founded in 1894, partly as a response to a number of social and cultural changes within society. The industrial revolution needed and created many more people able to read. Mechanics and Miners Institutes provided lectures and libraries for this growing group. Fears of profound social unrest and revolu113

tion led some to a focus on a shared national literary heritage in pursuit of shared national goals (see Baron 2005). The 1870 and subsequent Education Acts created schooling for all and consequently a greater need for teachers trained in English. English at Oxford started with a strong language or philology bias, but over the years the influence of institutions such as the Bodleian Library and the Oxford English dictionary has led to a textual and a historical focus to English study at Oxford. Cambridge lays claim to distinctiveness largely on the grounds of its innovation at the beginning of the 20th century. Cambridge refers to the foundation of the degree in 1919 and the fact that it was the first: to encourage the study of English Literature up to the present day and the first to approach English literature from a literary point of view, rather than as a manifestation of the history of the language. (University of Cambridge, Faculty of English website) Judgements about literary merit associated with the Cambridge approach to literature have been influential in designating a literary canon. It has also been associated with the ideas of F. R. Leavis that literature can be a civilising force (Young 2008: 25). Arguably, this is what the final sentence of the QAA description of English, given above, draws upon. The focus on literature has been highly influential and the various features of English study at both Oxford and Cambridge are integrated in many degree programmes elsewhere. However, the breadth of the discipline of English is clearly evident in programmes at other universities. Different forces have affected these institutions, not least the competition for students. The expansion of HE has seen a number of waves, including vocational HE institutions, polytechnics (put on the same footing as more academically-focused universities in 1992) and very recently the teaching of English within vocational degrees at Further Education Colleges, institutions not traditionally involved in degreelevel study. The polytechnics, now often referred to as the new universities, had been perceived as less prestigious and they have therefore had to compete hard to attract students. They have been aided by government targets and funding to widen access to students from a broader socio-economic base. The National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education (1997) rec114

ommended that in order to achieve access to HE from across the socio-economic spectrum, government money should be targeted at those institutions with a strong, widening participation record. To increase participation, these institutions have had to consider curricula that will be attractive to students as well as fulfil the necessary criteria for HE study. In order to investigate the disciplinary nature of English Studies across a wider range of institutions, the degrees offered under the umbrella of English at ten universities or colleges in the West Midlands region,3 together with the Open University, a distance teaching institution with courses available both nationally and internationally, were examined. It was apparent that these institutions showed a much more varied approach to what is included within the ambit of English Studies than that found in the oldest universities. In five of the eleven it is possible to combine language and literature. In two, English language is the main focus and in four, literature is the main focus. In all nine universities where literature is a major component, creative writing is also foregrounded. Some universities also emphasise the study of American literature alongside British literature, while in three, literature translated into English was also studied. Film, theatre and drama studies were also integrated into a number of the degrees. The diversity within English programmes fits well with the description of English as a discipline given by the UK governments QAA: In its intellectual character and academic practice, HE English is a continually evolving discipline... It includes the study of the literatures from the Anglophone world. In addition to the study of literature and language, the subject can also incorporate comparative literature and literature in translation, drama, creative writing, film, and the study of non-literary texts. (QAA 2007) However, this benchmark statement is not the only one relevant to English Studies. Set alongside benchmark statements for English are benchmark statements for linguistics, which are of particular significance to English language study. The division of English language across two Subject Centres, English and Linguistics, presents the subsidiary character of English language on an official level and its subsequent lack of an official iden115

tity (Baxter and Santos 2009: 3). Despite this, English language has been growing within university English departments in recent years. This, alongside the exponential growth of creative writing courses, indicates the varied curricula available (Halcrow Group 2003). For example, in a 2003 Survey of the English Curriculum and Teaching in UK Higher Education of the 51 English departments offering literary studies, 29 were also offering language studies (Halcrow Group 3). The Survey also asked institutions about core and optional courses and this gives another perspective on English Studies. 53 institutions responded from the 135 offering English programmes in the UK. The overview was summarised as: Late Twentieth Century and Contemporary and Modernist are the most widely available options, with Renaissance coming third. Critical/Literary theory is the most widely taught compulsory course, with General Linguistics in second place. Generally speaking, provision of periodbased courses outweighs that of regionally-based. Amongst global English, Irish literature is the most widely taught. (Halcrow Group 70) The Survey also asked institutions how important they thought it was to produce graduates with specific subject knowledge. Of interest were the subject areas considered less key which included aspects of English language to do with linguistic terminology, history of the English language, and the practice of creative writing (Halcrow Group 75). As well as internal UK factors affecting English Studies curricula, international frameworks and students have also been significant. UK universities are keen for academic and financial reasons to attract international students. Within Europe, this means that degree programmes have undergone a measure of harmonisation in terms of length of study, quality assurance mechanisms, and transferability of credit. More generally, the rise of English as a global language (Graddol 2006) and particularly as an academic lingua franca has seen growing interest in the language, and several UK universities combine English, modern foreign languages and teaching English courses into a single degree. Outside Anglophone countries, English has expanded in some countries from the study of language and litera116

ture into the language of instruction for other curriculum areas. There is a trend towards offering university courses taught through the medium of English. This allows universities in, for example, the Netherlands to attract a range of students from outside Europe; students who are likely to have a knowledge of English but not of Dutch. For some, the role of English is seen as benign or even as a lingua franca enabling greater integration in a multilingual Europe (Leung and Jenkins 2006). For others, the use of English is considered in relation to the downgrading of other languages and increasing power for multinational industries and institutions (Phillipson 2003). The phenomenon of English as an international language is possibly more clearly visible in English language courses which include a sociolinguistic dimension. At the Open University, for example, an introductory course on the English language includes a strong international focus. The role of English in the world today is examined as both a historical, cultural, and a political process, and the role of education through the medium of English is highlighted as a significant current process maintaining this position. Reflecting on English and its role in the world is also accomplished through the study of literature in its historical and cultural context, and expression of the diversity of English, its literature and its role in the world, may also be accomplished through creative writing in English Studies programmes. Other papers in this volume give insights into the curriculum in Bulgaria and Romania. The picture that emerges of English Studies in England is of a wide variety of choice available to students. There are programmes of study which concentrate purely on literature written in English, and programmes devoted entirely to the English language. In addition, there are programmes which allow choice between and among the varied options associated with English Studies. Students studying literature are likely to study a range of periods and genres and may study literature in translation. Critical approaches to literature may be enhanced by the creative practice of writing. English language has become increasingly popular; it can be studied as a programme in its own right or as part of wider English Studies programmes. Similarly, creative writing is sometimes a programme in its own right and sometimes integrated into English 117

Studies. While this richness and diversity is to be welcomed, consideration needs to be given to the different disciplinary traditions embodied by literature, language and creative writing study, and students supported as they move between them. The diversity of traditions and expectations that underlie these different sub-disciplines within English Studies mean that for students writing across the whole range possible within English Studies may be problematical. Nevertheless, it is the range and diversity of approaches that is so attractive and academically rich, a feature to be nurtured and allowed to enhance scholarly endeavour and teaching within the discipline. The depth of knowledge and understanding, the potential for crossfertilisation of ideas and methods of study are increased not by a narrow disciplinary specification, but by embracing English Studies and its sub-disciplines in all their variety. Notes

The HEA or Higher Education Authority in the United Kingdom is responsible for a number of Subject Centres which support teaching across different discipline areas at university level. English Studies is served by the English Subject Centre and also by the Language and Linguistics and Area Studies Subject Centre. The term course is used here to denote any discrete part of a degree programme. Aston University, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Coventry University, Keele University, Newman University College, Staffordshire University, University of Warwick, University of Wolverhampton, and University of Worcester, as listed by the Higher Education Academy English Subject Centre (2009)

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Baxter, Judith and Denise Santos. English Language at Undergraduate Level: its Identity as a Subject in UK Higher Education in the 21st Century. Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies. 2008. Higher Education Academy. 21 July 2009. <>. Bazerman, Charles. Shaping Written Knowledge. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1988. Becher, Tony. The Disciplinary Shaping of the Profession. The Academic Profession. Ed. Burton R. Clark. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1987. Becher, Tony. Academic Tribes and Territories. Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1989. Becher, Tony and Ludwig Huber. Editorial. European Journal of Education 25:3 (1990): 235-240. Berkenkotter, Carol, Thomas N. Huckin and John Ackerman. Social Context and Socially Constructed Texts: the Initiation of a Graduate Student into a Writing Research Community. Textual Dynamics of the Professions. Ed. Charles Bazerman and James Paradis. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1991. 191-215. Charles, Maggie. Phraseological Patterns in Reporting Clauses Used in Citation: A Corpus-based Study of Theses in Two Disciplines. English for Specific Purposes 25 (2006): 310331. Coffin, Caroline. Historical Discourse: The Language of Tine, Cause and Evaluation. London: Continuum, 2006. Courses School of English Trinity College Dublin. School of English. 4 April 2008. Trinity College Dublin. 20 July 2009. Drury, Helen. Short Answers in First-year Undergraduate Science Writing: What Kind of Genres Are They? Academic Writing in Context. Ed. Martin Hewings. London: Continuum, 2001. 104-121. English Dept. Home page. Yale University. 25 June 2009. <>. 119

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Hyland, Ken. Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in Academic Writing. Harlow: Longman, 2000. Hyland, Ken. Talking to Students: Metadiscourse in Introductory Coursebooks. English for Specific Purposes 18 (1999): 3-26. Lea, Mary R. and Brian V. Street. Student Writing in Higher Education: an Academic Literacies Approach. Studies in Higher Education 23:2 (1998): 157-172. Lea, Mary R. Writing as Academic Literacies: Understanding Textual Practices in Higher Education. Writing: Texts, Processes and Practices. Ed. Christopher N. Candlin and Ken Hyland. Harlow: Addison Wesley Longman, 1999. 62-81. Leung, Constant and Jennifer Jenkins, eds. Reconfiguring Europe: The Contribution of Applied Linguistics. London: British Association for Applied Linguistics in association with Equinox, 2006. MacDonald, Susan Peck. Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Carbondale and Edwardsville, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994. North, Sarah. Disciplinary Variation in the Use of Theme in Undergraduate Essays. Applied Linguistics 26:3 (2005): 431-452. Phillipson, Robert. English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy. London: Routledge, 2003. Samraj, Betty. A Discourse Analysis of Master's Theses Across Disciplines with a Focus on Introductions. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 7:1 (2008): 55-67. Subject Benchmark Statements: English. 2007. Quality Assurance Agency. 25 June 2009. < statements/English07.asp>. Swales, John. Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 121

Swales, John. Other Floors, Other Voices: A Textography of a Small University Building. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998. Thompson, Paul and Chris Tribble. Looking at Citations: Using Corpora in English for Academic Purposes. Language Learning and Technology 5:3 (2001): 91-105. Undergraduate Admissions: English Course Requirements. Undergraduate Admissions. 2009. University of Cambridge. 25 June 2009. < english/requirements.html>. Widening Participation in Higher Education. National Committee of Enquiry into Higher Education. 23 July 1997. British Education Index. 20 July 2009. < sr_008.htm#Widening> Wignell, Peter et al. The Discourse of Geography: Ordering and Explaining the Experiential World. Linguistics and Education 1 (1989): 359-391. Reprinted in Halliday, Michael A. K. and Jim R. Martin, eds. Writing Science: Language and Discursive Power. London: Falmer Press, 1993. Chapter 8. Young, Tory. Studying English Literature: A Practical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.


Global Englishes1
Joan Swann
Today, English is used by at least 750 million people, and barely half of those speak it as a mother tongue. Some estimates have put that figure closer to 1 billion. Whatever the total, English at the end of the twentieth century is more widely scattered, more widely spoken and written, than any other language has ever been. It has become the language of the planet, the first truly global language. (McCrum et al 2002:9-10) The teaching of English, wherever this occurs, needs to take account of its status as a global language. This has been a major focus of attention in both popular and academic books on English, of which McCrum et al is just one example. However, while McCrum et al refer to English in the singular, as the language of the planet (their italics), its use by such a huge range of speakers would tend to highlight its diversity. English is used by a variety of speakers, in a variety of contexts, for a variety of purposes. It also takes a variety of forms, so much so that the term Englishes is preferred by some researchers. As recently as 20 years ago, the British linguist Randolph Quirk could champion the cause of native speaker (British and American) varieties of English, regarding local usages found amongst educated speakers in countries such as India and Nigeria as a locally-acquired deviation from the standard language (Quirk 1990: 8). However, Quirk was writing in the context of, and partly in opposition to, a spate of studies that testified to increasing academic interest in the types of language use he condemned. Empirical studies of world Englishes have documented and described varieties of English resulting from the global spread of English varieties spoken by both native and non-native speakers. Such work has also played a political or ideological role in recognising the validity of non-native varie123

ties, rather than seeing these as deviations. Other, more critical research has focused explicitly on the politics of the spread of English, from historical colonial activity to contemporary practices associated with linguistic imperialism, exploring the interests these serve and their effects on other languages and their speakers. More recently, research has focused on possibilities for the development of a democratic English as a lingua franca; and on how, as a global language, English is intricately embedded in processes of globalisation. In this chapter I look at these different ways of accounting for global Englishes. I argue that they have implications for the teaching of English language and for English as an academic subject. As a prelude, I include a case study of English in Bulgaria, published in the journal World Englishes2. Laurie OReilly (1998) discusses the contemporary position of English in Bulgaria in terms of a sibling rivalry between the cultures of British and American English, the two canonical native speaker varieties that have been used internationally as norms for teaching and learning. OReilly argues that British and American English language teaching have different recent histories in Bulgaria, with the UK coming to be seen as the curator of a linguistic and literary institution and US teaching associated with science, technology and business. The influence of British English language teaching spans several decades. During the cold war, in collaboration with Bulgarian officials, UK teachers were placed in English medium schools throughout Bulgaria, at which many future Bulgarian diplomats were educated. This continued during the 1990s, with the British role expanding to include teacher education and consultancy, mainly via the British Council. The US, on the other hand, absent during the cold war, became more influential during the 1990s. In addition to language teaching and teacher education, the US supported various business initiatives, and education programmes increasingly linked English language teaching with courses in business and technology. While UK and US language teaching initiatives have to some extent carved out different spaces and spheres of influence, there is still some rivalry between them. OReilly argues that educational developments are also mediated by Bulgarian 124

officials, variously encouraging and regulating UK and US involvement in education. The relationship between these three players Bulgaria, the UK and the US is conceptualised as a triangle of power through which the development of language cultures is negotiated. OReilly points to a degree of tension in the relationship of many Bulgarians with the English language a desire to learn English along with an unwillingness to accept all aspects of the agendas associated with UK and US involvement in education (OReilly 1998: 80). Interestingly, OReilly also points to signs of an emerging language culture of Bulgarian English, although this receives only limited discussion. This case study of English in Bulgarian education draws on two of the research areas mentioned above that have sought to document and understand the position of English as a global language: linguistic imperialism (in documenting the influence of UK and US English language teaching on Bulgarian educational practice); and world Englishes (in paying attention to the roles of different Englishes, including the potential of a local Bulgarian English). It also nods towards ideas associated with English and globalisation (in its acknowledgement of the complexity of the relations between players in the field). Below I shall say a little more about these, as well as the additional research area of English as a lingua franca, not addressed here. These approaches to global Englishes foreground different aspects of the relationship between varieties of English dominant native-speaker varieties and non-native varieties; and between English and other languages. Taken together, they raise issues about English as a language of education, and English as a subject, wherever this is taught. World Englishes One of the leading exponents of the idea of world Englishes is the Indian linguist Braj Kachru. Kachru famously constructed a three circles model in order to account systematically for the position of English in different parts of the world see Figure 1.


Inner circle (US, UK, Australia etc) norm providing

Outer circle (India, Nigeria, Philippines etc) norm developing

Expanding circle (Holland, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria etc) norm dependent Figure 1: Kachrus Three circles of English: based on Kachru (1982) The three circles in Figure 1 represent different sets of varieties of English and their associated contexts of use. The inner circle refers to native speaker varieties in countries such as the US and the UK that are seen as norm providing. Inner circle Englishes have developed standardised varieties, which may be oriented to by speakers of English as a second or foreign language, and used as models in teaching and learning. The outer circle refers to second language varieties in countries such as India and Nigeria, developed under British (or US) colonialism. English often has an institutional status in such contexts, used in education, government, commerce, the media etc. Kachru sees these as norm-developing i.e. as developing their own independent norms. The expanding circle refers to contexts in which English is seen as a foreign language, taught as a subject in schools, e.g. in continental European countries, but without the same institutional status as in outer circle contexts. Expanding circle varieties are seen as norm-dependent as not having their own norms, but depending on external norms such as British or American English. A world Englishes perspective recognises the validity of varieties such as Indian English, seeing these as systematic and rule governed, as in the following account from S.K. Verma: 126

Indian English is a self-contained system and follows its own set of rules. This system is closely related to the core grammar of English English. Its Indianness lies in the fact that, within the overall general framework of the systems of English English, it displays certain phonological, lexicosemantic, and also syntactic features. In terms of linguistic efficiency, these patterns are as good as any other. They are not corrupt, but rather different forms of the same language. (Verma 1982: 180) The quotation from Verma comes from a paper on Swadeshi English, itself a powerful term associated with anti-colonialism and with Gandhian notions of self-sufficiency and a rejection of foreign goods and ideas. Traditionally, research from within a world Englishes perspective has focussed on the study of outer circle varieties such as Indian English, but more recently attention has turned to the expanding circle, including Europe in the context of globalisation, business and trade an emphasis evident in journals such as World Englishes and English Today. Limitations of the world Englishes perspective, and particularly the three circles model, are that this is both over-rigid and over-simplified, failing to account for variation within national varieties such as Indian English and for more complex patterns of language use both within and across the circles though to some extent this is addressed in more recent work. It is also seen as uncritical, paying insufficient attention to inequalities of power between languages and their speakers (in this last case, for instance, by Phillipson 2008). Linguistic Imperialism The spread of English has long been associated with sociolinguistic processes of language shift (where particular speech communities fail to maintain their language in the face of competition from a more powerful language cf Fishman 1964) and language death. The idea of linguistic imperialism, developed by Robert Phillipson, highlights issues of power and inequality and attempts to deal critically and systematically with the global dominance of English, and particularly the part played in this by English language teaching. Phillipsons argument is that the 127

spread of English is part of an imperialist project, bound up with structural and cultural inequalities. He offers the following as a working definition of linguistic imperialism: the dominance of English is asserted and maintained by the establishment and continuous reconstitution of structural and cultural inequalities between English and other languages. (Phillipson 1992: 47) Here structural refers to material properties. It would include the ELT industry, institutions such as the British Council and financial allocations such as foreign aid packages. Cultural refers to immaterial or ideological properties such as attitudes and pedagogical principles. For Phillipson, the global spread of English is embedded in such processes, and it furthers the interests of political, economic and cultural elites, both intranationally and internationally. Linguistic imperialism is part of a broader process of linguicism, a term coined earlier by Phillipson and Tove SkutnabbKangas by analogy with terms such as racism and sexism. Linguicism refers to: Ideologies, structures, and practices which are used to legitimate, effectuate, and reproduce an unequal division of power and resources, (both material and immaterial) between groups which are defined on the basis of language. (Phillipson 1992: 47) In a more recent paper focussing on English in Europe Phillipson (2008) sees English as a threat to other European languages and cultures. In a discussion of the Englishization of Europe, for instance, he points to discrepancies between the formal equality between EU languages and a de facto linguistic hierarchy with English at the top. For Phillipson, the dominance of English in the EU as well as internationally is bound up with US hegemony. In its emphasis on general patterns of inequality, the idea of linguistic imperialism plays down the agency of speakers, including speakers of other languages who choose to take up English. Similarly, it does not attend to the local and potentially complex sets of factors that, in any context, may motivate speaker choices. 128

English as a lingua franca An alternative position is reflected in a developing research field that focuses on English as a lingua franca (often referred to under the acronym ELF). Jennifer Jenkins comments on this field: English is the international language at present, so rather than argue in terms of the past why this should not be, I prefer to look ahead to ways in which we can make the language more cross-culturally democratic, under the ownership ... of all who use it for communication, regardless of who or where they are. (Jenkins, 2000: 4) Jenkins, here, does not ignore the inequalities that have been a major focus of researchers such as Phillipson. Her approach, however, may be characterised as liberal rather than critical, seeking to extend the ownership of English to a wider range of people. Jenkins appeals to an idea of English as a lingua franca that may be added to a speakers own variety. This would not, self-evidently, be based on native-speaker norms. Jenkins argues further that, along with this international lingua franca variety, all speakers (native and non-native) need communicative flexibility to accommodate to a plurality of norms (see also discussion in Jenkins 2007, and Seidlhofer 2004). Phillipsons account of English in Europe, referred to above, includes a critique of the application of lingua franca to the English language. Phillipson sees this as invidious, given that English is a first language for some people and a foreign language for others, leading necessarily to asymmetrical communication. He also sees the term as misleading if it is meant to suggest the language is neutral and disconnected from culture. More specifically on the work of Jenkins and Seidlhofer, he comments: Such work hopes to trigger a paradigm change, a decoupling from the norms that currently determine the power of English. While sympathising with the goal of contributing to criteria for more equality in communication, I consider that any empirical re-standardization of English is at several removes from the forces that currently propel English forward. (Phillipson 2008: 262)


The idea of ELF has also been critiqued from a world Englishes perspective. Margie Berns (2009) notes that ELF is designed to recognise the validity of the English used at an international level by non-native speakers, according this equivalent status to more established varieties such as Nigerian English (and according its users equivalent rights in determining norms and standards of use). As such it is consistent with the principles of world Englishes (Berns 2009: 192-3). However, whereas the term lingua franca conventionally refers to a variety identified by its use (a means of communication between speakers of different varieties), in ELF research it also refers to the forms said to characterise such use: linguistic form and function are one and the same construct. For Berns this calls into question its theoretical validity. One context in which English is seen to operate as a lingua franca, and where a great deal of ELF research has been based, is Europe. However, Berns comments that, amongst speakers in Europe, English is used for different purposes, and not simply as a lingua franca. She cites a number of studies carried out from a world Englishes perspective that, she argues, have established four main functions of English in Europe: instrumental (e.g. the use of English as a medium across all levels of education an expanding role due to the increasing internationalisation of education); institutional (not as common as in countries such as India, but English is one of the official EU languages and is frequently a default language in meetings); interpersonal (social contact between people of all ages and in all settings); and innovative (the exploitation of English in advertising, popular music, blogs, chat rooms etc). Such evidence provides a relatively differentiated and nuanced picture of English language use that, Berns argues, cannot be captured by the concept of English as a lingua franca. English and Globalisation Globalisation has been discussed in relation to an increasing level of interconnectedness between different parts of the world. This is bound up with economic change, as processes of production and consumption increasingly operate on a global level (with, for instance, companies employing workers and targeting 130

consumers in different national contexts); with technological developments, which allow rapid communication across the world so that time and space come to be seen as compressed; and also with culture and identity, as cultural practices are disseminated across the world and national, social and personal identities may be redefined in relation to larger global processes. While globalisation is sometimes associated with increasing homogeneity, this is not straightforwardly the case: for instance, international companies may tailor products to different local groups of consumers. Globalisation may also give rise to attempts to maintain a range of local practices and identities, sometimes referred to as localisation. Language is embedded in all these processes, and many studies have focused on changing forms and uses of English, as well as changes in the status of the language that are both a response and a contribution to globalisation/localisation. Alastair Pennycook argues that a focus on globalisation forces us to question approaches to the study of global Englishes such as those discussed above: These approaches to global English whether linguistic imperialism and language rights, or world Englishes and English as a lingua franca, remain stuck within twentieth century frameworks of languages and nations. The central concern that the debates between these rival conceptualisations leave uncontested is how we can understand diversity outside those very frameworks that are part of the problem. Neither a defence of national languages and cultures, nor a description of a core of English as a lingua franca, nor even a focus on plural Englishes adequately addresses questions of diversity under new conditions of globalisation. (Pennycook 2010:121) Pennycook seeks to understand the role of English critically, but taking into account both new forms of power, control and destruction and new forms of resistance, change, appropriation and identity (5-6). For instance, speakers of other languages may resist English, or they may take it on in different ways, and they may change it to make it suit their own ends. Rather than focus simply on the global dominance of English researchers need to understand these more complex processes. 131

An important concept drawn on by Pennycook (2007) is that of transcultural flows. These include the flow of ideas, cultural products, language routines etc but they do not simply flow from the core to the periphery, as might be assumed in Kachrus three circles model, or Phillipsons model of linguistic imperialism. There are all sorts of cross-cutting flows, representing more complex patterns of circulation. An illustration may be provided by hip hop, studied by Pennycook as well as by other researchers. While hip hop emanates from the US (although as a distinctly non-canonical practice), Pennycook argues that it may be taken up in different ways, localised, and related to a range of other practices. For instance, the quotation below comes from a Malaysian rap. It represents an African American practice, but combined with local cultural references here Muslim prayers at dawn, and local food (Chinese and Indian) eaten at stalls for breakfast. If I die tonight, what would I do on my last day I know Id wake early in the morn for crack of dawns last pray Then probably go for breakfast like I used to Fried kuey teow FAM and roti canai at Rujas with my boo (If I die tonight, featuring Liyana from 360; cited Pennycook 2007: 3) Note: Kuey teow = fried flat noodles Roti canai = Indian bread with canai or channa chick peas in spicy sauce Rujas = local (caf/outlet?) Pennycooks more dynamic model challenges static concepts of English, of national varieties such as US or Indian English, of power and of spheres of influence running uniquely from the native-speaker core to the periphery, providing an alternative focus on multidirectional flows, and the potential for the appropriation and reworking of English in specific local contexts of use.


Review The approaches discussed above have foregrounded different linguistic phenomena as objects of research, but they also construct the English language itself in different ways, in opposition to a traditional Quirkian reliance on native speaker standards and norms, and in some respects in opposition to one another. English may be seen as: plural and diverse, where different Englishes native and non-native are valid in their own terms, rather than nonnative (or nonstandard) varieties being seen as deviations; necessarily implicated in unequal relations with other languages and speakers; more systematically, as an aspect of linguistic imperialism that supports US (and to a lesser extent UK) hegemony; providing the potential for a relatively neutral and democratised lingua franca; processual rather than a fixed entity, embedded in complex processes of globalisation and transcultural flows; or possibly a mix of more than one of these. In addition to their theoretical and disciplinary interest, these different constructions of English have implications for the English curriculum, wherever English is taught. They raise a number of questions for those concerned to develop English as a subject. For instance, which variety, or varieties, of English should serve as a model (or models) for teaching and learning? Can/should these vary in different teaching/learning contexts? How may they be determined? How should the English language be conceptualised as an object of study? Does/should this vary in different teaching/learning contexts? How valid, and how valuable, linguistically and/or symbolically, are constructs of expanding circle Englishes such as Bulgarian English? How may students of English be helped to reflect on their own experiences (motivations, values, beliefs) as English language users? The study of English in different parts of the world is itself implicated in the global spread of English (both affected by and contributing to this). This suggests that answers to these questions have political as well as pedagogical significance. 133


Ideas for this chapter derive, in part, from earlier work for a book on developments in English language studies see Maybin and Swann (2010). I am grateful to Ludmilla Kostova for referring me to this article.

Works Cited Berns, Margie. English as lingua franca and English in Europe. World Englishes 28: 2 (2009): 192-199. Fishman, Joshua A. Language maintenance and shift as fields of inquiry. Linguistics 9 (1961): 32-70. Jenkins, Jennifer. English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Jenkins, Jennifer. The Phonology of English as an International Language: New Models, New Norms, New Goals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Kachru, Braj, ed. The Other Tongue English Across Cultures. Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1982. McCrum, Robert, Robert Macneil and William Cran. The Story of English 3rd edn. London: Faber and Faber/BBC Books, 2002. Maybin, Janet and Joan Swann, eds. The Routledge Companion to English Language Studies. Abingdon, Oxon/New York: Routledge, 2010. OReilly, Laurie M. English Language Cultures in Bulgaria: a linguistic sibling rivalry? World Englishes 17: 1 (1998): 71-84. Pennycook, Alastair Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows. London/New York. Routledge, 2007. Pennycook, Alastair. English and Globalization. Maybin and Swann eds., 2010. 113-121. Phillipson, Robert. Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992. 134

Phillipson, Robert. Lingua franca or lingua frankensteinia? English in European Integration and Globalisation. World Englishes 27: 2 (2008): 250267. Quirk, Randolf Language varieties and standard language. English Today 6: 1 (1990): 3-10. Seidlhofer, Barbara. Research perspectives on teaching English as a lingua franca. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 24 (2004): 20939. Verma, Shivendra K. Swadeshi English: Form and Function. New Englishes. Ed. J.B. Pride. Rowley, Mass: Newbury House, 1982.


Part II Pedagogy, Practice and Policy

Tradition and Perspectives: Teaching General Linguistics to First Year Students of British and American Studies at Sofia University
Alexandra Bagasheva
A very brief description The Department of British and American Studies at Sofia University is a rare bird among the departments which comprise the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology. It is the only Department at which General Linguistics is taught in the target language English. At the other departments General Linguistics is taught in Bulgarian by lecturers from the Faculty of Slavic Studies. The Department of English and American Studies was not an exception until 1992. In that year the late Professor Andrey Danchev, as deputy dean of the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology, approved the Departments decision to break with the long-established tradition. Since then General Linguistics has been taught in English at this department, by members of the department. This was not simply a structural change (selfcontainment of all subjects within the department) and entailed a considerable reorientation in the content and principles of the course. The reading material and the nature of the course were drastically altered. Prior to that moment the course was based on readings of Russian authors. The bulk of reading was in Russian and Bulgarian. Works by Zvegintsev, Solntsev, Smirnitski, Moskov and Duridanov were core readings in the curriculum. The mandatory textbook used to be Linguistics: A University Textbook, written by I. Duridanov and V. Georgiev and published in 1965 (second revised edition). The Anglo-Saxon linguistic tradition was virtually absent. At present, the students of other philologies use as mandatory reading material Zhivko Bo139

jadzhievs textbook An Introduction to General Linguistics (2002). The language of instruction remains Bulgarian, even though the students come from a wide range of programmes, such as Chinese, Turkic, Bulgarian, etc. studies. With the change at the department of British and American Studies, the course in General Linguistics was reoriented towards the structural European tradition with the main focus on Saussures and Benvenistes theories. With the new curriculum, John Lyons, Francis Palmer and Stephen Ullman came to replace the Russian authors, though the overall theoretical cast of the course remained structural. The language of instruction became English. For a number of years the two syllabi ran in parallel for administrative reasons. Students redoing the year used the old Bulgarian syllabus and exam questionnaire while freshmen relied solely on the new one. Reading linguistics in Russian was considered an advantage. Bearing in mind that students still relied heavily on lecture notes, the changes in the reading list did not affect the contents of the course drastically, at least in the initial years. The standard classroom practice included three graded presentations in each seminar from the third one onwards. Three students were expected to read pre-assigned texts and present them to the group. This implied that only the students making presentations actually knew the pre-assigned text in detail. This proved of very low efficacy and in the second year of my teaching the course this classroom practice was dropped. I started teaching the course in General Linguistics in 2003. For the first two years the course did not undergo significant changes. The following sources were added to the core of the reading list: Leech, Semantics (1985); V. Fromkin and Robert Rodman, An Introduction to Language (1993); R. H. Robins, General Linguistics: An Introductory Survey (1989); D. Crystal, Linguistics (1995); and R. Trask, Language Change (1994). As most of the books are single copies in the resource centre, the basic procedure was for students to read photocopied parts of the textbooks focused on different topics. The students used a bound volume of photocopies with chapters from different textbooks and supplementary materials. It was extremely difficult for students to get a holistic and unified idea of what language and lin140

guistics are. Students complained that they felt insecure and constantly protested against the heavy, heterogeneous reading load. For the last five years I have tried to implement various improvements in the classroom practice, content and overall structure of the course. Admittedly, the students resistance to theory and desire for a reduced reading load affected my choices in redesigning the course. The fact that students no longer use Russian as a working language and are practically unable to read in Russian had to be kept in view. They prefer to read in English only. In an informal survey, they expressed their preferences for a textbook to replace the bound volume of heterogeneous reading material. The survey also indicated that on-line or electronic resources are much preferred. However, most freely available on-line resources are Internet-based and cannot be controlled or filtered. Despite its usefulness, the Internet should be approached cautiously as a source of specialized reading. Neither synchronous nor asynchronous communication in the e-environment is maintained for this course. The only tool from the new e-environment options used is e-mail. Forums, though a useful channel where actual debate can occur, are traditionally not used in the course. E-mailing is used predominantly for sending seminar notes and receiving written assignments to be graded. Very few courses in the department have their own sites and none of them are interactive. There is one general Linguistics Discussion Board available to all those who are interested at the following address: Students often visit it and heated discussions take place. The discussion board is maintained by another colleague and is not tailored to the needs and problems of the General Linguistics course. One of the deficiencies of the context in which the course is set is the lack of interdepartmental collaborative work and, moreover, the lack of exchange of experience with colleagues in the same predicament. General linguistics on the introductory level is taught within the scope of fifteen seminars.


The basics As is customary at the department, L1 is rarely, if ever, used in class, despite the fact that groups are predominantly monolingual and L1 can sometimes be used to clarify contentious issues or help students feel more secure to express their own opinion. For one thing, we have a few international students (Macedonian, Turkish, Vietnamese, Korean, etc.), but the more important consideration is that English is not only the target language but also the medium of instruction and means for academic pursuits. The aims of the course are matched against the needs of the future courses within the linguistic module in the BA programme. In principle, general linguistics has one central aim: to unravel the mystery of language as a human phenomenon as objectively as possible. The general principles are supposed to be applicable for providing reliable and adequate descriptions of individual languages. Language is best studied when contextualized, i.e. when represented in its natural modus vivendi human communication. Consequently, theory of communication and contemporary realities of communicative practices, culturally and technically informed, are in order. Taking into consideration all these necessary components in terms of content, an instructor of this course has the following to think over: (a) degree of complexity (this is the first theoretical course ever these students attend coming right from school); (b) temporal restrictions (15 seminars and 15 lectures altogether); (c) structuring; and (d) assessment criteria and procedure. In this milieu, the course in General Linguistics has many responsibilities to shoulder. First and foremost, a choice has to be made regarding the general approach to language studies in terms of the following at least: (a) prescriptive vs. descriptive vs. explanatory paradigms; (b) structural vs. generative vs. functional vs. cognitive theoretical framework; (c) internal (microlinguistics) vs. external (macrolinguistics); (d) purely theoretical vs. applied linguistics. Secondly, after a uniform theoretical framework has been worked out, a fairly comprehensive list of topics has to be compiled so as to cover as vast an area of the infinite field of general 142

linguistics as possible. However, it should be taken into consideration that the course is incorporated in the BA programme of a general philological department, not a linguistics one. Notwithstanding, this course serves as general introduction to nine compulsory linguistic courses that the students will attend in the subsequent years of their degree programme. With all these considerations in mind, it is difficult to narrow down the enormous field of linguistics to twenty topics. In order to ease the process and avoid the subjectivity of personal preferences, I have adopted and slightly modified the adequacy requirements (Van Valin and Lapola 1997: 7-8) for a linguistic theory and use them as content requirements in drafting the programme for my seminars. The contents of the course should be characterized by: (a) observational adequacy the course should fairly and in an unbiased way represent major schools, trends and paradigms in linguistics; (b) descriptive adequacy the course should be so balanced as to reveal properties of language(s), not properties of theories or models of language; i.e. the course should be focused on the ontology of language, not ontologies of linguistics; (c) explanatory adequacy the contents of the course should be as comprehensive as possible in order to be able to offer explanations for typologically disparate phenomena and even rarities in languages; (d) psychological adequacy the course should comply with the intuitions of students as speakers of at least two languages; it should also be compatible with (what is known about) the psychological mechanisms involved in natural language processing; (e) pragmatic adequacy the knowledge and analytical skills the students acquire in the course should not be an end in themselves, rather they should become the operational tools students will use in their specialized linguistic courses further on; the knowledge acquired should enhance students competence and performance in communicative interaction; 143

(f) typological adequacy despite being based on English as the basic source of examples and data, the course should make use of theories and models formulated in terms of rules and principles which can be applied to any type of natural language. Adopting the above criteria guarantees objectivity and usefulness but does not imply ease of content choices and structuring. The course has to meet all the requirements of the intellectual developments of the 21st century. Postmodernism, re-readings, new communication technologies, AI, IT, glocalist readings of data, and multiplicity of interpretative paradigms, all exert their influence on a course devoted to the study of the most human of all properties language. The major ideological and theoretical shift in the past few years is from conceiving language as an ideal object in itself to understanding language as a property of the human condition. Tracing the ground in view of the metalanguages students will be using and doing justice to new developments in general theoretical linguistics makes the course a flexible and adaptable one. The basic content-oriented considerations are the following: (a) Which theory should be adopted for each specific topic? (b) Should students be presented with both General American phonological system and Standard British English (RP) system or that of any of the other Englishes? (c) How much regional, social and cultural variation should be incorporated into the courses contents? (d) Which of the mushrooming branches of linguistics and interdisciplinary endeavours should be represented? (e) What will the core readings be? In describing the decisions I have taken concerning the abovementioned alternatives, I will adopt the three Ms: mind, matter and manners as defined by J. Ohala (1983) to better outline the three main directions of reasoning underlying the structuring of the course. Hereafter, mind defines the general theoretical framework adopted that will define the nature of approaching and describing language facts and phenomena; matter captures the branches of linguistics that are extensively presented in the course; and manner stands for the classroom techniques and practices in terms of which the course is implemented. 144

Mind In choosing the core text, one of the primary considerations was comprehensiveness of coverage backed up by an appropriate level of formalization or complexity for an introductory course. The reviewing procedure was guided by the assumption that meaning construction through language requires advanced mental operations also necessary for other higher-order, specifically human behaviours. Biological evolution slowly improved conceptual mapping capacities until human beings reached the level of double-scope blending necessary for advanced mental operations. Paying tribute to what is known about language in evolutionary terms should be included in such a course despite the controversy over the origin of language debate in linguistics. To these preliminary background considerations further assessment criteria were added. Having language is probably concomitant with wondering about language, and so, if there is one thing that sets linguistics apart from other disciplines, it is the fact that its subject matter must be used in the description. There is no metalanguage for language that is not translatable into language, and a metalanguage is, in any case, also a language. (Malmkjr 1991: xi) Acknowledging the truthfulness of the above statement may be used as an explanation for the great difficulties that 1st year students traditionally encounter while doing this course. Besides studying English, about English, and in English the freshmen have to learn a whole new language the metalanguage of linguistics. Compiling personal terminological glossaries has proven very successful but has not reduced the degree of difficulty students experience. Despite attempts to reduce the terminology involved in the course, the number of terminology entries remains a core problem for students. Terminological indeterminacy and multiple meanings associated with a single term deriving from different schools and interpretative paradigms within linguistics surface as the basic stumbling blocks. This multiplicity is confusing not only for students but for academics as well as Katamba testifies in the Preface to Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction (1996/2000), I suspect 145

that there are quite a few teachers of introductory linguistic classes who, like me, have been frustrated by the lack of a single book that can give their students a self-contained overview of the subject reflecting todays linguistic theory and practice (Katamba 2000: xv). The fragmented field of linguistics can be fruitfully studied from different perspectives and numerous introductory textbooks have been written which focus on a single theoretical model or a selected set of branches of internal and/or external linguistics. However I tend to side with Katamba in his opinion that, undoubtedly, it is still important for beginning students to get a panoramic view of human language before delving deep into the nooks and crannies of the various linguistic specialisms (xv; emphasis added). In order to provide students with a solid grounding in current linguistics we need to keep in touch with modern developments in contemporary linguistics. Even today the status of theoretical entities, even such central ones as word and sentence, remains in dispute. No consensus obtains about the future trends and modifications that linguistics should undergo. In such a state of affairs, we cannot merely wait to see what develops in day-to-day research and discussion. We need to draw up the theoretical balance sheets of past investigations and settle on a certain ideological window into the workings of language. Things get even more complicated when we consider the fact that we are in the age of rethinking. Many linguists believe that the whole field of linguistics is in need of rethinking, not only standard theories and orthodox conceptions but the whole standard metalanguage needs to be rethought. In their view the time has come to demythologise language by applying the non-compartmentalisation principle. This new necessity arises of our novel understanding of the realities of language. Taylor postulates that reflexivity is a prerequisite for participating in meaningful communication. In Taylors own words, the ability to participate in reflexive discourse is a prerequisite for engaging with and contributing to the communicational worlds in which we live (Taylor 2003: 115). This reflexive discourse is the counterpart of art whose function is to emancipate us from the conception that objects have fixed and unalterable values (Dewey 1934: 95). A direct consequence of these new attitudes is the imperceptible but persistent under146

standing of language not as an ideal structured object in itself but a product of the complex brain-mind of human beings. However, even today with all re-definitions and re-readings in and of linguistics, Roy Harriss observation is still valid, [Saussure] redefined linguistics in such a way that even those who disagreed with him were forced to accept that definition, and work within it or around it. Any new redefinition, therefore, is still an enterprise if anyone wishes to attempt it which must begin from the original Saussurean thesis. The task is itself defined by reference to that theoretical position, which has dominated the academic study of language for most of the present century. (Harris 2003: 20) The basic features of the Saussurean thesis which still guide any linguistic theorizing, according to Harris, are the arbitrariness of the sign and linearity (20). Yet, H. Davis, claims, The academic discipline of linguistics is at a critical stage of development. Whatever consensus there may have been fifteen or even ten years ago is fast disappearing. A decade on these words still ring true (Davis 2003: 1) He believes that the time is ripe for rethinking linguistics and explains that many issues are in need of taking into account... [We] deal with the need to rethink the aims and methods of contemporary linguistics (2). Three years later, in 2006, in an authoritative and the only genuinely introductory linguistics textbook (the blurb on the cover of the textbook 2006), Fasold defines the fundamental job of the linguist as understanding and explaining the properties which are universal to all languages as well as those which vary across languages (Fasold 2006: 2). Among the fundamental design features of languages, in his opinion, the most worthy of central attention in a textbook are modularity, constituency and recursion, discreteness, productivity, arbitrariness, reliance on context and variability (2-6). He conceives of language as a distinctive attribute of the human species (2) without delving into the nature or specific properties of this attribute. Wisely, the question of the nature of language is not directly addressed as it still launches contentious debates among specialists. In the seventh edition of the Radford and co-authors Linguistics: An Introduction textbook, however, the discussion opens with the following definition: language is a cognitive 147

system which is part of any normal human beings mental or psychological structure (Radford et al 2007: 1; emphasis in the original). They go on to remark that justice would not be done to language unless its social nature is duly discussed (1; emphasis in the original). They formulate the following fundamental research questions: (1) What is the nature of the cognitive system which we identify with knowing a language? (2) How do we acquire such a system? (3) How is this system used in our production and comprehension of speech? (4) How is this system represented in the brain? (1) Thus the authors outline their primary concerns with linguistics proper, developmental linguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, most of which belong to the external branches of general linguistic theory. They firmly believe that we can formulate and evaluate proposals about the human mind by doing linguistics (2). In the textbook, formal and cognitive approaches are fruitfully combined with a pronounced preference for Chomskian approaches to language and linguistic theory. This imposes a well-defined model of thinking about language and narrows a bit the multiplicity of approaches to linguistic matters. The discussions in the textbook at places become too technical and specialized and rather more demanding than can be beneficial for first-year philology students. But before deciding on a textbook as the basic reading after a long process of reviewing available textbooks, I had to see why and what exactly in linguistics is in need of a redefinition. All contributors to the volume On Rethinking Linguistics (2003) believe that there is an urgent need for linguists to attempt a complete overhaul of the linguistic/metalinguistic divide (Harris 2003: 3). This overhaul is needed to demonstrate that there has been a gross confusion by orthodox linguists between first- and second-order linguistic constructs, which has prevented linguists from arriving at a proficient and practical understanding of communication. Orthodox linguists tend to treat languages as autonomous first-order objects which pre-exist their use by speakers. For such linguists, particular lan148

guages do exist regardless of what the speakers believe about them and consequently 'linguistic scientists' investigate the objective existence of linguistic facts. However, integrationists argue that the orthodox linguists' talk of words, grammar, meaning is just an extension of lay metalanguage. The difference between laypeople's and the professional linguists' metalanguage is that most orthodox linguists feel the need to fix, codify and systematise such second-order concepts in order to explain how communication works: so that on this view speakers become communicators by virtue of knowing how to use this determinate object. The orthodoxy, in its endeavour to make language a scientific object of enquiry, segregates first- and second-order abilities and posits an idealized system, a fixed code in order to explicate how language makes communication possible. This codetheory model, inherited from Saussure's speech-circuit model of communication, is derived, as Taylor (1992) shows, from attempting to place common-sense views of language on a scientific footing. And it is precisely because of its mundane appearance that code theory is such a powerful form of intellectual discourse. (3) In keeping with this line of reasoning, one is forced to admit that both the traditional structural model of language and the generative model of a recursive and creative system are code theories in their essence. The multiple correspondences between the two powerful linguistic paradigms spring from a deep philosophical affinity which renders both inadequate to answer the requirements of a true-to-life linguistic theory. At present, a viable alternative, suited to the theoretical background (the virtual lack of such) of first-year students, appears to be the cognitive paradigm, which naturally bridges the artificial divide between firstand second-order linguistic abilities and facts. All things considered, pursuing these goals lead me to picking out Cognitive Explorations of Language and Linguistics (2007, second revised edition) as the basic reading material. In the words of its editors, this textbook, by adopting the cognitive perspective, studies language as part of a cognitive system which comprises perception, emotions, categorization, abstraction processes and reasoning, which is intricately related to 149

culture and communities (Dirven and Verspoor 2007: ix). This introduction is characterized by clarity of exposition, low degree of formality and unnecessary technicality and naturalness of descriptions and arguments. Whether it will stimulate and enhance students learning is yet to be assessed. Matter All major branches of internal linguistics are represented in the course phonetics and phonology, morphology (both derivational and inflectional), lexicology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics, text linguistics, diachronic linguistics, language typology and genetic classification of attested languages. Only some branches of external linguistics are addressed in several lectures psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and language acquisition. Manner: Current assessment procedure The assessment procedure is well-balanced and designed so as to gauge different competences and acquired knowledge. During the semester there are four quizzes and a term test on the basis of which a continuous assessment grade is formed. During the exam session the students sit for a three-hour written examination in which they write an academic essay on an assigned topic. The term test checks the analytical abilities of students it examines their skills of applying their theoretical knowledge in analytical tasks (most of them are based on English, except for the analysis of phenomena that do not occur in English but are of high frequency cross-linguistically). The quizzes check the students successful comprehension and retention of specific knowledge. They are based on the readings students have to prepare for each seminar. At the written examination students are expected to present, in a coherent and cohesive text, their knowledge and skills in developing a well-argued position on a linguistic issue. (A sample exam question is: Language a biological, social or symbolic phenomenon?) The different assessment instruments have different weightings. The final mark for the course is a sum of continuous assessment (40%) and end-ofterm exam (60%). Within the CA grade 30% of the grade is made up of class participation (10% participation in class discussions and 20% quizzes) and 70% of the results in the term 150

test. This distribution of assessment instruments allows for shy students who do not take active class participation to compensate on quizzes and the test. Comparing results for the past four years reveals a tendency for students to get better and more balanced results in continuous assessment than on the final examination. This can be accounted for with the differences in formats and the time frame. Continuous assessment is based on performance over a considerable stretch of time and does not require coherent, in-depth written presentation of well-structured knowledge. In their course in practical English students have classes in essay writing but they are not trained to write academic/examination papers based on specific knowledge, which can account for low performance rates on the written exam. The highest results are concentrated in grades for quizzes, which implies that students are best equipped to process and internalize relatively small quantities of specific knowledge, focused on a narrow topic. Manner: Classroom environment and practices present status and future perspectives Knowledge is no longer understood as a transferable object. The new ideas of knowledge as constructed/constructivist and relationally interpreted create the need for novel and flexible approaches to the complex teaching-learning process. The material should be presented in ways that engage effective processing. Active, cooperative, student-based learning is a much admired ideal but practically difficult to achieve in an academic atmosphere which has traditionally been associated with the forms of lectures and large group seminars organized around the notion of teacher-centred instruction or teacher-guided discussion of preread material. Tutorials are virtually absent from the teaching forms applied at our department. Due to pressures of time and the wide scope of the material, different topics are discussed in seminars and lectures. The seminars are conducted separately with five groups which are expected to end up with the same level of analytical competence, theoretical knowledge and academic skills for carrying out linguistic argumentation. Student-based learning will have positive effects on competences but depth and width of theoretical 151

knowledge will have to be sacrificed. It is unrealistic to expect the same group dynamics and intellectual milieu in five different groups with 20 to 25 people in each. This is one of the reasons why many features of a teacher-centred approach are preserved in the course in general linguistics. It is extremely difficult at present to construct a classroom that creates a "learning bridge" of practical application to life situations (Sarasin 1999). Admittedly, in both the lectures and the seminars the traditional transmission model is perceptibly more frequently adopted. The basic motivation behind this is the desire to make it possible for students to acquire subject-specific knowledge and develop or rather train their thinking skills and processes towards making valid and justifiable generalizations (Ruggiero 1988). Several learning objectives can be identified in the course: (a) restructuring students knowledge; (b) memorization of novel facts; (c) raising students analytical awareness; (d) sensitizing students to linguistic facts and their potential status as object of analysis; (e) enhancing students metalinguistic knowledge; (f) developing routines for argumentation based on knowledge of language and linguistics; (g) laying the theoretical and metalinguistic foundations for future specialized linguistic modules. The ultimate objective undeniably is the durable encoding of concepts, facts and ideas covered in the course and for the students to acquire the ability to generalize, to have a flexible mental representation of the acquired knowledge. I am still searching for learner-centred educational techniques appropriate for content-laden courses like the one I am teaching. I am slowly working towards more interactive facilitation models of classroom practice. However trivial it may sound, despite our acquaintance with the best practices, strategies, and techniques for developing a more learner-centred class environment, most of them are still difficult to implement on a regular, daily basis. One of the classroom vehicles that will be implemented as of 2009 is log exchange (Vega 2005: 84), a subtype of peer evaluation. Students will prepare logs of their readings. They will then exchange the logs with their peers. This will provide different interpretations and internalizations of the same reading. They will not evaluate each others work but, rather, will be asked to debate and discuss. The students will feel 152

greater responsibility to respond in a critical manner to the reading, as they know that another peer will be learning from their ideas. Another option that will be tried out next semester is Math Pals (84), a variation again of peer reviewing. In this classroom vehicle students will sit in pairs at the beginning of class to compare answers to homework questions and help each other. This activity promotes better tolerance for different approaches, backgrounds, cognitive and learning styles, etc. However the use of these vehicles has to be carefully considered as their cost effectiveness will be balanced against using classroom time for peer evaluation. Restructuring teaching practices towards greater students involvement requires students to think more, participate more actively in class, and take more control of their own learning experience. The so-called democratic teaching practices are based on cooperative inquiry, investigation, and dialogue (Sharp 1987). Students are granted the right but also the heavy responsibility to question, criticize and reconstruct meanings. Of the widely known classroom practices that give students more space, the most appropriate one for the purposes and nature of the course is structured inquiry-based discussion. In this technique, the instructor provides background information in the form of a lecture, after which students meet in small groups and use the information provided to solve a problem. A class discussion follows in which all solutions are discussed and critically assessed. The class, as a large group, then helps students determine which solutions are best. However a few problems regarding the implementation of the community of inquiry (Vega 2005: 85) practice can be anticipated a feeling of insecurity or discomfort for teachers and students who are accustomed to a structured class. Functioning in a situation of shared control imposes greater responsibility and constant involvement than the conventional transference model, which is more relaxed for students and temporally structured. Granting students more space raises questions about grading and assessment of process-based assignments. The most important consideration is to make sure whether the students are mature enough to handle the responsibility of this type of learning environment.


Postscript A worthwhile experiment would be to replace the basic reading textbook with that of An Introduction to Language by Rodman Fromkin and Thomson Wadsworth Hyams (2007) and compare students progress and attitudes. A follow-up to the present paper might reveal students preferences and achievements based on the cognitive approach to the study of language and the mildly Chomskian-cum-structural approach to language well represented in Fromkin et al.s textbook. Works Cited Bojadzhiev, Zhivko. Uvod v obshtoto ezikoznanie [An Introduction to General Linguistics] Sofia: Paradigma, 2002. Davis, Hayley. Introduction: Why Rethink Linguistics. Rethinking Linguistics. Eds. Hayley Davis and Talbot Taylor. London: Routledge/Curzon, 2003. 1- 16. Davis, Hayley and Talbot Taylor eds. Rethinking Linguistics. London: Routledge/Curzon, 2003. Dewey, John. Art as Experience. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1934. Dirven, Rene and Marjorin Verspoor eds. Cognitive Explorations of Language and Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2007. Duridanov, Ivan and Vladimir Georgiev. Ezikoznanie [Linguistics: A University Textbook] Sofia: Naouka i Izkustvo (second revised edition), 1965. Fasold, Ralph and Jeff Connor-Linton eds. An Introduction to Language and Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Fromkin, Victoria, Rodman, Robert, and Nina Hyams. An Introduction to Language. Boston, Mass.: Thomson/Heinle, 2007. Harris, Roy. On Redefining Linguistics. Rethinking Linguistics. Eds. Davis, Hayley and Talbot Taylor. Routledge/Curzon, 2003. 17-69. 154

Katamba, Francis. Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction. Eds.William OGrady, Michael Dobrovsky and Francis Katamba. Longman, 1996/ 2000 adapted edition. Malmkjr, Kirsten, ed. The Linguistics Encyclopedia. London: Routledge, 1991. Ohala, John. The Origin of Sound Patterns in Vocal Tract Constraints. The Production of Speech. New York: Springer, 1983. 189216. Radfrod, Andrew, Martin Atkinson, David Britain, Harald Clashen, and Andrew Spencer. Linguistics: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007/1999. Robertson, Douglas. Integrity in Learner-Centered teaching. To Improve the Academy. Eds. Catherine Wehlburg and Sandra Chadwick-Blossey. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing, 2003. 196-212. Sarasin, Lynne. Learning Styles Perspectives: Impact in the Classroom. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing, 1999. Splitter, Laurance and Anna M. Sharp. Teaching for Better Thinking: The Classroom Community of Iinquiry. Melbourne: Australian Council for Educational Research, 1995. Van Valin, Robert and Lapolla, Randy. Syntax: Structure, Meaning & Function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Vega, Quinn and Marilyn Tayler. Incorporating Course Content While Fostering a More Learner-Centered Environment. College Teaching, vol. 53, issue 2 (2005): 83-85.


The Changing Perspective of Teaching English Grammar at the University of Veliko Turnovo: A Case Study
Boryana Bratanova
Introduction This paper addresses the issue of teaching English grammar by comparing three grammar books used extensively in Bulgarian higher education, particularly at the University of Veliko Turnovo: Spasovs The Verb in the Structure of English (1972), Quirk et als A Grammar of Contemporary English (1972) and Hewings Advanced Grammar in Use (2005). The first two grammar books have been widely used in grammar classes since the establishment of English Studies at the University of Veliko Turnovo in 1972. As a grammar lecturer, I introduced Hewings grammar book in 2006 to meet students demand for practically oriented teaching at advanced level. As the years of publication indicate, the three books mentioned above cover a time span of more than three decades and are therefore useful for understanding the changing perspective of teaching English grammar to university students in Bulgaria. Apart from re-handling familiar topics, these books also provide evidence for a major change in the methodology of EFL (grammar) teaching in Bulgarian higher education. The general tendency has been to replace textbooks which can be used for teaching English grammar to Bulgarians by taking resort to the mother tongue (in the English for Bulgarians mould) by textbooks which do not do so. This methodological change in grammar teaching results in students conscious attempt against structural calquing with regard to practical English skills. The three grammar books in question are examined here on the basis of three major criteria: topics and structure of the book; approaches and techniques promoted in the book; grammatical 157

rules and terminology introduced in the book. Each of these criteria is discussed separately below. In Terms of Topics and Structure The three books offer in-depth treatment of the fundamental grammatical concepts of the English language. The preface to the revised 2001 edition of Spasov's grammar book states that it belongs to the fund of textbook classics in Bulgaria. However, while Spasov's book focuses on the verb alone, while the other two grammar books are comprehensive and cover the whole range of grammatical phenomena in English. Due to the limited number of classes (at BA level, 30 with students taking English and a second foreign language and 60 with students taking English Studies or Bulgarian and English) assigned to practical grammar in the curriculum, it is up to the teacher to select the relevant topics of study and practice. English grammar is one of the disciplines in the Practical English course for first year students. As such, its major objective is to develop students competence in the target language. Apart from elucidating various grammatical phenomena, it also functions as a terminology builder since it introduces the basic linguistic terminology which is then employed in English morphology and syntax courses in the second and third years. With changes in the curriculum introduced in Bulgarian higher education in 2004 it became necessary for the English grammar course to focus on a wide range of topics related to all grammatical classes of words as well as structural patterns. That was my initial motivation for turning to Hewings book in search of the missing topics to complete the course syllabus. The aforementioned changes arose from the introduction of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) in Bulgarian higher education to conform with the Bologna Process. In terms of grammar teaching it required updating of the curriculum to include new topics, thereby ensuring that grammar classes could be related to other disciplines in the Practical English module as well as to morphology and syntax seminars. The overall change in grammar classes was marked by a move towards practically-oriented language teaching. 158

The changes in the grammar curriculum were also necessitated by the gradual change in the student body in terms of educational background prior to entering university. Up to about seven years ago nearly all students of English at university level came from English language schools. Within the last seven years student recruitment patterns have changed and nowadays students who have graduated from all kinds of schools tend to study English at the University of Veliko Turnovo. This tendency was further consolidated in 2008 when high school graduation exams were reintroduced in Bulgaria. At present in the University of Veliko Turnovo the high school graduation exam in English is assigned equal status as the entrance exam in English for higher education. The students can choose to sit for any or both of these exams and take the higher score when applying for English Studies at university level. These changes in the curriculum and in the students educational background presuppose the need for new textbooks and course materials. Under these circumstances Hewings grammar book turned out to be the appropriate choice since it can also be used as a self-study book by students whose English at entrance level calls for extra practice. Although Hewings grammar is less sizeable than Quirk et als, it is by no means less informative. Quirk et als grammar has been considered the Bible of grammar teaching in Bulgaria for many years. It has functioned as a reference book for any linguistic analysis and it features in nearly every university course in grammar. In my view, Hewings book is particularly useful for first-year students of English because it bridges theory and practice in a user-friendly manner. Each of its one hundred units explains grammar and provides related exercises in equal proportion. It is worth mentioning that each exercise refers to a particular grammatical item discussed in the theoretical survey earlier in the unit. The book is also equipped with a CD, which provides interactive exercises and tests. Another point in favour of Hewings grammar is that it is designed for advanced students of English, which is the expected level for first-year students of English at Bulgarian universities. Thus, it appears to be very useful in homogenising the students varying backgrounds of grammar competences at the desired advanced level. 159

In Terms of Approaches and Techniques Despite differing approaches, the three books comply with Azars major principle that grammar is never taught as an end in itself (Azar 2007: 6). This principle presupposes an integrated approach to teaching practical language skills, which involves mainly speaking and writing. Spasovs grammar is in the vein of the English for Bulgarians mould, and as such it is particularly designed for Bulgarian students of English and stresses the structural asymmetries between English and Bulgarian. In other words, whenever relevant, grammatical categories are analysed by means of contrast with the mother tongue. Hewings grammar has a universal addressee and uses the direct method without taking into consideration the mother tongue. At the advanced level the emphasis should be predominantly on avoiding structural calquing, where students stick to the mother-tongue structure and fill it with target-language vocabulary. In line with the intended user, Spasovs grammar book has a Bulgarian publisher (St. Kliment Ohridski University Press) while Hewings grammar has a British publisher (Cambridge University Press), thus strengthening the language culture of British English in Bulgaria (O'Reilly 1998: 75). However, as a lecturer I do not completely exclude the mother tongue in grammar classes since I often contrast English and Bulgarian when a major distinction between the two languages is under discussion. That is how in their first year students are exposed to key issues in contrastive analysis, which is a separate course at masters level. The major similarities and distinctions between English and Bulgarian seem to be of particular interest to students, as they observe in end-of-course feedback. Translation is a significant module in the English Studies programme at the University of Veliko Turnovo, where the correct use of grammar and the avoidance of structural calquing is a key notion so it seems to me that it is important to keep the mother tongue in view when teaching English grammar. Translation has become an increasingly favoured professional path for English Studies students to pursue in MA programmes as well as after graduating from university. In terms of techniques, the three books rely heavily on examples to clarify grammatical concepts and structural patterns. 160

While Spasovs and Quirk et als grammar books focus mainly on the sentence, the exercises in Hewings book are graded (or at least students feel them to be) and often go beyond the level of separate sentences to the level of the text. Another difference has to do with the use of translation in grammar teaching. Actually, only Spasov uses translation drills in which students translate from the mother tongue (Bulgarian) into the target language (English). The use of translation in FLT is considered yet another typical feature of the English for Bulgarians series (in other words, textbooks which draw on contrasting/comparing Bulgarian and English). In my experience, students show a preference for practical tasks such as gap-filling and sentencecompletion exercises as well as sentence correction drills. From the students perspective discussing types of full verbs, types of questions or finite and non-finite verb forms is more theoretical and therefore more complicated. As a whole, the use of the three grammar books in the classroom serves the two main functions of the grammar course at university level improving students competence in the target language (Hewings and Spasov) and introducing the terminological minimum in relation to the courses in theoretical linguistics (Quirk and Spasov). In the grammar classes at the University of Veliko Turnovo this is achieved by covering the major topics (such as transitivity, emphasis, ellipsis and finiteness) from Spasov and Quirk, which provide the basic required knowledge for second and third year students. These topics are not discussed as an end in themselves but by means of practical exercises. When students master the new terminology, the course dwells on more familiar topics at advanced level (such as tense, modality, reported speech, infinitive or -ing form, article determination, relative clauses and prepositions) by using primarily Hewings book. In some cases both Spasovs and Hewings grammar books are used: for example, when discussing question structure patterns and passive voice. The approach outlined above bridges theory and practice and ensures gradual transition from one grammar book to another. In effect, both are jointly used in the teaching process.


In Terms of Rules and Terminology Quirk et als grammar book can be defined as content-based while Spasov's and Hewings are predominantly task-based. The former addresses mainly theoretical issues while the latter two aim at cultivating practical language skills. That is why Spasovs grammar book has been functioning as the core handbook of grammar teaching in Bulgaria for decades, and also why I now regard Hewings grammar as the most likely successor. Such a move is necessitated by the ever-changing demands of grammar teaching at the level of higher education, especially in the era of global English. In order to make advanced grammar books more marketable to students, there is a marked tendency to keep rules and terminology to a minimum in favour of grammar patterns used in real-life communicative situations. From a methodological point of view, Hewings book retains the emphasis on fluency and accuracy of language rather than just grammar that was there in Spasovs classical book, and is therefore apt for the Bulgarian higher education context. Ultimately, such an integrated approach to grammar teaching might counter one of the longlasting myths among students that grammar is ... boring (Larsen-Freeman 1997). Conclusion To sum up: the canon of grammar teaching is changing in terms of methods and approaches rather than content. This gradual process displays parallels and continuity rather than marked contrasts. The ultimate goal is to turn grammar classes into a communicative environment based mainly on practical drills and peer-to-peer discussions within certain theoretical guidelines. This change is largely encouraged by the students feedback. Nowadays advanced students of English are eager to study grammar inductively rather than deductively, as has often been the case before. On the whole, this changing perspective of teaching English grammar ensures the continuing involvement and cooperation of students in grammar classes at the university level in Bulgaria. 162

Works Cited Azar, Betty. Grammar-Based Teaching: A Practitioner's Perspective. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (TESL-EJ), Vol. 11, No. 2, 2007. 1-12. Hewings, Martin. Advanced Grammar in Use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Larsen-Freeman, Diane. Grammar and Its Teaching: Challenging the Myths. 1997. 10 Sept. 2009. <>. O'Reilly, Laurie M. English language cultures in Bulgaria: a linguistic sibling rivalry? World Englishes, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1998. 71-84. Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik. A Grammar of Contemporary English. London: Longman, 1972. Spasov, Dimiter. The Verb in the Structure of English. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 1972.


Promoting Cultural Studies in the Bulgarian University Context in the 1990s: Notes on Educational Practice
Petya Tsoneva
The political changes in Central and Eastern Europe since 1989 have allowed for the implementation of collaborative educational ventures between scholars from the former Eastern Bloc and academics from the US, the UK and Western Europe. Some of those projects resulted in the introduction of relatively novel models of teaching into local educational systems. This paper takes as its starting point an MA programme in British Studies set up at the University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria, in the 1990s, with the active encouragement of the British Council. Between 1994 and 1999, the programme was co-taught by Bulgarian university staff and a British Council lecturer. Its main objective was to enhance knowledge of contemporary life in the UK and promote understanding of the functioning of the political system and media by introducing elements of cultural studies and sociological research into the Bulgarian pedagogic context. This led to the marginalization of literary studies. Here I reflect on this tendency by focusing attention on select MA dissertations produced during the 1990s in the context of the abovementioned programme. The impulse for working out a new teaching programme in British Studies could be traced back to the international British Studies conference held in Veliko Turnovo in 1993, coorganised by the British Council, the Department of English Studies at the University of Veliko Turnovo and the Bulgarian Society of British Studies (BSBS). The event brought together specialists in British literature and history from Eastern and Central Europe as well as British Council lecturers based at local universities and provided new ideas for future restructuring of 165

traditional programmes and syllabi. Most conference participants who provided feedback in the July 1993 issue of the British Council Newsletter felt that they had been encouraged to develop further the courses in British civilisation, history and literature that had traditionally been taught in separation at their English Departments and integrate them into British studies programmes (Wadham-Smith 1993:4). The MA programme at UVT was the offspring of this ambitious project and was apparently designed as a multidisciplinary project drawing on the fields of sociology, cultural studies, media studies, critical theory and history. It was part of a wider trend of educational change that aimed at enhancing the role of British Studies throughout Europe the 1990s. In universities and secondary schools in the post-communist Eastern and Central European countries in particular, existing approaches which involved the study of language and linguistics, literature, and, to a limited extent, civilisation, were transformed in a move towards relatively novel, transdisciplinary approaches that made considerable use of popular culture and were profoundly influenced by cultural studies. These processes were greatly facilitated by the British Council. In practice, the British Studies programme at the University of Veliko Turnovo with which we are particularly concerned in the present paper, failed to maintain a balance between its diverse components and overemphasised the cultural ones while leaving the literary ones in the margins. The programme was launched in 1995 with the active support of the British Council and apart from being a new educational venture that challenged the traditionally established lines of division between disciplines in the Department of English Studies at the University of Veliko Turnovo it could be seen as an indicator of the wider and more complex social and political forces at work in the early years of Bulgarias transition to liberal democracy and a market economy. This transition tended to produce an atmosphere of uncertainty in which elements of old and new social and political models and practices coexisted. In my view, the MA programme in question was a controversial educational experiment. On the one hand, by combining literature, cultural studies and sociology it aimed at implement166

ing new ideas and ways of teaching British Studies, itself a new area of teaching and research at the time, in the context of enhanced cross-cultural dialogue. On the other hand, the disproportionately high percentage of students dissertations dealing with cultural issues, which will be examined further on, suggests that the role and place of literature in this interdisciplinary project was minimal. The picture becomes clearer when we draw evidence from figures. The Department of English and American Studies at the University of Veliko Turnovo keeps records of about 20 MA dissertations produced between 1995 and 1998 when this particular version of the British Studies programme was carried out. At present the Department offers an MA programme in British and Irish Studies which is rather different from the previous one. Approximately 80 % of the dissertations under consideration deal with socio-cultural issues while only 20% of the students chose, or were given a chance, to locate their studies in the field of literature. The following list of dissertation titles which I have attempted to group according to their subjects of discussion and years of submission, illustrates this tendency: British Studies MA Programme 1995 Cultural Studies Welcome to the Pleasure Dome! An Analysis of Contemporary British Pop Music The Cultural Significance of British Soap Operas The Golden Years of Youth Culture: An Analysis of the Innovation of Youth in Britain during the1960s 1970s Black People on the Box Aspects of Representation Literary Studies Identity and Its Construction(s) in Angela Carters The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman and Vladimir Nabokovs Pale Fire 167

1996 Cultural Studies What Do Commercial Breaks Sell to Us? 1997 Cultural Studies Men and Women in the Womens Magazine: A Case-Study of Gender Issues in Cosmopolitan Has the Battle of the Sexes Been Won? An Intergenerational Comparison A 24-Hour Mediated World: Some Key Effects of Media on Everyday Life The World of the Family and Television Advertising The Role of Sport in British Society Literary Studies Fantasies of Darkest Eastern Europe in Bram Stokers Dracula Portrayal of Otherness in Bram Stokers Dracula 1998 Cultural Studies Experience Identity. The New Fragrance for Cultural Studies The Policy of Self-Regulation A Comparative Study of the Governing Principles of the British and the Bulgarian Press Do We Know Why? Representations of Gender A Comparative Study of British and Bulgarian Media Literary Studies Gender in Bram Stokers Dracula and Its Interpretation in Francis Ford Coppolas Love Never Dies The apparent disproportion in the ratio of literary and cultural thematic areas covered in the dissertations demonstrates the 168

lack of cohesion between the two disciplines in this project and points to a state of tension between them which was apparently not overcome at the time. The debate between literary and cultural studies, which has recently been brought to the forefront yet again, was an important ideological feature of the Anglophone academic context in the 1990s (Easthope 1991:5). In her article Literary Studies, Cultural Studies: the Case for a Cease-Fire Eva Kushner points out that it is foreshadowed by the earlier polemical tensions between literary history and theory, and is fostered by the new thinking of literature itself in relation to culture. Kushner sees the advent of the new opposition, that between literary and cultural studies, as a result of the breaking down of the earlier opposition (Kushner 2006:72). She further argues that the ongoing debate demands hard choices... between a concept of literature defined by specifically aesthetic criteria, and a literary discourse seen as part of the social discourse at large, regardless of formal criteria and inseparably from the entire set of sociocultural phenomena including mass phenomena (72). This state of tension between concepts has apparently produced tension between disciplines which generates certain pedagogical concerns. Those are reflected in the absence of balance between cultural and literary studies in postgraduate university programmes such as the one that is under consideration here. The British Studies programme in question represents a case in which an interdisciplinary project did not increase cooperation between literary and cultural studies but rather produced an imbalance between them. Some of that programmes graduates, who are presently staff members of the Department of English and American Studies, confessed to feeling disappointed with the minimal provision of classes in English literature while cultural studies was promoted disproportionately.1 Indeed, some attempts at defining the scope and aims of British Studies at the time reveal its greater affinity for cultural studies. A viable definition of cultural studies reads that [c]ultural studies is an ongoing, critical, reflexive practice grounded in theory and politics of the present (Jordan 2009: 2). A parallel definition goes for British Studies: British studies is a fast-growing field of interdisciplinary research which aims to explore the distinctive political, 169

social and cultural phenomena of contemporary Britain (Wadham-Smith 1993:1). In both definitions the focus on the present state of development of cultural processes is evident. While cultural studies is primarily concerned with the present, the scope of literary studies may extend to the most remote past. However, both disciplines gravitate towards the present. The study of literature does not only involve identification of the already established literary specificity of the text that bears the imprint of the context of its production, it likewise mediates between past and present and formulates meanings relevant to the present when reading texts from the past. This should have been used as a basis of cooperation between cultural and literary studies in the programme. The spectrum of areas covered in the cultural studies dissertations produced within the context of the programme includes advertising, gender stereotypes in the British media, race, subcultures and media stereotypes in Britain, and is indicative of the students interest in the study of culture in its contemporary state of development. Most dissertations aim at locating and identifying the forces that shape and predetermine everyday life. The students employ the methods of statistical analysis, using empirical evidence, and undertaking descriptive and analytical approaches in their efforts to establish the effects that cultural texts have upon their audiences and determine how audiences, in turn, experience and re-shape cultural texts2. Within the cultural studies section of the programme, it is understandable that the students had to narrow down their analyses to perceptions of contemporary culture and the non-literary texts produced in it. However, an interdisciplinary approach to culture is likely to offer a wider lens of understanding the global cultural processes that have moulded and led to the particular stage of development of a particular society. I would suggest that the marginalization of literary texts in this venture diminished the complexity and expanse of cultural awareness and thus could be seen as reductionist and narrowly focused. I ground my claim in Lois Tysons observation that literary texts are cultural artefacts that can tell us something about the interplay of discourses, the web of social meanings, operating in the time and place in which the text was written (Tyson 1999: 170

288-289). With this definition in mind and in the knowledge that cultural studies, though it has moved a long way from textcentred analysis, is bound to explore the real-life contextual determinants of the text, I suggest that literary texts can likewise contribute to our understanding of reality. Indeed, this statement is highly problematic as literary texts present us with a mediated reality, (re)invented by the author, which the reader enters with certain expectations, shaped by another real-life context. However, we can also expect that the literary text itself can shape readers responses in relation to reality and thus navigate them towards new attitudes to it. As I am likewise concerned with the place and role of the literary text in cultural studies, I consider some definitions of the term literature. One of the most common views of literature is that it is imaginative writing in the sense of fiction writing that is not literally true. However, as Terry Eagleton suggests, drawing a clear demarcation line between fact and fiction cannot be applied to early epic texts and in the English context of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries the word novel seems to have been used about both true and fictional events (Eagleton 1996: 1). Another perspective on literature keeps in focus the specific features of literary language that, unlike everyday language, is charged with a particular power of expressivity. Indeed, this is a view taken by the Russian formalists who go into another extreme by pointing out that the formal features of the literary work predetermine its content. For the purposes of this article I am also guided by Eagletons observation that the reader, rather than searching for any intrinsic characteristics, defines a literary text as such by projecting his/her own expectations onto it (8). He provides some illuminating examples of this treatment of literature, of which the following one is particularly insightful: [i]f I pore over the railway timetable not to discover a train connection, but to stimulate in myself general reflections on the speed and complexity of modern existence, then I might be said to be reading it as literature (8). What Eagleton suggests is that literature is a term that resists any definitive identification. At the same time, by this example he points to the role of a text in a context, its relations with its surroundings, the ways in which it behaves. 171

The context-responsive literary text also reveals the forces and constraints that act upon the writer. According to Keith Green and Jill LeBihan, these include the following: Language itself Tradition and genre Unspoken assumptions of society in which the author is a part Unconscious desires Class Race Gender The process of publication and editing. (Keith and LeBihan 1995: 187) Consequently, the literary text, despite being autonomous by virtue of its aesthetic value, is inextricably tied to extra-textual circumstances and maps changing ideological functions and attitudes. Thus, for cultural critics, a literary text can perform cultural work as it shapes the cultural experience of those who encounter it. This observation raises an array of questions such as: what part does the reader play in the creation and realization of the meaning(s) of a text? If those meanings are personal, i.e., formed by readers, is there a range of possible meanings which are prescribed in a culture? I focus here on the significance of the three components that participate in the production of meaning(s) in the literary text: reader, text and writer. According to Roland Barthes, the reader is the I which approaches the text and his/her interpretation of the text is conditioned by a particular cultural context that the reader inevitably maps on the text when reading it (Barthes 1974: 10). The text itself provokes responses and can project a specific cultural or political situation. For example, the First World War triggered a wide range of social, political and artistic responses. Louis Aragon was one of the outstanding French intellectuals of the time who experienced the growing intensity of flow between artistic creation and political activity. Aragon began his literary career as an active supporter of and participant in Dadaism a movement that emerged as a rejection of the social and moral values of which the First World War was believed to be a consequence. The members of Dada created artworks that defied intellectual analysis, dismantled the icons of 172

high culture and emptied out the traditional understanding of artistic creation, as the following poem by Aragon from his Dada phase illustrates: Suicide Abcdef ghijkl mnopqr stuvw x y z. (quoted in Strom 2004: 37) The poem is evidently astonishing as, apart from its formal design, it is not composed in the traditional modes and conventions of poetry. It seems that the title contains the only word that lends meaning to the strings of letters, arranged in an alphabetic order. The poem represents an anti-icon of poetic creation through a symbolic linguistic suicide and announces that language has exhausted its creative energy and can no longer be used in any conventional mode. In fact, this bizarre poem, which presents a conundrum to the uninformed reader, is an example of the artistic revolt against the conventional modes of expression in art and literature that the post-First World War avant-garde movements undertook. It reflects the growing sense of disappointment with the values and beliefs that the First World War shattered and points to the avant-garde vision of the poet and artist as an agent of radical reform and a herald of newness. Consequently, a literary text can reveal a lot about the context of its emergence. However, it is also possible to see the text itself as a major source of forces and constraints that act upon the author and reader and shape their attitudes. Unlike the traditional humanist point of view, which is rooted in the clear categorizing of the positions of author, text and reader, the author being the Receptor of divine inspiration and Creator of the Text, the poststructuralist view is that language shapes the author, language is the Creator and author / reader is just the name of a subject position within a text. Consequently, both author and reader become part of a specific discursive structure that reveals the social and cultural status of this discourse (Foucault 1977: 124). In fact, although the relationship between literary and cultural studies may become problematic and the example of the 173

MA programme under discussion proves it, it does not have to exclude co-operation. I have attempted to outline two major critical positions with regard to the literary text in order to explain its communicative value as a cultural artefact. On the one hand, it provides insight into the extra-textual circumstances that map changing ideological functions and attitudes onto it. On the other hand, it generates, in turn, through its discursive structure, the social and cultural status of discourse. In spite of their diametrical reflexivity, both perspectives focus on the liminality of the literary text and its capacity to shape and be shaped by the contexts of its production and reception. Both perspectives also confirm Tysons observation that literary texts are cultural artefacts that can tell us something about the interplay of discourses, the web of social meanings, operating in the time and place in which the text was written [and read] (Tyson 1999: 288-289). Obviously, one major reason for redeeming literature from its underprivileged position in the British Studies programme under consideration is that we can keep close track of the points of emergence of the cultural within literary studies. Quoting Bernheimers definition of the present borderline state of existence of traditionally autonomous disciplines, Kushner observes that implicit in it is the current broadening of the concept of literature and the questioning of its specificity ... the impact of other humanities and social science disciplines upon literary theory, the interaction but also the mutual questioning between lite and popular culture; the lively jolt dealt to the literary system by feminist and post- colonial readings ... not to mention the questioning of the identity of the literary text itself and its hermeneutic destiny. (Kushner 2006: 73) The cultural permeates the literary in cases when the latter allows for taking into account the ideological and cultural contexts of literary texts. It is understandable why the comingtogether of the literary and cultural perspectives is best observed in genres such as autobiography and travel writing, but literary texts can be of interest to cultural studies for reasons other than genre. For example, the opening of literary theory to gender and 174

feminist studies makes it possible to consider cultural phenomena within the literary text itself. Some of the few MA dissertations committed to the study of literary problems under the British Studies programme at the University of Veliko Turnovo demonstrate a desire to search beyond the hermeneutic destiny (see Kushner) of literary texts and uncover layers of cultural significance encoded in them. The very titles of these dissertations are telling: Fantasies of Darkest Eastern Europe in Bram Stokers Dracula (Zdravka Slavova 1997); Portrayal of Otherness in Bram Stokers Dracula (Gabriela Gencheva 1997); Gender in Bram Stokers Dracula and Its Interpretation in Francis Ford Coppolas Love Never Dies (Donika Dimitrova 1998). Significantly, Dimitrova begins her dissertation with the following clear statement: The aim of my diploma paper is to trace the development of the theme of gender as an expression of the anxieties concerning sexualized divisions of social roles, to present a succinct characteristic of the male-female relations as they had been viewed and depicted by Stoker, using as a background the context of the late Victorian moral code and then, to look closely and on the basis of comparative analysis upon the interpretation this very issue has been subjected to in Coppolas film. (Dimitrova 1998: 4) A major merit of this dissertation is the students interdisciplinary approach she tries to establish a parallel between the cultural heritage of Stokers book and one of its late twentiethcentury film interpretations. That literary texts like Dracula can be discussed from a cultural perspective is well evident from the diversity of discourses they generate ethnography, imperialist and racial ideologies, discourses of identity and degeneration, modes of feminism etc. In conclusion, the location of boundaries (also between disciplines) becomes less problematic in times when we move away from singularities and welcome the emergence of ... interstices (Bhabha 1994:2). The collapse of disciplinary boundaries in educational programmes in Bulgaria has intensified since the 1990s with the advent of new teaching models. The movement towards interdisciplinarity is likewise a characteristic feature of the British Studies programme under consideration. 175

However, regretfully the role of literary studies within it remained vague and out of focus. The context-responsive nature of literary texts predetermines their central position in the dialogue between past and present that seems to have been marginalized in the educational practice of the 1990s. In her evaluation notes Ruth Cherrington (1998), British Council lecturer in cultural studies within this programme, observes that some of the tasks students have attempted to accomplish in their dissertations are to prove that the media are the lenses through which we take in information about the world around us, examine the question of power as it relates to the study of mass-produced culture, study the specific features of contemporary youth cultures as a very important target audience for the culture industries, examine the contestable nature of the debate on self-regulation, and concentrate ... on its evolution after the death of the Princess of Wales. All these objectives are justified within the particular demands of the 1990s cultural studies course that Cherrington taught and indicate that students were encouraged to study predominantly contemporary and popular culture. I would suggest that the value of studying literature is considerably highlighted against the backdrop of this educational experiment. As Donald Stone argues, literature is a never-ending dialogue between past and present, which is always open to new responses from generation to generation (Stone 1997: 2). Yin Qiping and Chen Shubo (2002) also observe that although we may not fully accept some past truth-claims and communal values, they are contemporary to us in the sense that, in the literary context, they form a dialogical relationship with us. Rounding up these ideas, I would suggest that privileging cultural over literary studies can be defined as a controversial educational practice. Indeed, students have certainly benefited from some aspects of the cultural studies course, such as its openness to the problems and concerns of contemporary reality. They may have developed certain skills in analyzing the contexts and settings of major political and social events (the death of Princess Diana, Bulgarias transition to liberal democracy). However, their apparent preoccupation with the contemporary stage of development of culture leaves space for discussion of 176

the wider trends and processes within which a particular cultural period is formed. In my opinion, we would gain a partial and one-sided understanding of contemporary culture if we decline to acknowledge the processes of its constant redefinition against the background of past periods. In the case of literary studies, the critical reader is expected not only to discern the context of production and reception of literary texts, but also to take part in the dialogue between past and present that contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of a given cultural period. Consequently, the tendency to privilege cultural over literary studies in that particular educational practice mainly serves to demonstrate that both disciplines may develop more effectively in dialogue on equal grounds. Notes
1 2

I owe this observation to Pavel Petkov and Yarmila Daskalova.

My summary of the students aims and approaches is based on selected MA dissertations see bibliography.

Works Cited Barthes, Roland. S/Z. Trans. Richard Miller. New York: Hill and Wang, 1974. Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. Cherrington, Ruth. Evaluation Notes on A 24-Hour Mediated World: Some Key Effects of Media on Everyday Life (Vanovska 1997 dissertation); Do We Know Why? Representations of Gender A Comparative Study of British and Bulgarian Media (Vasileva 1998 dissertation) and The Policy of Self-Regulation A Comparative Study of the Governing Principles of the British and the Bulgarian Press (Georgieva 1998 dissertation). Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. Easthope, Anthony. Literary into Cultural Studies. London and New York: Routledge, 1991. 177

Foucault, Michel. What is an Author? Language, CounterMemory, Practice. New York: Cornell University Press, 1977. Green, Keith and Jill LeBihan. Critical Theory and Practice: Coursebook. London: Routledge, 1995. Jordan, Glenn. Where is Cultural Studies Today. Aedean Newsletter, November 2000. Kovala, Urpo. Introduction to Cultural Text Analysis and Liksoms Short Story We Got Married. CLC Web: Comparative Literature and Culture, 4:4, 2002. 15 Sept. 2009. <>. Kushner, Eva. Literary Studies, Cultural Studies: The Case for a Cease-Fire. Alicante: Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, 2006. 15 Sept. 2009. < 18608&portal=0>. Qiping Yin and Shubo Chen. Teaching English Literature in China: Importance, Problems and Countermeasures. World Englishes, London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2002. 15 Sept. 2009. < aph&AN=7122941&site=ehost-live> . Stone, Donald. Communications with the Future. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997. Strom, Kirsten. Avant-Garde or What?: Surrealism Reconceived as Political Culture. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1 (2004). 15 Sept. 2009. < >. Tyson, Lois. Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide. New York: Garland Publishing, 1999. 15 Sept. 2009. <>. Wadham-Smith, Nick. Review of Materials. British Studies Now (1993). 15 Sept. 2009. <>.


MA Dissertations Anita Veleva. Black People on the Box Aspects of Representation, 1995. Galya Vanovska. A 24-Hour Mediated World: Some Key Effects of Media on Everyday Life, 1997. Janan Raim. Men and Women in the Womens Magazine: A Case-Study of Gender Issues in Cosmopolitan, 1997. Rossitza Mardova. The Golden Years of Youth Culture: An Analysis of the Innovation of Youth in Britain During the1960s 1970s, 1995. Vesela Vasileva. Do We Know Why? Representations of Gender A Comparative Study of British and Bulgarian Media, 1998.


Reading/Teaching British Culture from a Comparative Perspective?
Pavel Petkov
At the root of the paradigm shift discussed in this paper lies postmodernism: an intellectual phenomenon which has caused a considerable swell in the waters of many a scholarly/pedagogic sphere. Before focusing on the shift itself, I will briefly mention two characteristics of postmodernism which may have facilitated its marked influence on British Studies, an area of teaching and research which was promoted in Eastern and Central Europe in the 1990s, mainly (but not exclusively) by the British Council. The first characteristic, the political nature of postmodernism, has been elaborated by Linda Hutcheon, who writes that postmodernism is a phenomenon whose mode is resolutely contradictory as well as unavoidably political (Hutcheon 1989: 1). She further quotes Roland Barthes, in whose opinion, where politics begins is where imitation ceases (Barthes 1977: 154), and concludes that this is where the self-reflexive, parodic art of the postmodern comes in (Hutcheon 1989: 3). The other characteristic has been mentioned by Charles Russell in an article published in 1980, where he observes that from a postmodern perspective the world can only be perceived through a network of socially established meaning systems, the discourses of our culture (Russell 1993: 289). The expression discourses of our culture is a key one here. It implies that literature constitutes only one discourse, possibly multi-layered itself, among many and partially explains the orientation of British studies, a cross- and interdisciplinary area which, as was already remarked, developed in the 1990s. It is worth mentioning that the influence that postmodern thought has had in the fields of literary and cultural studies is, to an extent, paradoxical. One of its most widely accepted characteristics is the tendency to problematize ideological and theoreti181

cal premises, questioning them mercilessly and exposing their underlying blind spots and fallacies. In doing so, however, postmodernism itself inevitably, though unintentionally, acquires the characteristics of a theoretical system. Significantly, even Linda Hutcheon, one of its staunchest advocates, remarks that postmodernism ultimately manages to install and reinforce as much as to undermine and subvert the conventions and presuppositions it appears to challenge (Hutcheon 1989: 1-2). As the postmodernist world view tightened its grip on academia worldwide (and especially in the West1), cultural and literary studies saw the emergence of new tendencies. These tendencies, which are essentially contrary to traditional humanism, and relativistic, are supported and elaborated upon by renowned scholars and specialists, such as the late Anthony Easthope who proclaimed a movement away from literary studies towards the more comprehensive domain of cultural studies. Such proclamations had certain practical implications for British Studies as developed within Central and Eastern European contexts. For instance, there was a change in the material that students were encouraged to work with. As is illustrated by the case of Veliko Turnovo University, discussed below, less attention was given to literature to the benefit of various forms of popular culture items. In effect, the Universitys MA programme in British studies began to be viewed essentially as a cultural studies programme which hardly allowed any space for anything but mass culture. Arguments for this kind of change can be found in the writings of Anthony Easthope, one of the defenders of the paradigm shift, who recommends the adoption of a unified field theory for the combined study of literary texts and those from popular culture (Easthope 1991: 5). He goes on to give a variety of arguments in favour of such a theory. As a major cause of the decline of literary studies he identifies the boom of mass culture in the 1960s. In his view, the split between high and pop culture was facilitated by the demise of the myth of the unity of the text. Thus, he remarks: [i]f the method could no longer demonstrate unity then the distinction between significantly unified canonical texts and non-unified and therefore noncanonical texts became eroded, and the field of literary study 182

fell into profound question (19). Further on he undertakes to redefine and reinstate literary value in a way which cleanses it of the hegemonic force it acquires in the paradigm of literary study (44). Immediately after that, however, he is forced to affirm the concept of literary value. Otherwise he would not be able to redefine it. This allows him to state once again that pop culture should be given the green light: [t]he way is open for a combined analysis of literary and non-literary texts as instances of signifying practice (74). Other scholars have likewise contributed to the revaluation of traditional areas of culture. Thus, in 1979 Harold Bloom remarks that there are no texts, but only interpretations (Bloom et al 1979: 6), which seems to strengthen the justification for the abandonment of any sort of canon: if interpretation is all that exists, it is of no importance what is being interpreted. In 1980 Stanley Fish similarly declares that the text is only what the reader sees and denies it autonomous identity. Terry Eagleton, on the other hand, states that if anything is to be an object of study it is this whole field of practices rather than just those sometimes rather obscurely labelled literature (Eagleton 2008: 178). As we shall see later, this paradigm shift did not go unopposed but the new tendencies had gained momentum and were hard to neutralize. The British Studies programme at the University of Veliko Turnovo during the 1990s is a case in point. The University of Veliko Turnovo Case When I first picked up the pile of British Studies MA dissertations produced between 1993 and 1999 under the supervision of our then British Council lecturer I did so with two expectations: one, that the cultural issues discussed in these dissertations would have been subjected to a more or less comparative approach and I mean comparative with respect to the students own Bulgarian culture; and, two, that some significant attention would have been paid to literature and I do not mean only that literature which was part of the red-hot fashionable youth culture context at the time. I was wrong on both counts. A 25 percent sample of the titles of these dissertations, stored at the Uni183

versity of Veliko Turnovo, makes it quite clear why I should have expected to be mistaken: The Role of Sport in the British Society A 24-Hour Mediated World: Some Key Effects of Media on Everyday Life The World of the Family and Television Advertising Men and Women in the Womens Magazines What Do Commercial Breaks Sell to Us? (The role of television advertisement in Britain) Welcome to the Pleasure Dome! An Analysis of Contemporary British Pop Music The Golden Years of Youth Culture: An Analysis of the Innovation of Youth in Britain During 1960s 1970s The Cultural Significance of British Soap Operas Black Women in Britain Fighting Against Double Discrimination Todays Britain in the Light of the Black Experience Trainspotting: A Crosscultural Exploration When I went through these dissertations, I was left with the impression that the absence of a comparative approach in them was partly caused by the lecturers apparent conviction that in order to get a clear idea of contemporary British reality, you need to concentrate entirely on contemporary cultural items, paying extra special attention to mass culture films, soap operas, advertising etc. whereby you would somehow manage to obtain an objective, high-resolution photograph of the exact state of contemporary British society. At the centre of everything seems to be the rather slippery question, What is reality right now? which is not only slippery but also presumptuous because it tempts one to indulge in oversimplification and even reductionism. Why am I saying that the authors of those MA dissertations should have been encouraged to adopt a comparative approach? There are two reasons for this. First, the students did not have direct and permanent access to the target culture. They had to use second-hand material. They could obtain occasional selected glimpses (not, of course, selected by them) of this culture, and base their analysis on those glimpses, which is a somewhat questionable approach, espe184

cially if one aims at understanding a society. Can a person with limited knowledge of a society reliably answer questions about it? What is even more important, can s/he ask adequate questions? Will s/he not be in danger of inadvertently fusing certain aspects of his/her own culture with the target one, thus making the analysis unclear? It seems to me that there would be such a risk and that such a researcher could easily fall victim to the Marco Polo syndrome. Since there are two separate definitions of this syndrome, I would like to make it clear that I am not using the expression to mean superiority complex, but rather to describe a phenomenon which Umberto Eco (1998) discusses. Eco draws attention to the Venetian travellers representation of an experience he claims to have had in Java. In his Travels he reported to have seen a unicorn on that island (Polo 1997: 218). The traveller gave a detailed description of the animal from which it is clear that what he really saw was a rhinoceros. Save for the presence of a horn on top of its muzzle, the real animal was quite different from the popular descriptions of the mythic creature. Why, then, did Polo not conclude that he had, in reality, seen something new and unfamiliar? According to Eco, he was simply unable to do so because of what the critic calls the background books that he was carrying with him (Eco 1998: 54). The term background book, or encyclopaedia, stands for every persons beliefs, assumptions, stereotypes, expectations or superstitions, which have been installed into their minds by their own social environments. It also includes any previous knowledge they might have as well as what they are likely to take for granted. Those books inevitably condition everyones mind to perceive what s/he expects to perceive. People examining foreign cultures know in advance what they are about to discover because their prior knowledge is telling them what they are expected to discover. How they perceive what they discover is heavily influenced by their invisible background books. In their group unconscious they met with serious difficulties in making changes in the pictures of foreign countries and cultures which were embedded in their minds. When something came up to challenge this passivity and inflexibility they simply did not accept the challenge. If some disturbing fact was dis185

missible, they readily dismissed it. If it was not, they very seldom allowed it to alter the world they had created in their heads. Instead, they modified the new fact and forced it to assume a familiar shape, in which it would cease to be something new and would become a part of the stable and comforting paradigm of the well-known world, yet another fragment of the Self rather than a disturbing portion of the Other. This model of unconscious or semi-conscious reasoning and the perception of the world it is conducive to has never been easy to oppose. Even some of the most progressive and enlightened minds of Western civilization were under its influence. The adoption of a comparative approach has proved to be one of the most reliable weapons against this limiting syndrome. The abandonment of comparison, on the other hand, especially by students who do not have much experience of studying other cultures, easily leads to describing phenomena, tendencies and even facts which reside solely in the mind of the person doing the describing. Bulgarian students have had their fair share of forcefeeding ideas and notions about Western societies. It is no surprise then that trying to focus on selected bits and pieces of a Western target culture has led them to describe what has in fact been imbedded in their minds beforehand mostly through the mass media in the years following the political changes of 1989. A comparative approach would have helped the students compensate for this limitation. In the present context, by a comparative approach I mean the examination of how the target material (films, TV programmes, books, etc) was received here at least to the extent that the separate constituent parts of that material had counterparts in Bulgaria. This approach would have protected the students against some of the limitations of the selected material they were able to use, and would have (possibly) enabled them to avail themselves of the advantages of novel areas and methods of analysis. Unfortunately, to date few attempts have been made in the English Studies departments in Bulgaria to analyze youth culture and its subcultures. The British studies MA programme provided the students of the 90s with opportunities to do something valuable in a largely unexplored sphere. The students should have been encouraged to avail themselves of the opportunities, if only to practise their analytical skills on a 186

fresh terrain. Points of difference gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, class and the ways in which those categories are informed by other discourses and practices should have been central to the MA dissertations under consideration. This type of comparative, interdisciplinary approach to the study of British culture could have been characterised by both flexibility and usefulness in terms of objects of study and methodology. Every postgraduate student, with the assistance of the British Council lecturer, should have designed his/her own academic programme to meet concrete research interests that would have, hopefully, cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries and allowed the student to try his/her hand at applying novel methods that would have given very encouraging results. The students should have been generally encouraged, as part of this process, to question the definition of disciplinary boundaries and to place their objects of study in their proper contexts. Instead, during the 1990s, the opposite was silently encouraged by the British Council representative at the University of Veliko Turnovo: work with a zoomed-in snapshot of some segment of contemporary British pop-culture and do not concern yourself with comparisons. I would like to illustrate that with a short quotation from the MA thesis entitled A 24-Hour Mediated World: Some Key Effects of Media on Everyday Life (1997): It is taken for granted here theoretically that the societies under investigation are developed industrial countries. My purpose will not be to compare the people of developing countries (like Bulgaria) with the British, let us say. Assuming that our society is about to take the well-trodden path of developed capitalist countries, I will simplify the picture by neglecting the differences that exist between the Big Ones and the Third World Ones. The second reason why the students should have been encouraged to adopt a comparative approach is that its abandonment encourages a positivistic perspective of the whole subject. Since there are at least two different definitions of positivism, I consider it necessary to point out that the definition I have in mind is the one adopted by most contemporary encyclopaedias such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica Online (2009): [s]trict adherence to the testimony of observation and experience. In 187

historical terms, positivism is defined as [a] philosophical movement that holds [...] that all meaningful statements are either analytic or conclusively verifiable or at least confirmable by observation and experiment and that metaphysical theories are therefore strictly meaningless (Merriam Webster Online, 2009). It is clear that the zoomed-in snapshot method of dealing with the reality of a foreign culture navigates dangerously close to the above-mentioned descriptions of positivism. It also excludes the possibility of tracing any cause and effect relationship within the context of a particular culture, especially when that culture is not your own. Another trend that forces itself on the attention of the reader of these MA dissertations is the consistent marginalizing of literature, especially if it is not contemporary. There is hardly a thesis from among those whose titles I have listed at the beginning of this paper that deals with a literary subject. I consider this quite telling. In the rare cases when literary works were discussed during that time (I too belong to that generation of students), it was done with a somewhat nave intention to understand reality, the idea being that reality was, as it were, mirrored in the literary works of the particular period. There is something in that, of course, and I will not propose to argue whether this is a reasonable position or not, but there is one thing that needs to be categorically stated: to use literature as a mere tool, or as an observational device, means to greatly underestimate its potential. This brings me to a very important point that I would like to make: the tendency to marginalize literature in cultural studies programmes is widespread today2 even though if one looks with an unprejudiced eye at the very nature of literature, and examines the reasons why it appeared in the first place, it becomes obvious that it serves an important practical purpose. More than one, in fact. Literature has always helped people grapple with the ethical challenges of the day. This is where ethical dilemmas are met and dealt with. As Ian McEwan pointed out in an interview, one of the privileges of writing novels is to give characters views that you have fleetingly but that are too irresponsible for you ever to defend. You can give them to a character (McEwan 2005). 188

The use of literature for the expression of ethically problematic perspectives on life and thus encouraging (self-)debates on moral issues and deepening our moral understanding and development (Schellekens 2007: 46) has been repeatedly emphasized by latter-day philosophers specifically concerned with aesthetics and morality (45-8). The sad thing is that this departure from literature could have been avoided had the students and their lecturer adopted a less mechanistic approach to the study of culture. Significantly, some of the most authoritative voices within the context of cultural studies have argued against the exclusion of elite art forms. Thus, Grossberg, Nelson, and Treichler write: Cultural studies does not require us to repudiate elite cultural forms . . . Rather, cultural studies requires us to identify the operation of specific practices, of how they continuously reinscribe the line between legitimate and popular culture, and of what they accomplish in specific contexts. (Grossberg et al 1992: 13) John Frow also suggests that academia may have had enough of the exclusion of literariness: There is no reason of principle why this exclusion should continue to be sustained, and the time has now perhaps arrived for a rapprochement in which literary studies would learn to attend in a more routine manner to the social relations of signification, and cultural studies would in its turn be reminded of the constitution of its major explanatory categories in practices of reading. (Frow 2005: 54) Some critics are even more vocal and do not hide their strong disapproval of what has come to be regarded as a dominant paradigm within cultural studies. One of them is Valentine Cunningham who, in a 1998 article, levels searing criticism at it, dismissing the need to pay extra attention to mass culture. He points out that English studies have become a service industry within cultural studies, one seen as far less animating to the student mind than, say, film or the text of disco, football and shopping (Cunningham 1998). He directly attacks Easthope, qualifying his assertions as mongering untruths and accusing him of arguing against his own position: 189

Cultural studies is completely parasitic on English departments. Which has not stopped it trying to shrug off its parentage... The result has been a disenriched and skewed sense of culture as merely modern, yoofie, fashionable, MTVwise, consumerist and thus woefully short of imaginative and explanatory power. Another significant practical purpose served by literature is particularly well demonstrated by the legacy left by George Orwell. When one reads him it is as if one is being personally addressed. He seems to have a very transparent prose style that communicates itself partly because of his intellectual honesty and partly because of as it seems to me a certain intuitive insight into the hidden injuries of a given political system. In his short life he managed to reveal the inequities of imperialism, Stalinism and fascism. Many of his texts (especially his novels and short stories) also indicate how a person can win their own battle against their own prejudices, fears and bigotries (this is an excellent example of how one can free oneself from the load of his/her background books). He demonstrably managed to defeat his own racism while he was serving in Burma and he fought a relentless battle against what he perceived as his ideological weaknesses. Familiarizing oneself with Orwells texts and life would show literature at its most pertinent to life: as a combination of the ethical and the aesthetic. Orwell struggled hard against the ideological temptations offered by the above mentioned -isms. He did that, however, in the public space provided by literature, which means that his texts can still help readers deal with their own detrimental temptations. Attempting to emulate such honesty, integrity and refusal to compromise would place an ethical imperative on Orwells readers to contribute to a more harmonious society. At a time of intellectual development, however, many people chose to bypass the challenges of literature, which is a troubling trend. Sadly, the students at the University of Veliko Turnovo during the 1990s were not encouraged to make a stand against this tendency. If they had been prompted to resist it, they would have obtained a much better grasp not only of British society but of their own as well. Both the comparative approach to the study of culture and systematic work with literary texts can facilitate the tricky process of coming to terms with a particular foreign culture. 190


The meaning of terms such as "West" and "Western countries" may vary within different contexts. In this paper I am using them to describe the countries situated to the west of the former European socialist block: most of Western Europe, as well as North America and Australia. Cultural Studies Syllabus of the University of Southern California: Cultural Studies Syllabus of the University of Minnesota (Department of Communication Studies):

Works Cited Barthes, Roland. Roland Barthes. New York: Hill&Wang, 1977. Bloom, Harold. The Breaking of Form. Deconstruction and Criticism. Ed. Harold Bloom et al. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979. 1-37. Bloom, Harold, Paul De Man, Jacques Derrida, Geoffrey H. Hartman, J. Hillis Miller, eds. Deconstruction and Criticism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979. Cunningham, Valentine. They go to the disco, buy Jackie, watch a vid, catch a soap, go to the match, have a fuck, weep for Di, love k.d. lang ... Times Higher Education (Online version), 6 November 1998. 20 August 2009. < storyCode=109786&sectioncode=26>. Eagleton, Terry. Literary Theory: An Introduction. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008. Easthope, Anthony. Literary into Cultural Studies. London: Routlege, 1991. Eco, Umberto. Serendipities: Language and Lunacy. Trans. William Weaver. New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Encyclopedia Britannica Online, 2009. 22 August 2009. < Positivism>. 191

Fish, Stanley. Is There a Text in This Class?: The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980. Frow, John. On Literature In Cultural Studies. The Aesthetics of Cultural Studies. Ed. Michael Brub. Malden: Blackwell, 2005. Gablik, Suzi. Has Modernism Failed? London and New York: Thames & Hudson, 1984. Grossberg, Lawrence, Nelson, Cary; Treichler, Paula. Cultural Studies. New York: Routledge, 1992. Hitchens, Christopher. Why Orwell Matters. New York: Basic Books, 2002. Hutcheon, Linda. The Politics of Postmodernism. New York: Routledge, 1989. McEwan, Ian. The Salon Interview, 2005. 20 August 2009. < index.html>. Merriam Webster Online, 2009: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. 20 August 2009. < logical+positivism>. Natoli, Joseph and Linda Hutcheon, eds. A Postmodern Reader. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993. Polo, Marco. The Travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian. Ware: Wordsworth Editions Limited, 1997. Russell, Charles. The Context of the Concept. A Postmodern Reader. Ed. Joseph Natoli and Linda Hutcheon. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993. 287-299. Schellekens, Elisabeth. Aesthetics and Morality. London: Continuum, 2007.


The Practice of Note Making, or Literacy and the Study of English in Romania
Ana-Karina Schneider
Over the past century or so, English studies has distinguished itself internationally by its insistence on ever new, critically reconsidered teaching and reading methods. The privileged status of English as the lingua franca of scientific, technological and media-based progress, and therefore a language to which people have generous exposure in their day-to-day life, makes it both easier and more difficult to teach English studies. Teaching it tears down the walls of the classroom in unexpected ways, while at the same time rendering information so easily available that the very mission of teaching needs serious revision. It is amidst such tensions engendered in and by the medium of English studies that I pursue my analysis of that most typical of student activities: making notes.1 I take the practice of making notes in the undergraduate classroom to be an index of the various social, cultural, economic, technological and pedagogic changes occurring in Romania over the past two decades. I propose however that the transition from the traditional, four-year-long BA programmes to the Bologna system has not had an impact on this practice. A much more significant transition is taking place in the humanities, and English studies, due to its idiosyncratic character, as well as its severally distinctive situation within the humanities, is best equipped to reveal this shift. My aim is to show that note making in the English class is productive of a new definition of English studies that hinges on the EUregulated imperative that all language departments produce active, marketable language skills. To a large extent, the shift we notice in the humanities, from defining that field alternately as a research field or a set of social graces, to a field offering training in communicative skills, international relations, and cultural di193

plomacy, is also a shift in the way in which literacy has come to be defined. In his Presidential Address 2007: The Scandal of Literacy, Michael Holquist states of the members of the Modern Languages Association: Whatever else we do, in one way or another whether we teach in English or foreign language departments we all concern ourselves with language. That is our pride, and that is our problem, as it always has been for those who profess the study of words (Holquist 2007: 569). I take this statement to be a most accurate and motivating formulation of the mission of English studies teachers. The literacy that Holquist agonizes over is not merely the ability of attaching articulate sound or even dictionary meaning to graphical signs; it is rather the skill of opening the world up for interpretation, of establishing cross-cultural, long-distance dialogues, of communicating across borders of all kinds. As such, literacy falls into three categories: functional, critical and rhetorical, which perhaps in the Bologna scheme correspond to the three levels of study respectively. It has further been classified according to the medium in which it operates, as in computer literacy, visual literacy etc. Irrespective of such classifications, it is a more generic concept of literacy2 that is at stake in English studies: attention to what our students write or fail to write is an efficient means of diagnosing their relationship not merely to the English language and culture, but to their proposed field of expertise; ultimately, it measures their ability to become alert, articulate, efficient, critical professionals in their fields of choice, or, as the New London Group has put it, to join their educators in becoming active designers of social futures. Concerned by definition with issues of persuasion and rhetoric, the humanities more than the sciences build their own audiences and construct the epistemes they operate with;3 it is for this reason that their development is so inexorably connected with the tides and ebbs of ideologies. 1989 represented a radical turning point in Romanian Higher Education, mainly by opening it up to valuable, hitherto proscribed, exchanges with the western world, but also by freeing discourse from doctrinaire strictures. The two decades since have been an intensely dynamic period, enabling changes in terms of pedagogic practice that re194

flect significant shifts in priorities and mentalities in Romanian society. My paper aims to analyse, through the lens of classroom practice, the adjustments in methodology and theoretical approach that have taken place in the teaching of English studies at Higher Education level over the past decade or so.4 Increased staff and student mobility, curricular revision, the commodification of knowledge, proliferation of higher education institutions and massification of university degrees, along with technological progress, have, in turn, contributed crucially to changes in student needs as well as in teaching methods. The recent abandoning of the practice of making notes in class in favour of being provided with teacher-compiled compendia and digests, though described as symptomatic of the shift in focus from teaching disciplines to teaching students, is, I argue, indicative of the transition from HE addressing a carefully selected intellectual elite to making it widely accessible as a preparation for new opportunities on the job market. In what follows, I enquire into the social and cultural, as well as academic, implications of routine procedures such as circulating the teachers lecture notes among students, notetaking in class, PowerPoint presentations and networking activities that foreground the instrumental function currently attached to knowledge. I also investigate ways in which they can be turned to good account in developing active skills and habits of mind. Knowledge-oriented teaching makes way for communicative and functional priorities as data is made readily available by developments in information and communication technology;5 at the same time, the teaching of language becomes more of an imperative under the sway of mass tertiary education that allows students with only basic knowledge of the English language to aim for a degree in English studies. The post-1989 evolution of English studies has, moreover, been conditioned by a social dynamics shaped along lines that include local demographics, the prestige of the HEI, job markets, availability of scholarships and financial aid. Investigation of such issues and prospects is much needed, followed by periodical curricular and institutional reform. I therefore interrogate the tenability of student-centred approaches that aim to respond to the individualised demands of students with increasingly heterogeneous educational and cul195

tural backgrounds, while at the same time labouring under the institutional pressure of being cost-effective: unlike cultural embeddedness, variable levels of literacy are not a learning resource. Proposing a multi-angled perspective on the everchanging pragmatics of the academic community, my paper is partly based on classroom observation and responses to a questionnaire6 that I have circulated among a selection of the most proficient of our students at one of the medium-size, comparatively older, universities in Romania.7 The complaint that students nowadays are inadequately prepared to enter HE is not uniquely Romanian. Marshall Gregory, in his contribution to the MLA Profession 2008, notices the same tendency in the American academe, especially among its younger members, and recommends a very pragmatic solution, in keeping with the consumerist age we live in: like the corporate marketers who descend into the agora to study its preferences before they devise strategies for creating new ones, we must get to know the addressees of our teaching before we can convince them to reciprocate with learning. The economic crisis of the late 2008 and early 2009 however seems to suggest that merely analysing our consumers is insufficient. There is, apparently, such a thing as macro-economy, whose definition as yet eludes our best specialists, but whose dynamics overdetermines, by limiting or expanding, our purchase power. In post-1989 Romania, macro-economy imposed its ruthless laws of supply and demand in very unsubtle ways by allowing a plethora of new HEIs to be established and doubtful university degrees to proliferate; it also confirmed the paradox that during prosperous periods in a nations history, when education is easily available, learning becomes devalued, whereas in totalitarian regimes or times of comparative poverty, learning is regarded as a much coveted asset. Let us, then, first study the institutional impact of these developments on already established universities, and investigate the ways in which the internal functioning of these bodies has changed as a result. The authorisation in recent years of a large number of tertiary-education institutions throughout the country has had complex consequences that are only now beginning to emerge. Coupled with a century low in demographic growth, this prolifera196

tion of universities, branch campuses and distance education purveyors has resulted in a dilution of both the number of candidates and their competence, and older universities have found themselves in the position of lowering admission standards if they were to retain their allotted number of governmentsubsidised student places and survive financially. The ensuing surfeit of university degrees have ceased to mean anything on an already saturated job market. The appeal of a university degree however has not decreased, and many a university has turned it to good account. The example of Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu is relevant in this respect. The university has opened a language centre offering foreign-language classes to customers from the town as well as a distance education centre, has established Erasmus/Socrates exchange programmes with a variety of universities abroad, and has admitted students from the Republic of Moldova. The campus has definitely gained a new, rather more cosmopolitan air, to which the best of our students, given now the opportunity of studying abroad for a semester and then returning to share their experiences, contribute significantly. The classroom, on the other hand, has attained a previously unimaginable heterogeneity that bodes ill for high-minded notions of the academia as a site for the encounter of intellectual elites and the nursery of tomorrows specialists, researchers and artists. A radical reconsideration of the role and definition of academia has become de rigueur. Its triple-barrelled mission teaching, research and service has suffered a rebalancing of its gravity centre, with the supplying of services to the community gaining ever more weight. One wonders, however, if in the long run the standardisation of HE is indeed a form of democratisation. The study of English in a non-native environment constitutes a particularly relevant illustration of the changes undergone over the past decade by the Romanian academia. While in the early 1990s English departments trained mostly teachers of the English language and literature, the privatisation process attracted multinational corporations and with them an increasing demand for translators, interpreters and language revisers. At the same time, the decreasing financial attention afforded by government to the educational system made teaching positions increasingly undesirable for competent language specialists. Applied Modern 197

Languages departments and language classes became very popular, and this preference reverberated back to high and elementary schools, where curricula were redesigned around language competence, effectively dropping literature lessons. One of the great paradoxes of Romanian HE thus emerged: while everywhere in English-speaking countries English studies means the study of English literature and culture, in Romania only the language is targeted as a means of communication between employer and employee. A degree, diploma or certificate in English has become instrumental in pursuing the mirage of a job abroad or with a multinational corporation. The variable proficiency in English that students bring from their respective schools, coupled with this pragmatic disinterestedness, is best evidenced by the way in which the exchange of information takes place in the classroom. Fifteen or twenty years ago most classes at university level still took the shape of traditional lectures,8 in which the professor delivered a monologic presentation more often than not, a summative or selective survey of the material at hand while the students very diligently strove to take down every word. Such lectures were geared to offer highly sophisticated information and generate analytic seminar discussions, taking for granted the students high proficiency in English and broad-ranging familiarity with western culture and civilisation. The survey approach is still extensively practiced in many of our universities in conspicuous disregard of the much-mediatised canon wars of the west, but justified by the relative lack of exposure of our students to the historical and cultural circumstances that have conditioned crucial developments in literary and critical thinking in the Anglophone world. Nonetheless, the delivery method is considerably altered, more interactive and communicative, and largely reliant on compilations of texts, readers, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations. The transition advocated by Paulo Freire, from the banking concept of education to a dialogic approach, would seem to have been effected, but it fails to yield the expected democratisation of outcomes. Again, a complex set of factors, not all of them academic, have determined this evolution. The academic factors have to do with changing teaching methods in the English-speaking world, 198

brought to Romania mostly by British Council lecturers and teacher trainers. In much-needed, much-enjoyed summer schools, workshops and seminars in the 1990s, they introduced student-centred approaches and activities that have helped do away with the imaginary border between lectern and auditorium and put a more collegial face on the professor-student relationship. They effected what might be called an enhanced awareness that what we teach are students, not disciplines, and turned English departments throughout the country into flagships in teaching methodology. The non-academic factors include variables and contingencies that pertain to the students themselves: despite the fact that instruction in the foreign languages in post1989 Romania starts in second form and sometimes in kindergarten (as opposed to the fifth form before 1989), the level of student literacy in English is far from uniformly high nowadays. As this renders uncertain the extent to which students can follow the flow of information delivered orally, let alone make notes of it, there has been increasing pressure on lecturers to make the content of their lectures available in book format. Of late, the number of lecture-note volumes published has become a ministerially-enforced criterion in promoting professors, virtually the Romanian equivalent of the monograph in the British and American academe. To a great number of students, the ready availability of such learning aids has made note taking a traditional language exercise whose efficiency had been tested by countless generations superfluous and potentially dangerous, as it involves the risk of misspelling, misunderstanding, or mishearing words, and consequently committing to paper erroneous data. Subliminally, the absence of the need to make notes in class glides into the absence of any pressure to follow the presentation, especially during the lecture type of classes, in which interaction is still minimal, the lecturer being the prime actor, while students are expected to be mere recipients, if not receptacles, of data. The untrained attention span decreases as a consequence. Losing the habit of making notes entails, moreover, the loss of valuable skills and habits of mind that would otherwise have been practiced in the process of noting down information, such as attention to details, skimming texts for the gist, synthesising, writing under dictation and spelling, but also the very 199

basic skill of handwriting. Similarly, lecture-note volumes, to the extent to which they are compendia of the minimum information needed to pass exams, are not stimulative of either further reading or synthesising, and thus fail to produce knowledge or competences beyond the salvific exercise of accumulating credits. They also effect the abandonment of library research practices and the ossification of the skills and habits of mind associated with it. If ten or fifteen years ago libraries and television were the only alternative sources of information for Romanian students, the Internet has now become the paramount source not only of knowledge, but of authority. This very significant shift, moreover, has a technical component that utterly defeats the traditional informative, rather than formative, goals of HE English teaching. As the data can be easily and repeatedly retrieved whenever needed, the imperative to store it in ones memory becomes redundant. Students now speak freely about the absurdity of trying to commit historical dates to memory, for instance, when it is all available out there; they also speak, more worryingly, about the pointlessness of reading a 500-page novel, when the five-page summary and brief critical comments are at the tips of their fingers. The resistance to reading is, I suspect, of a piece with the resistance to lectures: it is seldom determined by any lack of interest in the content of the reading material itself, and more often than not by a reluctance to deal with the special demands of a foreign language subject to the strictures of art or of a specialised field, whereas the internet provides reader digests in the readers own unsophisticated idiolect. What I find most disturbing about this unquestioning reliance on the Internet is that students ignore the fact that entries on popular sites such as Sparknotes or Wikipedia are often written by students like themselves, who may therefore not be better informed or more reliable than they are. This credulous, implicit investment of trust in the digitalised word, like the fascinated credulity towards the mass-media displayed by most Romanians, pre-empts intellectual curiosity and learning, encouraging readers to remain in an unquestioning state of ignorance and submission and writing off the very mission of university. One wonders if this disregard 200

for authoritative knowledge will become a permanent outcome of the transition from print culture to digital culture. Other habits of mind induced by site hopping are equally worrying. Unlike a book, which requires long-term commitment to the logical development of an argument or plot, the internet with its links and shortcuts stimulates what Katherine Hayles calls hyper attention (in MLA 2007: 187 pass). According to Hayles, this might in the long run prove to be an irreversible cognitive shift originating, like the attention deficit disorder, in the human brains increasingly common addiction to multiple and varied stimulation.9 With current widespread multimedia technology, enhanced hyper attention may in fact prove a useful skill in many fields, such as CCTV supervision. To what extent it may prove apposite in the humanities remains to be demonstrated. So far it has resulted mostly in a widespread reluctance to sit down with a book and mull over it, make notes and write response papers. It has also resulted in the restiveness that suffuses the classroom whenever the lecturers voice is the only stimulus demanding attention for long stretches of time. A significant advantage of the recent digital boom is, then, the ever-wider availability of technology that can be used in the classroom to replicate the multimodal patterns of meaning deployed by the media (New London Group, online reference). Thus, PowerPoint presentations, blogs, forums, Yahoo dialogue groups have become common tools at the lecturers disposal, animating the lecture and prolonging the discussion outside the classroom. However, as not all students in Romania have ready access to computer technology and even less would choose to participate in a school-related forum, outside-the-classroom networking cannot be counted on to produce major improvements in students understanding of the subject or for evaluation purposes not even in the case of distance-education students. On the upside of the fascination with digitalisation, rapid written communication means such as text messaging, chatrooms, blogs and Yahoo! Messenger supply students with very useful shorthand training that could be put to good use in note making. On the downside, of course, such practices, compounded by the growing unfamiliarity with handwriting, help students forget good spelling and correct grammar, and sometimes turn their 201

examination papers into illegible, ungrammatical gibberish. Similarly, PowerPoint presentations, while answering the need for a high level of cortical stimulation evidenced by some students, proves distracting and confusing to others, who have not as yet developed the kind of multitasking skills necessary to extract the relevant information from the screen while the teacher points it out orally.10 The presentation of information that was once slowed down by the need to write names and dates up on the blackboard is considerably sped up by OHP facilities, while students must do listening and reading/ watching all at once; to many the additional task of making notes becomes impossible to pursue. While the visual media have reduced the time span necessary for the brain to recognise and decode an image from 20 seconds in the 1960s to 2-3 seconds in the twenty-first century (Hayles in MLA 2007: 191), they do not seem to have the same effect on the speed with which we recognise and process letters. Hence the paradox, that although PowerPoint presentations are initially received enthusiastically, they often prove ineffectual when they are discovered to offer content notes or graphs rather than images. Visual literacy thus appears to be quite as problematic as listening comprehension. When queried closely, most students will admit that making notes is the single most helpful class activity, as it contributes to systematising information and helps them prepare for exams; they will also profess that, like writing response papers, it is a significant opportunity to jot down their own responses, doubts, and queries, stay focused, and express themselves; and some will even acknowledge notes as a useful and constant language exercise. Many however will admit to a reluctance to write, a latent, mild, yet spreading, form of graphophobia, generally justified by the fact that, in any case, the notes are available elsewhere, in a far better organised form. The outcome of this reluctance to use their own summarising powers to produce retrievable synopses is that, at best, students memorise information for examination purposes, without understanding it or being able to retain it for further reference. Consequently, classes turn into tortuous hours that would be better spent elsewhere and evaluations fail to measure students proficiency in English or their assimilation of the disciplines content. Rather than develop an 202

active understanding of and expertise in their chosen field of study, in the absence of note-making habits students remain mere temporary receptacles of information, largely incapable of deploying it outside the examination room. Furthermore, unpractised abilities such as synthesising and assimilating information, contextualising, reframing and responding to it in accordance with ones background, interests and proposed career, or with examination requirements, slowly atrophy and are very seldom and difficultly revived in later life. To take the long view, the resistance to writing is conducive to massive inarticulacy, which, to a university graduate, is the equivalent of illiteracy. It is for reasons such as these that note making must remain an important writing and learning exercise: along with composition and academic writing, although for rather different reasons and to different ends, note making is a skill well worth preserving and practicing. English studies and humanities specialists in the United States seem to have started a serious campaign in favour of resuming teaching Composition, English Literature 1, or writing-intensive classes to all students regardless of their majors, as a means of implementing academic literacy (Slevin in MLA 2007: 200 pass; also see Steiner in the same volume, Gold in MLA 2008, Holquist etc.), that is, of teaching the single most useful skill that of forming cogent, well-rounded sentences and arguing ones point persuasively and the most effective leveller of social and educational backgrounds. Student-centred teaching, though always a noble desideratum, comes under siege in the age of cost-effective HE and mass undergraduate education. It does so especially in medium-size universities like Lucian Blaga, I feel, where students are tied down by compulsory classes and where disciplines spread very thin in the attempt to cover as vast a curricular range as possible. At best, this approach to the curriculum makes for imperfect preparation for any career that would make use of English studies, whether it is in teaching or translating. At worst, it exposes the sheer impossibility of adapting literature or cultural studies classes to the social and learning needs of such heterogeneous groups of students. Hence, the constant anxiety over the changing profession. 203

My concern here is, indirectly, with the question of what we teach, ultimately. Marshall Gregory synthesises this question very economically in the title of his contribution to Profession 2008: Do We Teach Disciplines or Do We Teach Students? (Gregory 2008: 117). With the increasing pressure, in Britain, the US, and Romania alike, to specialise and devote ever more time to research and publishing, it has become difficult to remember that we do not merely teach disciplines but rather students, that the objects of our work are in fact complex, heterogeneous subjects. At the antipode, the current pressure to produce employability is equally restrictive. The educational outcome we must pursue is full social participation, and it is in producing this outcome that humanities disciplines such as English studies are crucial: they are facilitators of access and critical engagement. It is therefore futile to define our profession by taking sides in the canon wars: the canon may hold universal validity or it may be restrictive, but it is equally void in the absence of the habits of mind that decode and internalise canonical and non-canonical works alike. Deborah Meier cites Gerald Graffs indictment, Teach the conflicts along with anti-canonical academics Teach thinking skills (in MLA 2007: 137), while she herself pleads for the teaching of habits of mind (140). Whichever of these three tendencies we follow, our students must leave school having assimilated a number of competences (distributive attention, proficiency in English, articulacy, academic literacy, etc.) and principles (open-mindedness, moral integrity, tolerance of diversity) that confer on them the status of members of their countrys intellectual and professional elites and mediators between local culture and global civilisation. For teaching to be effective in the sense described by Gregory i.e., for the information to be absorbed and in-formative it is imperative, I think, to surmount the language barrier. The scandal of literacy (Holquist 2008: 568) is that the language barrier is as insurmountable for native speakers as it is for non-natives; as Holquist puts it, literacy is in its essence unnatural (569). It is therefore our duty as educators to keep such common practices like note making under close observation, as they may reveal crucial aspects concerning our own effectiveness, our students needs, and even concerning shifting cognitive modes. 204


Jim Burke distinguishes between note taking and note making: taking notes is passive: just as we must make meaning, so we must make notes in our head, on the page, and in our notebooks (online resource). Or, rather, according to the New London Group, multiliteracies: the use of multiliteracies approaches to pedagogy will enable students to achieve the... twin goals for literacy learning: creating access to the evolving language of work, power, and community, and fostering the critical engagement necessary for them to design their social futures and achieve success through fulfilling employment (online reference). In my definition, literacy comes closer to the New London Groups definition of multiliteracies than to their mere literacy, as it comprises ability to read modes of representation much broader than language alone. These differ according to culture and context, and have specific cognitive, cultural, and social effects. Nonetheless, I argue, these modes of meaning-making impact language and share with it both the role of establishing functional communication channels and, increasingly of late, the propensity of indicating an individuals employability and capacity for full social participation (NLG online resource). Cathy N. Davidson (2008) explains the role of the humanities as follows: The humanistic turn of mind provides the historical perspective, interpretive skills, critical analysis, and narrative form required to articulate the significance of the scientific discoveries of an era, show how they change our sense of what it means to be human, and demarcate their continuity with or difference from existing ideologies (707). Showcasing foreign-language studies is therefore particularly revealing in a post-communist context; the Bologna process itself is the product of a new ideology. I choose this time span for two reasons: firstly, as it covers roughly my experience teaching in the field; secondly, as national economic growth has triggered a number of essential, legal and internal modifications of the HE system in our country. According to the New London Group, the proliferation of communications channels and media supports and extends cultural and subcultural diversity. As soon as our sights are set on the objective of creating the learning conditions for full social participation, the issue of differences becomes critically important (online reference). The heterogeneity of the student body pursuing English studies in Romania is further complicated, to the ethnic, gender, and social differences being


added the widely ranging levels of their English competence, and it is this latter circumstance that is pertinent to my approach.

Ensuing allusions to student responses and preferences are largely based on a questionnaire made up of 11 open questions, with no suggested possible answers. 11 undergraduate and 5 MA students have so far responded. What emerges is highly relevant to the issue of note taking, but also to the ways in which current students understand their work at HE level and their status as students, and to their attention span, preoccupations etc. Thus, for instance, although the first 10 questions focus largely on study and teaching methods, when question no. 11 requires them to compare high school to university, several of the respondents shift to aspects having to do with socialising, pressure to be popular, autonomy from home and from imposed curricula, etc. The endearing candour of the answers testifies to the students unguarded honesty throughout, while it also reveals the priorities that shape their undergraduate careers, of which not all are professionally oriented. The University of Sibiu was founded in 1940 and then closed between 1945 and 1969, but Sibiu has had a tradition in tertiary education that dates back to 1786. As Teresa Morell (2007) points out, research has proved the role of lectures as events that can be beneficial for the linguistic and communicative competence of second and foreign language students (223). This role is enhanced in the case of interactive lectures (224). Hayles operates with the term Generation M coined in a report on the impact of media on children aged between 8 and 18, commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation (quoted MLA 2007: 189). Recent empirical studies conducted by Savoy et al., Mann & Robinson, and Titsworth reveal similar results in native English-speaking environments: although students prefer lectures that are accompanied by PowerPoint presentations, they tend to retain less information from them than from traditional, chalk-and-talk lectures.


Works Cited Burke, Jim. School Tools. 2009. 20 May 2009. <>. Davidson, Cathy N. Humanities 2.0: Promise, Perils, Predictions. PMLA 123: (3) May (2008): 707-717. 206

Holquist, Michael. Presidential Address 2007: The Scandal of Literacy. PMLA 123: (3) May (2008): 568-579. Mann, Sandi and Andrew Robinson. Boredom in the Lecture Theatre: an Investigation into the Contributors, Moderators and Outcomes of Boredom amongst University Students. British Educational Research Journal 35: (2) April (2009): 243-258. Modern Languages Association. Profession 2007. New York: MLA, 2007. Modern Languages Association. Profession 2008. New York: MLA, 2008. Morell, Teresa. What Enhances EFL Students Participation in Lecture Discourse? Student, Lecturer and Discourse Perspectives. The Journal of English for Academic Purposes 6 (2007): 222-237. New London Group. A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. Harvard Educational Review Vol. 66 No. 1 (Spring 1966). 8 April 2009. < /paul/articles/A_Pedagogy_of_Multiliteracies_Designing_ Social_Futures.htm>. Savoy, April, Robert W. Proctor and Gavriel Salvendy. Information Retention from PowerPoint and Traditional Lectures. Computers and Education 52 (2009): 858-867. Titsworth, B. Scott. Students Notetaking: The Effects of Teacher Immediacy and Clarity. Communication Education Vol. 53 No. 4, October (2004): 305-320.


The Re-trainees Programme in English at the English and American Studies Department at Sofia University
Madeleine Danova
The present paper looks at the changes in Bulgarian high school education which have necessitated the inauguration of a oneyear intensive programme for retraining English language teachers at the Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University. The programme has been devised as part of a project for career development within the European framework for development of human resources. Special attention is paid to the difficulties that people involved in the programme have to face in dealing with such a great number of teachers who need retraining in such a short time. Another issue discussed is the possible ways of continuing the professional education of teachers who have successfully completed the retraining programme in MA Programmes offered by the Faculty of Classical and Modern Philology. In the last four years there has been a consistent effort to devise a National Programme for a Reform in Secondary Education as an indispensible part of the National Strategy for the Development of Education by the Ministry of Education and Science in Bulgaria. The Programme is based on the Education for All movement, which took off at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand. There the World Declaration on Education for All was adopted which defined an entirely new direction in education. It declared the end of traditional, prescriptive education systems and hailed education that would be tailor-made, answer the needs of learners and be adaptable to their cultural and social contexts. At the Conference it was also decided to review progress after a decade, which culminated in the organizing of the World 209

Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal in April 2000. Before that a report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century was prepared. This report urged governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and the media to start promoting a holistic view of education based on four pillars: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. In an attempt to further that goal, the Dakar Framework for Action Education for All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments was adopted. This document calls for the achievement of quality basic education for all by 2015, setting six goals, one of which is directly connected to quality it asks for the strengthening of the recruitment, deployment and motivation of teachers in order to ensure that there are enough qualified teachers in all regions and schools, especially in remote and underserved communities. This has remained as one of the major tasks in the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2009, too. And although Bulgaria ranks high, at the 48th place among the 129 countries monitored by this last report, when looking at the statistical data for education of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics from January 2008 (Database of Integrated Statistical Activities) there is one striking omission there is no data for the percentage of trained teachers in the data for Bulgaria. All that, together with the fact that more than 11 per cent of the students in Bulgaria never finish their secondary education, has made a change in the school system in Bulgaria a must. Two major ways have been proposed: changing the school structure and offering training programmes for the teachers so that a system of stratified payment can be introduced. The proposed new structure of Bulgarian education includes compulsory primary education from the first to the fourth grade and then from the fifth to the seventh grade. After the seventh grade all students will have to sit for a test and get a diploma to go either to the first level of professional education or to the first level of high-school education. After graduating from the tenth grade they could leave the school system, obtaining a certificate or diploma for secondary education. That is seen as a way of synchronizing the education system and the law requires a com210

pulsory stay within the education system for all students till the age of sixteen. But since the system in operation now does not give any opportunity for leaving school at that age, the rate of drop-outs has increased substantially in the last few years to reach, according to some of the mass media, a quarter of the number of all students, despite the fact that according to a report on the major statistical characteristics of Bulgarian education in 2008 the percentage of the drop-outs decreases and if it was 21.4% in 2004, in 2007 it was 16.6%, while in 2008 it reached 15.3% (Osnovni statisticheski harakteristiki 1). If after graduating from the tenth grade students opt for continuing their education on the next level, which is not compulsory, they would study for two more years graduating with a diploma, which would open to them the way to university. The most important change in the secondary education, however, is the idea that in the eighth grade one year of intensive study of foreign languages and information technologies will be undertaken for all. High schools with a curriculum predominantly based on the humanities will have 17 classes of foreign language study per week. Schools where the natural sciences dominate the curriculum will have 15 classes of foreign languages per week, while professional schools will have 6 classes per week. It is obvious that if the system starts operating from the 2009/2010 school year, the demand for teachers in foreign languages and especially in English would soar. According to some of the estimates, there will be 3,359 classes in the eighth grade during this school year and they need 3,241 qualified teachers in English to cover the needs of all the high schools only for this grade. All in all 6,052 qualified teachers in FLs will be needed for the whole secondary education system in Bulgaria once this system starts operating. According to a report prepared several years ago, there were 7,862 teachers in foreign languages in the educational system but 2,427 were without the required qualifications. (Spravka za gotovnostta 4). That was one of the major reasons for the launching of the Project for Retraining of Teachers in Foreign Languages in 2007. Another important reason is connected with the tasks set by the European Union for improvement of the teachers qualifica211

tion within the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong Learning. The document which gives a good understanding of the rationale behind this Framework is The Helsinki Communiqu on Enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training from December 2006, which reviews the priorities and strategies of the Copenhagen Process. The two most important aspects of this process are first the need to invest in human capital and skills since: Education and training have a central role in responding to the challenges we are facing in Europe: globalization, an ageing population, emerging new technologies and skills needs. It calls for expansion and improved investment in human capital and for adaptation of education and training systems in response to the challenges. (2) Second, it gives priority to Vocational and Education Training (VET) as an integral part of lifelong learning since it: plays a key role in human capital accumulation for the achievement of economic growth, employment and social objectives. VET is an essential tool in providing European citizens with the skills, knowledge and competences needed in the labour market and knowledge based society. (2) In order to support the evaluation, monitoring and quality improvement of VET systems and providers, th Proposal for a Recommendation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training [SEC(2008) 440][SEC(2008) 441] (Brussels, 9.4.2008, COM(2008) 179, final 2008/0069) gives six indicators among which are investment in training of teachers and trainers and utilisation of acquired skills at the workplace. The first one measures the share of teachers and trainers participating in further training and the amount of funds invested. Since this refers to the overall policy of the national governments, for the Project carried out at Sofia University more important is the policy rationale behind this indicator which is directed towards increasing the individual learning capacity building and improving the learner's achievement. The other indicator aims to monitor the way in which the employability of teachers will be increased: 212

this is measured by information on the occupation qualification obtained by individuals after completion of training, according to type of training and individual criteria as well as by the satisfaction rate of individuals and employers with acquired skills/competences. This has been one of the major considerations in the carrying out of the Project, since it is envisaged as an integral part of a new career-development system that must be introduced in Bulgarian education closely linked to the proposed pay-rise based on a horizontal system of five levels of professional qualification. The Programme has been designed as a one-year intensive study in English Language and Culture, which was carried out over the weekends and during school and official holidays. The teachers were not allowed to take leave from work, which put an additional stress on them. The Programme started in January 2008 and ended in December 2008 with two state exams. A substantial grant was received for financing the Programme from the Ministry of Education, as part of the Human Resources Development Funds allocated to Bulgaria by the European Union. Thus the participants did not have to pay for their training, travel expenses, accommodation and per diem. The greatest number of classes is naturally reserved for English as a foreign language, 300 classes. After a test for defining the level of English of each of the 1010 candidates, all of whom were teachers from different levels of the education system, only those who showed a level of English roughly equal to B1 (as set by European Framework of References for Language Competences) were considered and 545 candidates were finally admitted to take part in the Programme. Out of them, only 155 were teachers from the schools in the capital, Sofia, while the others came from all over the country, including teachers from regions with a dominant minority population (Turkish, Bulgarianspeaking Muslims, and Roma) and remote and under-served communities. For the English classes we used the Headway system of Oxford Press, Intermediate and Upper-Intermediate levels, with additional materials for translation and grammar practice. The other courses included in the Programme are Theoretical English Grammar (30 classes), English Phonetics and Pho213

nology (24 classes), British Culture and Literature (48 classes), American Culture and Literature (48 classes), Teaching Methods in Foreign Language Education (30 classes), The New Information Technologies in Foreign Language Teaching (20 classes), School Teaching Practice (20 hours), Educational Bills and Acts in Bulgaria (10 classes). The course ends with two state exams: a written one with practical and theoretical parts, and a translation-based oral one. Out of the total number of teachers included in the Programme, 121 were unable to graduate from the first round and had to re-sit the state exams. The major problems the teaching staff at the Department encountered were primarily connected with the low level of English language competence some of the teachers had and the fact that in many of the schools in smaller towns and villages teachers in other subjects were asked to take the English language classes without any experience in teaching a foreign language or any solid basis of English language competence. In this sense, it has become clear that all these teachers need further training and new programmes that would add to the basic knowledge they have received in the retraining programme. In order to measure the satisfaction rate of the teachers who participated in the Programme a survey was carried out among half of the re-trainees. It showed that their greatest need was in having more practical experience of English and more opportunities to learn about the use of the new technologies in foreign language teaching. That initiated the designing of a new MA Programme, Communication: Language Skills, Literary Competence, Media Literacy, at the Department, specifically geared towards the needs of secondary-school teachers in English. The MA Programme looks at communication from the perspective of the interaction between literature and the media in the globalizing world of computers and the Internet. It aims at introducing participants to the different facets of the study of communication as a theoretical issue, as a pedagogical and practical tool and as an artistic phenomenon in the highly technologized world of the last century and the cyber world of today. It offers a better knowledge of the way literature has become part of the world of electronic communication, of the processes of blurring the boundaries between fact and fiction. It also pro214

vides the practical skills necessary for future career development in our global village, including an opportunity to develop second language competence further and become more media literate, as well as more sensitive to the issues of intercultural communication. At the same time it makes it possible to specialize in the relatively neglected field of teaching a foreign language literature in secondary schools. Some of the courses are taught by native-speakers, some of them Fulbright lecturers and instructors. The most important feature of the MA Programme is that it caters for students who are not English and American Studies BA graduates but come from other literature, language, culture and history study fields and have a good command of English or have successfully completed the re-training programme for teachers in English at the Department. They go through an introductory module which helps them get fully immersed into the field of English and American Literary Studies, combined with an intensive English language course. The other important asset of the programme is that it is taught on a part-time basis and some of the courses are offered as e-courses or as part of Summer School programmes. The thirty teachers who enrolled in this MA Programme last year were all graduates of the Retraining Programme and they believe that the MA diploma will give them better opportunities for career development. The problem is that at the government level no incentive is offered for such teachers. Moreover, what we have encountered during the implementation both of the Retraining Programme and the MA Programme, which is not part of the Ministry of Education and Science projects for career development within the European framework for development of human resources and is self-funded by the participants, is a relatively large number of cases in which instead of increasing the employability of teachers who have successfully completed the Retraining Programme and have enrolled in the MA Programme, they have been made redundant because of decrease in the number of students in schools. This shows that there is still a long way for Bulgaria to go in becoming a society and an economy based on knowledge, in which life-long learning will be as valuable as the more formal kinds of education. 215

Works Cited Education for All: Meeting Our Collective Commitments. World Education Forum Dakar, Senegal, 26-28 April 2000. 5 Sept. 2009. <>. Database of Integrated Statistical Activities. 15 Sept. 2009. < (Eurostat)>. European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for Vocational Education and Training [SEC(2008) 440][SEC(2008) 441] Brussels, 9.4.2008, COM(2008) 179, final 2008/0069. Osnovni statisticheski harakteristiki na obrazovanieto. [Basic Statistical Characteristics of Education] 15 Sept. 2009. <>. Spravka za gotvnostta za vuvezhdane na chuzhdoezikovo obuchenie v nachalniya etap na osnovnata obrazovatelna stepen prez uchebnata 2002/2003 [Report on the level of preparedness for FLL introduction into the primary compulsory school system for 2002-3], Ministry of Education and Science, National Institute for Education. 15 Sept. 2009. < gotovnost_rhco-bul-blg-t05.pdf>. The Helsinki Communiqu on Enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training. Helsinki, 5 December 2006. 25 July 2009. < helsinkicom_en.pdf>. World Declaration on Education for All. World Conference on Education for All, Jomtien, Thailand, UNESCO, 1990. 5 Sept. 2009. <>.


Access and Equity Issues Engendered by Participation in English Language Study Programmes in Romanian Universities
Silvia Florea
Until recently, equity was mechanically associated with the massification of higher education. That is not the case anymore: whether higher education systems are elitist, massified or universal (Trow 1974), they are increasingly expected reflect a societys democratic organization, and widening access accordingly becomes an issue of social justice which contributes to social cohesion. These Higher Education (HE) systems are required to provide a more diverse student body with educational opportunities and to admit more than the traditional offspring of the national elite in the most prestigious institutions. While the expansion of access has traditionally been valued as a tool to increase individual benefits as well as social benefits, this assumption is challenged today, and studies argue that massification in itself does not reduce inequalities but only displaces them (Wolf 2002, Duru-Bellat 2005). The South African Higher Education system in particular illustrates this shift, where recent policies attempt to widen the student body without enlarging access (Goastellec 2008). Therefore, increasing access is not a universal goal anymore. Widening access becomes the ultimate target: HE mediates the association between origin and destination, and this mediation is increasingly under scrutiny. In this study I argue that over-enrolment in English Language Study Programs (ELSP) in Romania over the last two decades has indeed increased student access but has not widened it. From this perspective, parental education, income, gender and academic preparation have had a strong influence on disadvantaged groups. Access problems for ELSPs therefore can be predominantly referred back to social selection processes in pri217

mary and secondary education. The main general difficulties, examined as barriers to widening access in these programs will be pursued horizontally on low income groups and students from rural areas and ethnic groups as well as longitudinally in terms of financial, institutional and individual levels. The financial barriers in question are of costs, payment of fees and the pressure associated with loans, bursaries and credit constraints; institutional barriers concern disparities of students enrolment, admissions procedures and a general lack of institutional flexibility (in terms of a still noticeable organizational resistance to change and persistence in traditional assessment procedures); and individual barriers include individual motivation, attitudes to learning and a poor perception of the humanities for careers. Financial barriers There are many sources of inequity and, in the implementation of equality of opportunity in access, funding has been perceived as a tool to compensate for socioeconomic handicaps, and thus lead to widening access. The cost-sharing rationale (mainly the split of the costs between public authorities, students, and families) is on the agendas of Romanian HE institutions and policy makers as a result of the international trend to make students bear part of the cost of their studies (see, e.g., Johnstone 1986, 2000, 2001) through tuition fees, whether they are up-front or repayable. Up-front fees are balanced by grants and more recently loans, aimed at widening access. However these tools have had a limited impact on the steering of access in ESLP institutions for they do not make these institutions accountable for whom they register and for who graduates. Along with the added costs these institutions have to bear when they register at-risk students, the Romanian Ministry of Education is using funding incentives through institutions to widen access mainly by indexing part of the institutional funding against the characteristics of the students registered. As a result of these policies, Romanian universities have devised a series of measures meant to encourage and assist minority and poor students to receive higher education. Students with financial difficulties are entitled to apply for financial assistance which may be obtained in the form of scholarships, grants-in218

aid, student loans, work-study, living allowance, etc. A positive correlation between family income and higher education participation was intended with the development of the private HE institutions system for those who could afford higher tuition schemes and fee-for-service programs. However, more and more educators claim that the private sector in Romanian HE is slow (due to the still persistent popular ideology of free higher education), has corrupted the notion of learning in a great number of its low-quality institutions, and is discriminatory because rising prices has created access problems for low-income students. The equity of the access to education was affected by the transfer of educational costs upon the population. This transfer has diminished the possibility of having equal opportunities of access to university education. According to the EFA Country Report (2000), the inflation process, the general decrease of living standards along with the developing asymmetry between public education offer and the private one, whose access is conditioned by costs that go far beyond the possibilities of a common family, have also contributed to reducing equal opportunities and equitable access. More to the point, for the ELSPs, during the last two decades the costs of HE have gradually been shifting from the university to the students and their families. The level of funds available to students through the student support system can still be considered to be a barrier to access or widening participation. Lack of certainty about access to discretionary funding was found to act as a deterrent to participation. Indeed, the relatively low level of participation from lower-income groups shows that cost is a barrier, in which case removal or reduction of the costs should lead to increased participation from lower-income groups. This is, in fact, the logic underlying grants, scholarships, but these approaches do not seem to work differentially well for the groups for whom they are intended, thus pointing to the need to review funding locally (institutionally). One such example is represented by students bursaries: although the next bursary instalment is always dependent on the successful completion of the previous semester, there is a risk that the funding may not go towards the desired uses, especially if a student drops out of a course or has failed exams. To date, however, the risk has paid 219

off and any decision to make the scheme more bureaucratic could backfire. Also, the complexity of student funding can make the interpretation of information difficult. Moreover, forthcoming changes to fees and student funding are likely to further increase the overall stress and complexity of the financial decisions facing HE entrants in ELSPs. In all fairness, the system of hardship/social grants has not equalized finances across students, but the award of a bursary or scholarship can be credited to have had some positive psychological impact by way of somewhat reducing students fear of scarcity of funds and debt. One of the recent Romanian Ministry of Education policies for improving access and removing barriers to participation involves a new focus on student short-term credit opportunities. Although these opportunities have been created as joint bankeducational support schemes and have been encouraged in the media, the short-term credit constraints seem to impact adversely on educational choices, particularly at the end of compulsory high schooling. Johnstone (2001, 2004) notes that student populations requiring need-based financial assistance are usually those with low income, low levels of parental education, and little family history of borrowing, which means that governments must guarantee or subsidize loans to students in order to keep the interest rates sufficiently low to encourage student borrowing. A cross-sectional analysis on a pool of students at the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (LBUS) considered across their study years shows that student participation rates across the parental income distribution are significantly higher than those across state support distribution (Florea, forthcoming). In all cases observed, the amount of debt and costs supported by parents until graduation is significantly high, with a distinction between the levels of debt of disabled students, students from rural regions and those from working-class backgrounds which are below expectations. Furthermore, when it comes to short-term loan opportunities, Romania has a long history of aversion to loans of any kind, which means that the government will need to fund either a generous need-based grant programme or a stronger student loan programme. Both seem to be difficult to achieve, particularly because so far banks have been unreliable and are even viewed at times as corrupt. Additionally, interest 220

rates have been high and the period of repayment on loans is typically very short. These conditions have allowed for more room on the governments part to provide subsidies to students and lending institutions. A direction to be explored in the coming years would be the development of a direct lending system run by a government agency to keep interest rates extremely low and to ensure that monthly repayments stay low. In other words, widened access can be achieved as a result of a serious change in the mentality of a mistrustful citizenry that lacks a tradition of relying on loans for most consumer activities, along with ensuring a longer period of currency and banking stability and greater confidence in the government. Institutional barriers In a relatively short number of years, and stimulated by the economic conditions of the 1990s, the enrolment proportions of students in ELSPs increased significantly, from 4,159 in 1990/1991 to 37,682 in 2006/2007, which is more than a nine-fold registered increase (INS 2008). However, despite this progressively huge enrolment, the distribution of students from rural areas, across regions and lower income families decreased while those of students from urban areas and higher income families increased, indicating that the enrolment gap among students from different socioeconomic background has been growing (INS 2008). With regard to admission processes, they represent the hidden side of access and the very socio-technical tools which are aimed at organizing student inux to ELSPs. Here too, there is an increasingly complex reading of inequalities which is even more difficult to assess as the same goal can be pursued through different admission processes which can be continuously readapted as unexpected effects are manifested. In ELSP institutions, admission is granted on the basis of academic qualifications, entrance examinations and/or high school performance. Special favourable policies and allowances are made for Roma applicants, Moldavian applicants and outstanding students. In 1998, the Ministry of Education started implementing an education consolidation programme and launched several special, affirmative, anti-discrimination programmes. It included the fol221

lowing measures: 150 places were set aside annually in universities for young Roma for the purpose of training them as teachers, elementary schools teachers, social assistants, in Roma language and culture, law and political science. 85% of the places were occupied that year (Ringold 2000). Yet the problems generated by admission policies based on credentials and their relationship to merit, especially when associated with privatization and market-like forces, become even more complicated. Along with the other specializations, ELSPs chose to rely on numerical criteria as one set of factors in admissions because they were thought to be somewhat helpful, though by no means perfect, in predicting future academic performance of entrants. In retrospect, after a decade-long experience, no sensible ELSP admissions officer would nowadays pretend that the grades and scores considered as credentials of applicants are the only or true components of merit. Reducing an individuals accomplishments and potential to a number has compelled our faculties to ignore motivation, competence, maturity and many language qualifications which are not (or hardly) reflected by any high school graduation standardized test scores or grades. For these academic programmes, as well as elsewhere, such problems arising from too lax an admission policy, based on credentials and its relative relationship to merit, have been consistently ignored since the 1990s. Indeed, until a few years ago such a credentials-based admissions policy was regarded as strategically good because it allowed for good temporary institutional functioning while showing an open, meritocratic distribution of credentials. However, according to Calhoun (2006), although such a credential inflation resulting from expanded access apparently implies more open and meritocratic distribution of existing credentials, in fact, it calls for an urgent reconsideration of prestige differentiations among apparently identical credentials. Among the several disadvantages noted in locally devised entrance examinations, which may lead to failures in ensuring access and equity, we should note regional barriers. There is a dearth of information available to students, but the farther students live from the institution they wish to attend the less information and less access they are likely to have about the admis222

sions exam and what it takes to succeed. In addition to this, students and their families must also be able to afford to travel to distant locations for admissions exams. Students who live close to HE institutions can often avail themselves of test tutoring, while students at more distant locations do not have these opportunities. It can be argued in this respect that the development of private HE as an alternative to the public one has led to an increase in the number of university centres, and geographical accessibility has been much improved. However, student enrolment is considerably higher in public universities because of the high standards they have been striving to maintain over the years. There is also a mindset barrier associated with Englishlanguage study, but not limited to them, known as coaching, tutoring or parallel education. Coaching represents a private supplement to education that follows the state education and consists of preparing (coaching) pupils privately, in most cases individually, through supplementary lessons given by teachers or persons with higher qualifications, paid directly by the family. (EFA country report 2000) In the past coaching has determined by and large the degree of success or failure of students in entrance examinations, whether before 1989 when admission was determined solely by a national examination or in the 1990s when a theoretical entrance examination was administered by universities. Over the last decade, even though the admission criteria have changed and rested exclusively on students high school performance, coaching practices have not disappeared. They have been transferred to the high school period, during which the dose of extra teaching is understood as necessary for obtaining better high school grades that will later be considered as admission criteria by universities. Obviously, coaching, considered to be the spontaneous regulation of the quality of education (EFA 2000), contributes to the polarization of education by social distinctions and narrows the access to education of students coming from low income families. Some even speak about schools undermining the admissions process, and recent educational policies have tried to make public education a sufficient basis for getting ac223

cess to high schools and universities. This private supplement to education was perpetuated by inertia and fed by the old elements that persisted in the university admission requirements for well over a decade (between 1990 and 2000). The old curriculum used to focus on transmission and reproduction of a large quantity of knowledge. With the recent emphasis on a new paradigm in learning, that is, shifting the emphasis from reproductive to problem-solving education and formative evaluation, parallel private coaching has almost disappeared at tertiary level. But it remains a widespread practice at high school level and below. Special emphasis will be laid on sustainable knowledge as well as on acquisition of general knowledge during high school with specialization occurring later in the interactive teaching-learning process at university level. Besides the aforementioned problems, inequity in the present admission system to ELSPs appears to be exacerbated by other factors. Applications for admissions show regional disparities and can be limited to a relatively small number of students because of the cost and distance of travel to the entrance examination venues: for example, the ELSPs at LBUS, on a three generation analysis, have had a good 60 percent of enrolled students coming from Oltenia, mainly from the Dolj, Gorj and Valcea counties, showing that admission information was more available and widespread across those regions. Likewise, for roughly the same reasons, students graduating from high schools located in rural areas or with low standards in learning are obviously at a greater disadvantage than the graduates from well reputed high schools, located in major cities. And finally, the present system provides notoriously ample opportunities for baccalaureate exam corruption, dishonest assessment and exam administration, all of which are affecting the quality of the enrolled cohorts of students. I maintain that criteria for admissions, and correlatively high quality selection, remain an important indicator for the prestige of all ELSPs and should therefore be reconsidered at its most essential points: accessibility to large geographical distances, clear admission requirements, objective measurement of admissions applicants, etc. Perhaps expansion of access to Romanian HE can be further increased by replacing the existing procedures and by returning to applying a unified state examination. It can 224

be a high-stakes admission test, similar to the SAT in the US, and at the same time it can be a nationwide objective measurement of admissions applicants which will replace the inconclusive high-school exit exams and most single-university admissions interviews or tests in place. It remains to be clarified which subjects need to be tested for entrance into which HE institutions, and whether the requirements for such a national test indeed need to be standardized, and whether all Romanian HE institutions will accept such a test for determining admissions. Such an admissions system could not only make a significant advance in the attempt to widen access and equity in HE admission policies, but could also restore the quality and Europe-wide recognition our teaching system used to have. Another barrier to access is represented by a general lack of institutional flexibility. This is reflected in a certain organizational resistance to change, noticeable throughout the last two decades of development. Starting in 1989, various attempts to challenge conservatism in English-Language Study departments have met with resistance because they effectively challenged aspects of the ongoing renewal of academic makeup. Despite these indications of resistance the mainstream was nonetheless in favour of change, so that today we can say that quality assurance in academic programmes have shaped the present day position of ELSPs for the better. This is noticeable in the way in which they have begun to respond to the needs of the emerging market economy by changing programme content, readjusting the size of programmes, and building in more flexibility. New fields of study, such as business and modern macro and micro-economics were introduced, while other areas were removed. Over-specialization and overenrolment have been counteracted by the introduction of interdisciplinary programmes. Flexibility has been increased through the introduction of short programmes, retraining programmes and continuing education. Quality of faculty is being upgraded through the development of postgraduate programmes to train the next generation of academic staff, while the National University Research Council is funding the development of new postgraduate programmes and related research. However, in many ELSP institutions, more notably in the less credible private universities, knowledge is stored in inacces225

sible academic journal articles written for the approbation of a handful of colleagues or simply for a line on a vita. Opportunities to do research are treated not as a public trust but more as a reward for previous studies, and the research itself is too often treated as a new means to promotion rather than as an opportunity to benefit others. Too often, there is more investment to protect the autonomy of disciplines than to develop knowledge in interdisciplinary projects or ensure the wider circulation of knowledge. However, across the sector mechanisms for quality assurance are being constantly strengthened, and accountability for maintaining standards has been achieved through the periodic review of programmes as provided for in the Accreditation Law Standards. Incentives for quality improvements at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels have been introduced through competitive grants for programme innovation, and research and public expenditures have been allotted to make up for past neglect by increasing resources to development, innovations and capital investment. Postgraduate ELSPs have been concentrated in only a few selected institutions so that resources could be more focused on developing high quality programmes. Conventional assessment procedures can be regarded as another form of institutional inflexibility. ELSPs have had to adapt their assessment methods so as to cater to the diverse educational backgrounds of students. Although progress has been made in this respect, there is still enough evidence that in certain institutions the emphasis is still on students learning to adapt in HE. Indeed, students need to adjust themselves in engaging the teaching practices of English studies, and a good many of them have reported mismatched expectations of the teaching and learning methods that they found in HE. Among students, a sense of discontent enhances the idea that the methods they had been taught previously in high schools were no longer appropriate and could give them little preparation for HE learning. Likewise, in my own English department at least, there seems to be little evidence of teachers adapting their assessment methods to cater for the diverse educational backgrounds of students; rather, the pressure is on students to learn to cope with the difficulty of HE teaching methods and assessments. In this direction, varying the forms of assessment may work for the benefit of all students 226

including, in the sense of widening participation for underrepresented groups, for those comfortable with a wider range of methods (such as disabled students). Students with disabilities have often reported difficulty with conservative assessment methods. These often pose particular challenges for students with dyslexia and unseen disabilities, blind and partially-sighted or deaf and hearing-impaired students, wheel chair users and students with mobility difficulties. The teaching context which is most problematic for those with disabilities is lectures, where barriers may include the number of slides presented, the lack of a break, the speed of course delivery, the difficulties of listening/watching and speedy note taking. Individual barriers Individual student barriers can take various forms and pose varying degrees of pressure. An individuals motivation and attitudes to learning is such a barrier. The students motivation to learn is related to personal values and aspirations, material rewards for completing the course, and perhaps the political significance and degree of success of their collective efforts. Also, the poor perception of some fields in terms of careers can impinge on access and affect rates of participation. The percentage of total student enrolments in public and private higher education represented by programmes in Economics, Law, and the Humanities has risen from 61.7 percent in 1996 to 67.5 percent in 2004. In private higher education, enrolments have also heavily skewed towards Economics, Law, and the Humanities, which represented 94.2 percent of total enrolments in private higher education in 2004. Among the most required fields of studies, the trend is rising in Economics and the Humanities, but is on the decrease in Law, while the percentage of both Law and Humanities private enrolments in the total field of enrolments decreased. (Korda and Nicolescu 2007: 367) There has been a rapid increase in numbers of new disciplines which offer strong employment opportunities for degree-holders. After 1989, such opportunities have fluctuated wildly over time, alternatively, engineering, physics, computing, psychology, jour227

nalism, and law offered careers of mass choice. Engineering became unpopular after many industries closed down in the course of the 1990s, but regained popularity in the early 2000s after the new boom in industry (communications, metal industry, chemical industry, etc.) and construction. Law became popular in the 1990s because of a lack of trained professionals in the field, but has been less so since 2000 because of an excess of law graduates. The social sciences have been consistently popular since 1989, since they were unavailable during communist times. Different disciplines will inevitably hold positions of greater or lesser institutional influence and appeal. In Romania the most prestigious now are faculties of economics and law. These disciplines often have a very different concept of research, funding and scholarship than that of disciplines within the humanities. In both the private and public HE sectors a stronger orientation toward the student market rather than the labour market can be observed. Disciplines which require low infrastructure costs and little investment as determined by student demand and market logic or resource dependency theory (Amaral et al. 2007: 637) are the winners in current popularity stakes. In addition to this rising tide of philistinism, some scholars might be tempted to agree with Stanley Fish, who infamously asserted that humanities cannot be justified except in relation to the pleasure they give to those who enjoy them (Paquette 2009:1). Universities, particularly institutions with ELSPs, have faced both shortages and over-capacity, since the job market was very turbulent in the 1990s. Ideally, a balance between the ELSPs that have attracted sufficient numbers of students and those that have met the demands of teachers (the Letters specialization) or been valued by employers of Modern Applied Languages graduates has to be struck by our educational policy makers. Radical demographic shifts have unfortunately worked against educational policies of late, and now we are witnessing a dramatic decrease in students enrolment coupled with an almost unacceptable lowering of standards. Under these circumstances, the prospects depend on the strategies of ELSP departments to renegotiate their status social function, and position their offerings in a balance between academic programmes quality and the need for mass/diverse access. 228

Works Cited Amaral, Alberto., Maria Joo Rosa, and Diana Amado Tavares, Portugal. The Rising Role and Relevance of Private Higher Education in Europe. Eds. Peter James Wells, Jan Sadlak, and Lazar Vlsceanu. Bucharest: Universul S.A, 2007. Calhoun, Craig. The University and the Public Good. Thesis, 11(84), 2006. 743. Duru-Bellat, Marie. Democratisation of Education and Reduction in Inequalities of Opportunities: an Obvious Link? European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, 2005. EFA Country Report on Romania (2000); 24 Nov. 2008. < romania/rapport_1.html>. Florea, Silvia. Between and Across Cultures: The Challenge of Education. Lucian Blaga Univ. Press (in press). Goastellec, Gaelle. Globalization and Implementation of an Equity Norm in Higher Education. Peabody Journal of Education, 2008. Johnstone, Bruce D. Sharing the Costs of Higher Education, New York, College Entrance Examination Board,1986. Johnstone, Bruce D. Student Loans in International Perspective: Promises and Failures, Myths and Partial Truths. Buffalo: State University of New York, 2000. , Response to Austerity: The Imperatives and Limitations of Revenue Diversification in Higher Education. Buffalo: State University of New York, 2001. , The Economics and Politics of Cost Sharing in Higher Education: Comparative Perspectives. Economics of Education Review. No. 23 (2004): 40310. National Institute of Statistics (INS). Education. Chapter 8. Bucharest: INS, 2008. Nicolescu, Luminita. Contribution of Higher Education in Transition towards the Market Economy: the Case of Roma229

nia. Ten Years of Economic Transformation. Kari Luihto, vol. III, Societies and Institutions in Transition, LUT Studies in Industrial Engineering and Management no. 16, 2001. 253-281. 2001b. Nicolescu, Luminita and Mihai Korda. Romania. The Rising Role and Relevance of Private Higher Education in Europe. Eds. Peter James Wells, Jan Sadlak and Lazar Vlsceanu. Bucharest: Universul S.A, 2007. Paquette, Gabriel. The Relevance of the Humanities. Inside Higher Education, 22 Jan. 2009. <>. Ringold, Dena. Education of the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe: Trends and Challenges. World Bank Report. Washington [D.C.]: World Bank, 2000. Trow, Martin. The Transition from Elite to Mass Higher Education. Paris: OECD, 1974. Wolf, Alison. Does Education Matter? Myths about Education and Economic Growth. London, Penguin, 2002.


Part III Collaborations and Circulations

Student and Faculty Exchanges Involving the English Department of Sofia University
Alexander Shurbanov1
For decades on end the English Department of Sofia University had been the object of envy and wonder among other departments of foreign languages and literatures on account of its continuous international student exchange programme. In the conditions of enforced isolation from the western world, from the 1960s through the 1980s our top English majors of every year were given the chance of spending three to four months in Britain, where they could prepare their final year dissertations with access to adequate academic libraries and expert advice. There were propitious times when up to a dozen Sofia graduants could take advantage of this cherished opportunity. How was this possible? Many answers can be given to this question, but at the bottom are the good will and the mutual trust and collegiality of Bulgarian and British academics, who were convinced that the exchange was worthwhile and would be beneficial for both sides. The initiator and mainspring of the entire programme was, beyond all doubt, Professor Michael Holman. When the ball was started rolling, he was still a young lecturer in the Slavic Department of Leeds University, with very little institutional leverage but unprepared to accept that academic contacts across the geopolitical divide were precluded apriori. He put a lot of energy into establishing friendly relations with people in decision-making positions both in England and Bulgaria and persuading a number of Slavic departments in his country to send their students to Sofia for a semester-long instruction in Russian and Bulgarian. The students were asked to leave part of their grants behind for their Bulgarian counterparts to live on during their stay in Britain. The mechanism of this 233

exchange is laid out in detail in Michaels account in this volume, so I neednt go into that here. The problems to solve on our side were several and we tried to cope with them as best we could. The first of these was the need to obtain administrative cooperation from our Ministry of Education and the Rectors office of Sofia University. The British students had to be provided with adequate accommodation, free tuition and all academic privileges plus a complimentary sightseeing tour around Bulgaria at the end of their course of studies. Our second task was to persuade the teaching staff of the Russian Department to offer unpaid classes to the visiting students. In addition, we had to provide Bulgarian language instruction mainly from the resources of our own faculty. Last but not least, it was up to us as co-organizers of the exchange to resist all outside pressures to compromise the selection of the Bulgarian participants by accepting criteria other than academic performance. This standard was not easy to maintain in the centralized, ideologically riddled and corrupted setup in which we had to function. Nothing is permanent in this sublunary world even the apparently eternal Cold War division of Europe came to an end with the collapse in late 1989 of its most palpable symbol, the Berlin Wall. This tremendous change reverberated throughout the system. Ironically, one of its consequences was the virtual impossibility to continue the student exchange programme between Britain and Bulgaria. With the opening up of Eastern Europe for all sorts of traffic with the West and the relaxation of long-established restrictions, it became unprofitable for British students to continue leaving their stipends behind for Bulgarian students to use. Now they could simply travel anywhere with their strong British currency in their pockets, paying for everything they needed abroad and still feeling much better off than they did at home. Bulgarian candidates for educational trips to Britain were thus left in the lurch. New exchange schemes were bound to appear sooner or later. First the Tempus and then the Erasmus and Socrates projects of the European community offered enticing opportunities for student mobility. The post-communist nouveaux riches, of course, tapped their own ample resources for the advancement 234

of their offspring but not for the others. In these circumstances, the Sofia English Department tried to contrive new incentives for academic excellence among its students. It instituted two internal grants for promising young researchers, named after the eminent Bulgarian Anglicists Professor Marco Mincoff and Professor Andrey Danchev and subsidized jointly with the Open Society and Sts Cyril and Methodius foundations. While these scholarships were helpful for the most talented students in an economically and financially difficult period in the national history, enabling them to concentrate on their studies and research projects, they were hardly sufficient to support specializations abroad. The new, Kalina Filipova, grant, which has succeeded them, is of a similar character and magnitude. It is yet to be seen what its effect may be. The scholarship that has provided the most stable and continuous opportunity for our best students academic mobility during the last dozen years and that is administered directly by the Sofia English Department is the one created explicitly for it by the University of Roehampton in London. This is a onesemester free tuition and accommodation offer for the most outstanding third-year student, which was made by the late Professor Stephen Holt, then Rector of Roehampton, after his visit to Sofia University on the occasion of its English Departments seventieth anniversary in 1998. The fifteen undergraduates who have benefited from the programme so far have founded a Sofia Roehampton Alumni Club dedicated to the continuation and development of the cooperation between our two universities. The scholarship initiative actually belonged to our dear friend Simon Edwards, long-time member of Roehamptons English Department. Just as Michael Holman played year after year the generous host to legions of Sofia students, Simon has done the same for a series of them that is still growing. The warmth, care and understanding of these two colleagues truly surpass all praise and gratitude. As for the exchange of teachers, it is of relatively shorter standing. The Leeds-Sofia programme was the first in this respect too. At its later stages some staff members of the Sofia English Department on a smaller scale than the students, of course, were also given the chance of spending short periods 235

of research in Britain. After 1989 such opportunities increased exponentially albeit for a limited time. Lecturers were exchanged regularly between the University of Sofia and the Universities of Roehampton and Sheffield. The heads of the English Departments of the latter two, Professors Ann Thompson and Michael Hattaway encouraged a number of their teaching staff to participate in the exchange and welcomed our faculty to give lectures and meet with colleagues in their institutions. Soon these British-Bulgarian programmes, supported by the British Council, were complemented by an American-Bulgarian one, with the State University of New York, Albany, which ran for almost a decade, initially subsidized by USIA and then by an anonymous private donation. Directed by the English Department on our side again, it spread over a number of Sofia University departments and subjects, including librarianship. At the other end, this programme like the British ones owed its realization entirely to the enthusiasm and persistence of a colleague and friend, the eminent American Slavic linguist and topnotch specialist in Bulgarian studies, Professor Ernest Scatton. The teaching terms on both sides in this project were considerably longer than the two-week British-Bulgarian stints, extending as they did to a full semester or even a complete academic year. Yet another faculty exchange closely concerning the Sofia English Department is that of lectors. Starting in the mid-1960s, we welcomed British and American academics to help us implement and develop our extensive curricular programmes of practical English. The presence of a native English speaker was very important for both the students and the teachers in the Department. The British Council and, somewhat later, the American Fulbright Commission took good care of this activity and made it possible to turn it into an uninterrupted plan for a number of years. As the British Council ceased to support the scheme in the 1990s, the Fulbright Commission made their supply even more systematic than before. The reciprocal flow of lectors in Bulgarian language, literature and culture to the universities of the English-speaking world was controlled by the Ministry of Education. Since, as a rule, the host institutions in both Britain and the USA wanted people who could teach these subjects in English or through English, and the Bulgarian De236

partments of our universities were incapable of providing such teachers, the Ministry turned most often to the English Departments for help. Thus, from the early 1970s through the late 1980s, quite a few colleagues from the Sofia English Department were recruited to fill the lectors positions at the Universities of London and Oxford as well as the University of California at Los Angeles. An additional lectorship was run during the same period at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, exclusively manned by our Department. All the above kinds of academic exchange have been invaluable for the Sofia English Department. At a time when contacts between East and West were more than discouraged and ideological stereotyping was imposed on thinking of the other, this lively communication across barriers helped both the faculty and the students involved to see the world in a more adequate and unprejudiced way. With the new opportunities opened after 1989, these programmes made it possible for us to mix and cooperate professionally with our colleagues in countries for which English is a native language. They also helped us re-think and update our methods and the structural framework of our teaching in accordance with the needs of the time. The next step will probably be a development of individual and group international projects coordinated, though no longer directed, by the Department. Some evidence of this new movement is already in place. Notes

Alexander Shurbanov was Head of the English Department of Sofia University during 1977-79, 1989-93, and 1996-2002.


Interview: Reflections on Collaborative Experience
Michael Holman1
On the specifics of the scheme of collaboration Q: What were the activities that the collaboration was initiated for? The scheme of co-operation between the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia and the University of Leeds (UK) was initiated by the Department of Russian Studies (Leeds, Michael Holman) in collaboration with the Department of English and American Studies (Sofia, Zhana Molhova). It was in operation for thirty years, from 1968/9 to 1999. As the scheme gained in momentum, a number of other institutions in Britain and Bulgaria were drawn in. British institutions which at one time or another sent undergraduate students of Russian to Sofia and received small numbers of students of English from Bulgaria included the universities of Exeter, Heriot-Watt, Hull, Manchester, Norwich (UEA), Nottingham, Reading, Surrey, Sussex, the Polytechnic of Central London, Newcastle Polytechnic and the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education (High Wycombe). At various times during the schemes operation, postgraduate students and members of staff from Leeds and Sofia were exchanged on an ad hoc basis, primarily to facilitate access to libraries and promote research. I visited Sofia almost every year to continue my research, to service and develop the exchange and to monitor the progress of the British students. Staff responsible for the fulfillment of foreign residence requirements at the other British universities involved in the scheme also occasionally visited Sofia to monitor their students progress. For the whole period of its operation the scheme was run from the University of Leeds. Over the last fifteen years or so, 239

however, following the participation of universities wishing to send students of Russian to Sofia for tuition in Russian, it was operated in close collaboration with the Russian Language Undergraduate Study Committee (RLUSC). Q: What were the expected outcomes and benefits when the collaboration was initiated? Leeds students of Russian and Bulgarian, and students of Russian from other British Universities, were able to gain first-hand experience of living in a Slavonic, socialist country comparing life there with the life some of them had seen on exchanges with the Soviet Union. Intensive, specially organized classes in Russian and Bulgarian combined with the experience of everyday life in the student hostel, in Sofia and on trips round the country, led to an improvement in their active and passive command of the Bulgarian language. Students of Russian benefited from well-organised courses provided by specialist teachers of Russian at Sofia University. Sofia students of English, selected from among those academically best qualified, had a unique opportunity to spend an extended period living among students in a capitalist country, working on their dissertations and travelling widely throughout the country. Q: What period was covered? The scheme (1968/9 to 1999) enabled British undergraduates predominantly from Leeds University in their penultimate year of studying Russian (sometimes, as was the case with Leeds, studying Bulgarian as a special subject) to spend three months, (April to June) at Sofia University studying Russian and Bulgarian. In exchange, Sofia sent Final year students of English, all writing dissertations in English, to spend upwards of three months at the University of Leeds, (usually April to June) attending classes, using the libraries and receiving guidance on their dissertations. Q: Was the exchange unilateral/bilateral/multilateral? Which countries/institutions were involved? On an inter-institutional level, the exchange was primarily bilateral, British sending institutions receiving Bulgarian students on 240

a student-month exchange basis, and aiming at institutional parity year-by-year. Occasionally, especially in the mature, stable years, small numbers of student months were carried over from one year to the next, primarily between Sofia and Leeds. Occasionally student months were transferred between British institutions. The exchange was multilateral if considered on an intrainstitutional level, for while Sofia sent students of English to the UK to study topics primarily related to English literature and language (and therefore taught in departments of English), the British exchange students were taught primarily by the Department of Russian and by Bulgarian language specialists in the Department of English and American Studies. With the development of resource-centred funding based on student numbers, this lack of departmental parity of input caused certain problems, for the departments providing supervision for the incoming Sofia students felt under increasing pressure to charge for their services. Q: How did the collaboration come into being? The initiative had its roots in personal contacts. In 1965 I spent three months (October to December) at the University of Sofia on a British Council funded postgraduate scholarship. (I had married a Bulgarian, resident in Sofia in April 1965.) In 1966 I took up a post as assistant lecturer in Russian Studies at the University of Leeds. Czech was already being taught as a special subject within the Department of Russian Studies, and the Head of Department, Professor Frank Borras, supported my initiative to begin teaching Bulgarian on the same basis. Professor Borras had recently embarked on an undergraduate exchange with the University of Brno, and the University was minded to support the establishment of exchange links with other universities in Eastern and Central Europe to enable its students to experience at first hand life in the countries whose languages they were studying. I made it my business, supported by the Department and the University, to investigate the possibilities of establishing a similar link with the University of Sofia.


Q: To what degree was it formalized? Were written agreements made? What sorts of sanctions were secured? The exchange was established within the terms of the Cultural Agreement between Bulgaria and the United Kingdom. Eventually, separate written agreements were drawn up and signed by representatives of the University of Sofia and the University of Leeds. These usually covered the overall aims and objectives of the co-operation extending forward over a number of years, while separate agreements covering a year at a time were entered into by exchange of letters between the Department of Russian Studies in Leeds, the Ministry of Education in Sofia and the Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University. Sanctions were never discussed, but the ultimate sanction was always withdrawal from the scheme. Q: What sorts of administrative arrangements were made? The only administrative arrangements in place before overtures were made to Sofia University were the provisions of the Cultural Agreement. These were crucial to the initiative, and over the years I had to make sure that as new Cultural Agreements were prepared for signature, they included clauses facilitating links between institutions and the exchange of undergraduates. At Leeds University I worked with the support of the Head of Department and the agreement of the university authorities responsible for international contacts. More widely, I also liaised closely with the British Council, both at the London Head Office and also in Sofia, via the Cultural Attach, a British Council appointee, based, since the closure of the British Council Sofia office by the Bulgarian authorities in the late 1940s, within the British Embassy. In Sofia I had to obtain the support of the university authorities and the section of the Ministry of Education responsible for links with foreign institutions. I also liaised closely with representatives of the Committee for Friendship. It was a mammoth task, for the support of all these various authorities and more behind the scenes, no doubt had to be obtained and maintained, and this at a time when the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the crushing of the reform movement had led officialdom in East and Central Europe to be cautious in promoting new links with the West. I periodically ob242

tained financial support from the British Council for a variety of study trips to Bulgaria, and these enabled me to keep the machine well-oiled by doing the rounds of the various offices and institutions involved and building up relationships with new appointees to important enabling offices. Q: What sorts of broader (other than personal) incentives and disincentives were relevant to initiating such a collaboration? Despite the clampdown following the crushing of the Prague spring, in Bulgaria there were people in key positions, both in the Ministry of Education and the University of Sofia, still prepared to experiment and take small risks in the interest of their institutions. I was lucky in my overtures, for I chanced upon people who had the necessary political credentials to feel confident in taking risks for the benefit of their students and themselves! For if the students were to travel to Britain and study there, then the officials responsible for the exchange would be able to travel too. And this they did, to their and the students advantage. Having a link with Leeds meant that Leeds University could issue invitations to academics at Sofia University, and on the basis of these invitations, visas could be issued for travel to the UK. Similarly, invitations issued by the University of Sofia enabled students and staff from Leeds to obtain visas for travel to Bulgaria. Q: How was the collaboration funded? At the UK end, there was little or no separate, direct funding for the exchange in addition to the student grants. The key to the funding of the exchanges lay in the requirements, adopted by an increasing number of British universities in the 1960s, for students enrolled on Modern Language courses to spend a compulsory period of residence in the country or countries whose languages they were studying. The periods varied in length from a few weeks to a whole academic year, and degrees were only awarded to students who had fulfilled their foreign residence requirements. This meant that the Local Education Authorities (LEAs) were obliged to provide funds for foreign residence to enable students they were supporting to obtain their degrees. The actual operation of the various schemes of study at different 243

universities was complicated, but in essence the grants provided by the LEAs had to cover travel, subsistence food and accommodation and academic fees. British undergraduates going to Sofia received heavily subsidised accommodation in a postgraduate student hostel, a monthly stipend from the Bulgarian authorities, and tuition at Sofia University in Russian and Bulgarian. In exchange, Leeds University provided access to libraries, some tuition and research supervision. The outgoing Leeds students left behind in Leeds a proportion of their grant, thus providing the Bulgarian students with sufficient money for food and lodging in a student hostel. At various times I was able to obtain from the Bulgarian authorities usually through the good offices of the Committee for Friendship a small grant to enable British students to take part in some organised excursions outside Sofia. And in the UK, the Great Britain East Europe Centre at times provided small travel grants to enable the Bulgarian students to extend their knowledge of Britain beyond Leeds and West Yorkshire! On the experience of the collaboration Q: Have any records been maintained of the conduct of these collaborations? Over the thirty or so years I was involved in the operation of the exchange with Sofia, a considerable amount of paperwork accumulated. Much of this was of ephemeral importance and will not have been preserved. Copies of Agreements, however, and correspondence with the different institutions involved will have been preserved, and will eventually find its way into the University Archive. Until it has been sorted, though, access will be difficult, so for time being, I will hold on to the materials I still have and would be happy to make them available to serious researchers. Q: How many students/tutors benefited or took part? Numbers involved in any one year depended on the number of British students who opted to study Russian in Sofia rather than on courses in the USSR, and the number of Leeds students who opted to take Bulgarian as a special subject and opt to go to 244

Sofia rather than to the Soviet Union. Over the whole period of its operation, the scheme enabled between 300 and 400 undergraduates from Britain to go to Bulgaria and the equivalent number of Bulgarian students to come to Britain. It is difficult, without having the papers to hand, to estimate the numbers of staff and postgraduates who benefited from travel under the exchange scheme, but I would estimate that in the region of a dozen British academics involved in exchanges who will have visited Bulgaria in connection with the scheme, while upwards of forty different members of Sofia University will have come to Leeds. Half a dozen postgraduates will also have spent time in Leeds on a variety of research projects. In addition, as Leeds was the only institution outside London University (School of Slavonic and East European Studies) teaching Bulgarian, we were frequently on the itineraries of academics from Bulgaria visiting the UK on exchange and other schemes run by the British Council, the British Academy and the Great Britain East Europe Centre. Q: What are/were the educational, academic (incl. research), and interpersonal developments/ benefits for the persons involved? My own involvement with the exchange programme enabled me to work on a variety of research and publication projects with academics from Sofia University and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. We have published papers and books together and have organized conferences both in Bulgaria and in the UK. (I am currently working, together with my co-author from Sofia University, on the third edition of Teach Yourself Bulgarian, first published in 1993. My co-author came to Leeds first as an undergraduate, later as a postgraduate and finally as a lector. It was during this latter stay that we worked together to produce the first edition of the course.) Contacts made in Bulgaria during the early years of the exchange introduced me to translators and writers which in turn led to my translating works of Bulgarian literature into English. I cannot conceive of my academic career without this close involvement with Sofia University. I have been twice decorated by the Bulgarian Government for services to Anglo-Bulgarian cultural interchange and have also been 245

awarded an Honorary D. Litt. by Sofia University. I have recently been elected to honorary membership of the Bulgarian Union of Translators. Many of the Bulgarian students who participated in the undergraduate exchange have returned as postgraduates and then as members of staff. Some, like my co-author, have been seconded to Leeds University as Bulgarian lectors, assisting me in the teaching of Bulgarian to generations of students, some of whom have gone on to use Bulgarian in their careers. Many of the Bulgarian students who came to Leeds have gone on to distinguished careers in academia, business, diplomacy and public administration. Of course there can never be any proof, but I like to think that the unique experience of an extended study period in Britain at an impressionable time in their lives broadened their horizons and contributed to their professional success. Q: Were/are there institutional benefits? From the late 1970s on, Leeds University became a centre for the study of things Bulgarian in the UK. After my retirement in 1999, Bulgarian continued to be taught, albeit at a slightly reduced intensity, at the undergraduate level, postgraduates have been supervised on PhD dissertations, and the Senior Lecturer in charge of the Russian teaching has developed strong links with historians and theologians at Sofia University. The emphasis has changed, but the link has been maintained. From very early on in the exchange, we received an enormous amount of assistance in the way of books and current newspapers from the Committee for Friendship, from Sofia University, from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and from the National Library in Sofia. This enabled us to build up in the Brotherton Library an excellent collection of works on Bulgarian, literature, language, history, culture, ethnography and politics, sufficient for undergraduate study and the first year of postgraduate study in a variety of areas. Most of this material was in Bulgarian, but there were also numerous translations of Bulgarian literature in English. Q: What sorts of continuities and discontinuities were experienced in these collaborations as times and contexts changed? 246

Looking back over the period of my involvement with the academic exchange programme between Leeds University and Sofia, I am amazed at the way in which we were able to keep the link going over such a long period, despite changes in political direction in Sofia. In part this has to be put down to the fact that both sides recognized the academic benefits of the scheme and, in Sofia at least, many of those who had personally benefited, continued to be involved with academic and other forms of exchange with Britain in their careers. Undergraduate participants became postgraduates, then university lecturers and then moved into senior positions. Almost all the senior academic staff in the Department of English and American Studies have at one time or another spent periods in Leeds and acknowledge the benefit of this experience to their academic careers. The current Rector of Sofia University2 himself once briefly came to Leeds as a postgraduate, and his father, a previous Rector and Minister of Education, once worked closely with me on the organization of Anglo-Bulgarian Colloquia. At a time when travel to the West was restricted, the exchange kept an extra window open to another, different world, a world of which they had once been part but from which ideology sought to separate them. By setting up, maintaining and developing the exchange, in some small way we made it easier, once the ideology had been cast aside, for normal relations to be resumed from one side of Europe to the other. There is no longer any need for, nor any possibility of the type of exchange we set up with socialist Bulgaria. Students and staff are now able to travel more freely, money if it is available can be freely transferred, and large numbers of Bulgarian students are enrolled on courses in Britain and across Europe. Retrospection or current perception of the collaboration Q: What sorts of longer-term impact (beyond those within the plan and rationale of the collaboration) has the collaboration had for the participating persons/institutions? I find this question very difficult to answer from my current position as a retired former Head of the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies and former Head of the School of Modern Languages at Leeds University. Better equipped than me are 247

those currently working in the two universities involved. Of one thing, however, I am sure: had I not been closely connected with practical translators and theoreticians of translation in Sofia, I would never have persevered, during my last years in Leeds, with the development of translation studies as a separate discipline at Leeds. Nor would I have embarked on the establishment of the one-year postgraduate course leading to MA in Applied Translation Studies. This course has been hugely successful, spawning a variety of postgraduate courses in aspects of translation and interpreting, and Leeds has become one of the major centres in the UK for translator training. Notes

Michael Holman coordinated the collaboration between the University of Leeds and Sofia University from 1968 to 1999. Professor Ivan Ilchev, Rector from November 2007 in reference. Editors note.


Between Sofia and London
Simon Edwards1
Contexts I begin by describing in very general terms two different contexts in which the collaboration between the English departments of Sofia University and Roehampton University has evolved. Firstly, I suggest some reasons for the initially perceived remoteness of Bulgaria on the mental map of Europe as it existed among the British. Secondly, I sketch some of the changes taking place in British higher education in the last twenty years and in particular in the field of English Studies. Finally, I provide a largely anecdotal account of some of the achievements of the collaboration, culminating, as it does, in the setting up of a student scholarship enabling undergraduate students of English from Sofia to join classes at Roehampton for a semester. There are no grand conclusions to be drawn from the history of this small, enduring and for the most part enlightened scheme. Roehampton has no Slavonic Studies programme and thus unlike Leeds and Sheffield (and Albany in the USA) no prima facie case, in terms of reciprocal activities, for sustaining the collaboration. There has been no formal project of curriculum development, such as those in the past funded by Tempus. Perhaps this informal educational experiment has been simply an exercise in mutual good will and an illustration of what universities were once thought to be for: to provide the opportunity to advance, case by individual case, understanding, knowledge, and experience among a hypothetical international community of scholarship and learning. In these last twenty years, however, the question of what universities are for, not least in relation to how they are funded and organised, has shown itself to be highly contentious. While the Bologna Declaration proposes an ideal European form of 249

university education (it is regarded with considerable scepticism by the British), its terms are compounded and complicated by the consolidation of English as the lingua franca of a globalised order of teaching and learning as well as by the very different funding arrangements currently within the UK system. Thus, as this collection of essays confirms, the role of English (and indeed American) Studies in the Anglo-Saxon system of higher education is of necessity a significant point of enquiry and debate. Nevertheless, traces of the Bologna ideal do appear faintly in the almost incidental exchange of some academic practices between our universities. More significant, however, has been the evidence of just how well the skills brought by the Sofia students, the product of the Bulgarian curriculum, match if not exceed those of our home students. Just after I had agreed to contribute to this volume the editors drew my attention to an extraordinary project launched by the British Council in Bulgaria between 2001 and 2003: Branding Bulgaria. Evidence of this project comes in the form of a small bi-lingual book entitled Take It Easy: Towards a Strategy for Representing Bulgaria. (A website seems to have been set up at the same time with the last posting in 2007, but is currently unavailable.) The cover illustration of the book consists of what, on first sight, appears like a cache of amphetamines whose casing is red, white and green, the colours of the Bulgarian national flag. Closer examination suggests that this is in fact a pile of dried beans, implying, one supposes, an update on traditional Bulgarian cuisine. Here was a cool, stylish, laid-back young country, high on speed rather than pulses, and committed to taking it easy. While the project team were all local from a wide range of backgrounds in cultural representation, government, tourism, business, fine arts, academia and the media, anxious to share and cross-fertilise ideas and experiences, there was also the obligatory Project Consultant, Professor Alan Durant of the University of Middlesex. We are told early on in the book that in the mid-nineties, the tag, national image was replaced by national brand... National brands sell the country as a product and lifestyle (Mineva 2003: 7). Of course there was a deep and surely unconscious irony that it should be the British Council 250

rather than a Bulgarian organisation that took on this project of branding, and even more the implied proprietorial claim over the country as though it were some vast ranch or plantation, its inhabitants slaves or cattle, a rich source of exploitation. Absurd, presumptuous and fanciful as this project now seems, two points may be worth making. One is that Bulgaria almost certainly had dropped under the radar of general British perceptions since the 1870s. There were exceptions of course to which I will return, and the branding project itself coincided with a miniature boom in second home buying by the British as their domestic property market spiralled out of control. As I tried to recall each stage of our university collaboration I found that it had met initially a barrier of non- or mis-recognition that had little to do with the generic character of either former communist regimes or the Balkans (as so comprehensively explored in Maria Todorova 1997). Maybe then Bulgaria did indeed need a make over. But an equivalent barrier was that at the same time the UK university system itself became obsessed with corporate branding, with selling itself in international markets. Huge sums of public money were spent calling in consultants and updating logos. Mission statements and business plans proliferated. Franchises were negotiated with dubious private colleges. Discounted fees for mass admissions were hammered out world-wide. The senior management team (aka the Vicechancellor, the Rector, the Provosts, the Deans titles that oddly retained their archaic cachet they too had been re-branded!) jetted around the world to close these deals. Indeed as the British Council itself ran down its resources in eastern Europe it was becoming increasingly, if not exclusively, the agent of selling British education overseas under its own new brand Education UK with its banal slogan The Best You Can Be (since replaced by Innovation. Individual. Inspirational.). Where might an old-fashioned academic exchange fit into this aggressive new market-oriented world? What was in it for us? Roehamptons first contact with Sofia took place after the arrival of Stephen Holt as the new Rector of the university. He had come from the University of Kent, where he had been a colleague of Richard Crampton, the leading British historian of modern Bulgaria. Thus in 1988 he invited Professor Alexander 251

Shurbanov, then on a visit to Leeds, to present a paper to the English department. At this point Todor Zhivkov was still head of a government which had begun opportunistically to target citizens of Turkish origin. The embalmed corpse of Georgi Dimitrov still lay in his mausoleum. Little of this was known. As far as the world of actually existing socialism was concerned it was glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union and Solidarity in Poland that exercised the attentions of the political commentariat. Even tracking backwards to World War Two and its aftermath it was always somewhere else that came into view: The Berlin airlift, and then the Berlin Wall; Titos break with the USSR; the magical Hungarian football team and then the rising of 1956; the rich vein of Polish films in the arthouse cinemas; the Prague spring of 1968; Ceauescus break with the Soviet Union (earning him a Knighthood of the Bath, as well as honours from British universities). While Yugoslavia with its Mediterranean coastline had become a popular holiday resort, Sunny Beach and Golden Sands were the destinations of relatively few non-metropolitan unionised working class communities. Even the hermetically sealed republic of Albania exercised a certain fascination, by virtue of its inaccessibility. So nobody thought much of or about Bulgaria except perhaps in terms of the schoolboy onomastic joke inaugurated by the Russophobe poet Algernon Swinburne (who was to end up living in Putney just a mile away from our university), whose intervention in Gladstones pro-Bulgarian campaign of 1876, insisted on referring to bloody buggers (Goldsworthy 1998: 36). The perversity of this representation might have been confirmed every four years by the flickering images of the hypertrophied bodies of Olympic medal winning weightlifters on our TV screens. Otherwise Bulgaria was simply the source of magnificent red wines, but always at the bottom end of the market, and their magnificence appears the more clearly in retrospect as the new private manufacturers lost contact with the British supermarket buyers. Indeed it was unlikely that anybody in the English department who attended Professor Shurbanovs presentation knew that both Tsvetan Todorov and Julia Kristeva, of whose work they would have been well aware, were of Bulgarian rather than French origin. If Todorov and Kristeva represented aspects of 252

the by then (late 1980s) widely circulating theoretical preoccupations and anxieties common to all programmes in English Studies (as well as other areas of the humanities), there was another set of preoccupations and anxieties vexing the liberal intelligentsia working in UK universities. These concerned the response to the Thatcherite cuts in public service funding. The rhetoric and discourses of the New Left (an oddly disembodied politics in the face of the collapse in support for the Labour party and the defeats to which the trade union movement were subjected) rang as loudly and widely through both managerial debates and conflicts as it did, more abstractly, through the transformations in the English curriculum. There was in fact a central paradox in the development of British universities in the 1980s (and continuing into the 1990s). While budgets were consistently slashed, the same period witnessed the belated growth of a mass system of tertiary education, not least in the successful expansion of the former polytechnic sector. This indeed goes some way to explaining the emphasis on both competitive branding and international marketing, as universities became more and more dependent on overseas tuition fees. Internationalising the campus became a recurring catch phrase, conveying elements of both a worthy academic idealism and an affiliation with the by now modish process of globalisation, while in reality justifying the urgent pursuit of much needed cash. Arguably then it was out of just such a paradox that, with the support of various new funding schemes (not least those like ERASMUS fronted by the European Union), Roehampton was able first to build links with Sofia, and eventually, to smuggle in, from 1999, a highly successful scholarship scheme for their undergraduate students of English. There were some other paradoxes at work too insofar as the roller-coaster ride of expansion (together with the imposition of a new corporate management structure replacing the old collegiality) was accompanied by the appropriation of many of the terms and aims of the New Left. This appropriation took place in both the institutional aspirations of the universities themselves under the rubric of widening participation (sometimes, though not always, achieved), but more importantly in the dissolution of older academic disciplines. English Studies in particular seems 253

to have had a central albeit often troubled role to play here. Its former cloister walls, full of carefully tended canonical plants, seemed rather quickly to acquire a whole set of revolving doors, facing not only on to the street with its single issue politics, but also onto adjoining academic disciplines. Thus not only the impact of structuralist and post-structuralist thought that might be seen as squarely rooted in linguistic theory, but also the rise of feminist criticism, post colonial and queer studies, the new historicism, green reading. Each of the latter absorbed promiscuously from psychology, sociology, philosophy and theology, history, the fine arts, politics, economics, and legal studies. Absorbed and mutated. As the questions of cultural bricolage and hybridity seemed to loom large in the post colonial multicultural landscapes and timelines in new maps of social space and new accounts of British history, literary studies themselves reciprocated with their own hybridised intellectual formations. One further typical paradox may have been the morphing of the cultural materialism, a category of Marxist thought in the 1960s and 1970s, into cultural studies (its emphasis on popular cultural studies often loosely associated with media studies) as part of the new curricular empires of the old polytechnics in particular, less restricted as these were by inherited academic structures. It was these British cultural studies indeed that were to provide, in some part, the intellectual template for the product to be marketed by the British Council, no longer confined by the strictures of what constituted the aesthetic-moral imperatives of high art. Partnership And, let it be said, it was the British Council that provided financial support for the first five years of our association from 1989. Initially, one may suppose, this support would have emerged from its older political-ideological mission in the socialist societies of Eastern Europe, a form of low key cultural infiltration and subversion. The atmosphere of perestroika of the late 1980s (Thatcher herself had claimed Mikhail Gorbachev, its author, as somebody with whom she could do business) might just have given an extra incentive to taking this initiative. Given the events of 1989/90, the Council would have then assumed its 254

continuing support was an appropriate intervention in what looked like an open playing field in terms of the political future, bristling as it was with expectations and uncertainties. Thus it was willing to pay travel and expenses for a member of each department to spend a fortnight in either London or Sofia, with the understanding that the English visitor would teach a range of courses during the fortnight and that the Bulgarian visitor would have the opportunity to undertake research in the subject. This phase of our association culminated in the award of an Honorary Doctorate to Professor Shurbanov in the summer of 1993. Alexander Shurbanovs own achievements in the field of English Studies and as Head of the new Department of English and American Studies that emerged from the old pre-1990 department of English Philology may provide a clue to what lay at the core of curriculum. The exemplary English language skills acquired by students were, as visiting colleagues quickly discovered, a sine qua non (already far in advance of those to be found in many other southern European universities in the 1990s) nor were they confined to students of English. Professor Shurbanov himself was not only a Shakespeare scholar of distinction, but also a translator into Bulgarian of Milton (Paradise Lost), Chaucer (The Canterbury Tales), and Dylan Thomass poetry. Both he and his colleagues in the literature section of the department assumed a deep inwardness with what constituted the canon. This is clearly reflected in the case of his work as a translator in meeting the challenge of the shifting registers of that canon from the arrival of a recognizable English language poetry in the late Middle Ages, through the elaborate baroque syntax and lexicon of the seventeenth century revolutionary Protestant epic, to the intricacies and willed obscurities of mid twentieth century modernist verse. It would be safe to assume that the research and teaching in both theoretical and applied linguistics drew on the same range of interests, sophistication, intellectual command and investment. Notably all of this was achieved with relatively limited library resources in Sofia and before the era of instant electronic information retrieval. If it is possible to describe the culture of a university department, then there is no question that this was a rich, productive, and hugely enabling one. 255

Once the British Council had withdrawn its support and Tempus funding had been phased out, the best that could be done was to sign a Socrates agreement for student and teaching staff mobility. While this enabled me to make a number of further visits to Sofia, the funding was never sufficient for either Bulgarian students or faculty to make any other than fitful use of it. In 1998, however, the English department in Sofia convened an international conference to celebrate the 70th anniversary of teaching English and American Studies. Roehampton was represented by not only Professor Ann Thompson, as the then Head of English, but also the Rector, Stephen Holt. This seemed to me the opportunity to press both of them but particularly Stephen Holt who was about to retire to set up a scholarship scheme which I had had at the back of my mind for some time. They both gave it their enthusiastic support. Tuition fees would be waived, free accommodation and meals were provided and some money was set aside (later to be tied to fifteen hours of work a week in the university library). In the spring semester of 1999 we welcomed the first student. Two years ago, after a change of management, the scheme was briefly threatened by a characteristically penny-pinching ploy of claiming to be undertaking a review of all our scholarships (i.e. closing them down unannounced). It is a measure of the achievement of this cohort of students that it was possible to draw on the unanimous and unconditional support of the English department in securing the future of the scheme. Roehamptons English department attracts plenty of able students but these are our stars whether in English literature or English language and linguistics, or, most recently, Creative Writing. Highly motivated, widely read, and intellectually voracious, they have invariably achieved first class marks. Although it has been a condition of the award that they should not have spent more than two weeks in an Anglophone country they arrive with an outstanding command of both spoken and written English. Not only do they take a full part in the classes they join, they are often active in raising the participation levels of the other students. In English Language studies they already have a head start on home students. In English literature they are as re256

sponsive in their encounters with canonical work as they are to a whole range of theoretical approaches. Judging by their replies to a short questionnaire, although they are uncomplaining they are not uncritical. They welcome the participatory emphasis of the English seminar system, but not without continuing to recognise the value of the formal instruction with which they are more familiar. They notice that it is easier to make friends with other non-English students and that most English students show a marked lack of curiosity about Bulgaria. (Is it in Europe?) Unsurprisingly, they miss the food, and are shocked by the drinking habits of their English peers as well as what is sometimes perceived as a more general philistinism. While they enjoy the cultural resources of London (as well as its multiculturalism), those who have a chance to travel in the UK notice how much friendlier people are outside the capital. (In one case it is the Scots who turned out to resemble Bulgarians!) They notice too the lingering snobberies of English society, the clearly maintained gaps between social classes. With this in mind, one student interestingly and generously points out how unfair, absurd even, it seems that so few other highly able students of English will not share her good fortune. And of course, competitive as the scholarship is, these students do represent an academic elite though unlike the same elites of Britain and much of Western Europe, this status (and their consciousness of it) has little to do with either their social or family background. Many of them have moved on to postgraduate study not only in Bulgaria but in Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK. Others are active in EU projects in Bulgaria, in green politics, in national television and in teaching the disabled. An engaging consequence of the scheme is that they continue to network with one another and meet together through a Roehampton Alumni Society. They are indeed now in some senses veritable citizens of the world. To invoke this term as well as the existence of a sociable club is also to invoke something of the European Enlightenment. Following the work of the German philosopher Jrgen Habermas, the British historian John Pocock, and the American sociologist Richard Sennett literary critics working in the long eighteenth century have paid a good deal 257

of attention to the appearance in the advanced economies of the West of a distinctive public sphere, of a civic humanism, of polite conversation all means for negotiating and sustaining a vision of secular and rational progress. The encounter with Bulgarian academic life in the late twentieth and early twenty first century suggests that there remain very strong vestiges of these forms of civility, of courtesy, of rational curiosity and enquiry underpinned by a commitment to learning and scholarship. Since 1989 several members of Roehampton staff have been welcomed with extraordinary warmth and hospitality by countless colleagues and students, not only in Sofia but also in Veliko Turnovo. They have arranged accommodation for us; waited at airports and bus stops; showed us around the country and the cities; answered endless questions; assembled large, enthusiastic audiences for such lectures as we have presented; dealt patiently with our ignorance of the language as we tried to make out the Cyrillic alphabet; bought us tickets for the opera and for the football at the Levski Stadium; proved themselves convivial and generous company not only in the burgeoning restaurant and caf culture of the last twenty years but also in their homes. Old curriculum or new, market led or publicly funded, instruction in a tractable body of knowledge or independent study, whether taking it easy or otherwise the experience of the last twenty years between our two universities confirms the existence and the resilience of something like a common European culture, accessible through the English language but readily open to the world beyond. In this milieu difference can be a matter of negotiable disagreement rather than of bitter contestation. Bulgaria is neither strange nor other as we might once have thought. The food is better, you can smoke where you like, the seasons are distinct, after every general election there is a change of government as each new one is mired in corruption. In Britain we await the final demise of the New Labour political project and the coming of a government formed from a cabal of Old Etonian Europhobe toffs. University tuition fees are set to hit the roof, while the greed and vulgarity of so much of British public life will remain unchanged. Meanwhile Roehamptons continuing liaison with the University of Sofia will serve as gen258

tle reproach and a forceful reminder of another set of values and uses mediated by a common English language. Notes

Simon Edwards has been actively involved in the collaboration schemes between the University of Roehampton and Sofia University since 1990.

Works Cited Goldsworthy, Vesna. Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1998. Mineva, Milla. Take It Easy: Towards a Strategy for Representing Bulgaria Sofia: The British Council, IPK Rodina, 2003. Todorova, Maria. Imagining the Balkans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.


The Fulbright Program in Bulgaria
Julia Stefanova1
In a speech on the 30th anniversary of the Fulbright programme democratic Senator James William Fulbright of Arkansas made the following momentous statement: International educational exchange is the most significant current project designed to continue the process of humanizing mankind to the point that men can learn to live in peace eventually even to cooperate in constructive activities rather than compete in a mindless contest of mutual destruction...We must try to expand the boundaries of human wisdom, empathy and perception, and there is no way of doing that except through education. (Fulbright 1976) This statement was made thirty-three years ago but sounds as relevant and true today as ever. This is so for the simple reason that humanization is an endless process, peace is precarious, destruction is still a pending threat and education will always be wanting. Senator Fulbrights idea of strengthening mutual understanding among different nations and people with diverse cultural backgrounds through exchange of knowledge, values and cultural empathy is one of the most important insights of the 20th century and has inexhaustible potential and enormous renewable energy. Time can never make it obsolete because it feeds on history and at every crucial point of history it is ready to offer something new and beneficial to all. In September 1945 Senator Fulbright proposed a bill on establishing an international academic exchange programme to be funded through disposal of US wartime properties in Europe. The bill was passed unequivocally and became law on August 1, 1946. The purpose of this law, known as the Fulbright-Hays Act, is 261

to enable the Government of the US to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United states and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange; to strengthen the ties which unites us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments and achievements of the people of the US and the other nations, and the contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world (Fulbright-Hays Act 1946) The Fulbright programme is by far the flagship exchange program in the US and also operates in 180 countries in the world. On the US side, it is administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Department of State with the assistance of cooperating agencies, e.g. the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), the Department of Education etc. In 50 countries, including Bulgaria, there are bi-national commissions that administer the program guided by the principle of binationalism. Since 1946 the Fulbright exchange has produced a global community of over 300,000 alumni from 180 countries. These are distinguished scholars and scientists, politicians, public figures, artists and intellectuals. Thirty-five alumni from nine countries are recipients of the Nobel Prize; sixty have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize; one has walked on the moon; eighteen have served as heads of state or government; twenty as their countrys Minister of Foreign Affairs; one as Secretary-General of the UN and another as Secretary-General of NATO. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright programme worldwide is an annual appropriation by the US Congress. The most recent statistics available is for fiscal year 2008: $222m. This does not include the support from foreign governments and the private sector which adds another $140m. In fiscal year 2009 the Congress will allocate about $235m. As mentioned earlier, the Fulbright exchange exists in 180 countries and in fifty of them there are bi-national commissions whose main function is to administer the programme locally. In the former socialist countries, including Bulgaria, the exchange started well before the changes in the early 1990s. From the late 1960s to 1992 the number of Bulgarian and American grantees 262

was 182: 102 Bulgarians and 80 Americans. The Fulbright competition however was not open and the selected grantees, especially on the Bulgarian side, had to meet additional requirements and criteria that directly derived from the socio-political situation in the country and the Cold War climate. The Bulgarian-American Commission was inaugurated on February 9, 1993 under a ten-year bilateral agreement between the Governments of the United States and the Republic of Bulgaria. A new bilateral agreement was signed on December 3, 2003, re-establishing the Commission in perpetuity. The Commission is a bi-national2 not-for-profit organization governed by a ten-member Board. Five of the members are US citizens and five are Bulgarians. They represent government, education and business in the respective country. The Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science and the US Ambassador to the Republic of Bulgaria serve as honorary chairpersons of the Commission. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright programme in Bulgaria is an annual US government allocation of about $700,000 and a contribution of the Bulgarian Government starting with $40,000, increasing to $70,000 and reaching 140,000 in the financial year 2009. Since 1993, when the Commission started operating, the US Government has given over $14m for the Fulbright exchange with Bulgaria. Bulgaria has contributed a total of $230,000. The total investment of $14.23m is at once a small and a very large amount of money. It very much depends on how you assess it in absolute or relative terms. The total investment of a little over $14m dollars for the Fulbright program in Bulgaria has created a world-class product: the Bulgarian-American Fulbright community, which today has 917 members (472 Bulgarians and 445 Americans). These are distinguished scholars and professors from top universities and research institutes in the two countries, experts, graduate students, high school teachers and administrators etc. Their intellect, talent and experience have helped Bulgarian and US education and science by enhancing their quality and opening them to the world. Furthermore, they have improved the image of Bulgaria and the US, and have expanded the cultural contacts between the two nations. Last but by far not least, the Bulgarian and American alumni have stimu263

lated their own growth as individuals, experts and members of civil society. The ideal Fulbright alumni are highly educated, competitive, creative and innovative, critical yet tolerant, open to other cultures and traditions, with leadership and management qualities and skills, exigent and self-exigent but, above all, free. The Bulgarian Fulbright Commission offers a rich menu of short-term and long-term scholarships for lecturing, research, graduate study, high school teaching, and professional training. They are awarded after an open competition that usually takes place in late September every year. Selections are based on the principles of excellence, binationalism and peer review (Chapter 100 5). Another important function of the Commission is to disseminate up-to-date information and provide professional guidance on educational and research opportunities in the US. To this end, right after the establishment of the Commission an advising centre was opened that has hitherto serviced over 220,000 Bulgarian citizens. The Commission has developed various supplemental activities that have helped establish its reputation as an authoritative and useful institution actively involved in the educational reforms underway in Bulgaria since the 1990s. In 1995 an English language training centre was opened which still offers English language training at all levels and preparatory courses for the American standardized tests (TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, SAT etc). The Commission has a computer-based testing centre that administers iBT-TOEFL, GRE, EPSO and other tests. During the last 16 years the Fulbright Commission has opened local offices in the cities of Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Sliven, Burgas, Shumen, Rousse, Vidin, Smolyan, Kurdjali and Madan, thus reaching out into communities located beyond regional centres. The Commissions cultural activities at home include biennial conferences on topical issues related to internationalization of education, the growth of civil society, globalization, intercultural relations etc. So far eight such international conferences have been held with participants mainly from among the Bulgarian and international Fulbright community: Breaking Barriers through International Education in 1994; Understanding Dif264

ferences and Building Bridges in 1996; Education and Civil Society in the Post-Totalitarian World in 1998; Globalization and Cultural Differences in 2000; Knowledge, Power and Freedom in a Changing World in 2002; Strengthening Transatlantic Cooperation and European Integration through Educational and Cultural Exchange in 2004; Culture, Education and Leadership Today and Tomorrow in 2006; and Education and Society: Problems, Prospects, Prognoses in 2008. These conferences have resulted in the publication of four volumes (Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006). In 2002 the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission created the annual Fulbright International Summer Institute (FISI). It is a unique academic programme that offers a rich variety of interdisciplinary courses and a cultural programme to undergraduate and graduate students and young researchers from Bulgaria, the US and other countries in the world. So far the number of alumni is 289 from 27 countries. Behind the facts and figures that represent statistically the manifold activities of the Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange stands a larger mission: to raise the quality of both Bulgarian and American education through internationalization. Internationalization as a conscious, rational and concerted effort holds the key to the survival of education in the context of merciless and ubiquitous globalization. American studies (to a lesser degree British studies as well) is a priority field in this regard. As we very well know, US Studies is a relatively young but rapidly developing academic and research area. Before the changes in the last decade of the past century its growth was strictly controlled and its contents and methodology were subservient to politics and ideology. Today the situation is radically changed for the better. The field has expanded and is attracting more and more talented scholars, professors and students. It will not be a gross exaggeration to say that the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission has a finger in this positive process. In the course of 16 years it has provided the major Bulgarian Universities Sofia University, New Bulgarian University, University of Plovdiv, University of Veliko Turnovo, University of Shumen, Burgas Free University with American lecturers from 265

prestigious universities. Since 1999 there have been 19 one-term to one academic year teaching positions for American lecturers who have taught American and British studies, literature and English language to undergraduate and graduate students at these universities. The visiting lecturers have shared their expertise on curriculum development with their colleagues and have demonstrated the achievements of the US educational system in class. They have undoubtedly contributed to improving the quality of Bulgarian education in terms of contents, methodology, information and library resources. A couple of years ago the Commission participated in a project whose end was to design and introduce an interdepartmental masters program in American Studies and Transatlantic relations at Sofia University. The program is gaining in popularity and attracts more and more talented students from different departments and faculties. Quite of few of the professors involved in teaching in this program are Bulgarian Fulbright alumni or US Fulbright grantees. Additionally, the Bulgarian Fulbright Commission supports the activities of the Bulgarian American Studies Association (BASA), co-organizing and co-sponsoring its biennial conferences. To boost American Studies in Bulgaria and broaden their range, the Commission recently participated in a project for launching an electronic Journal of American and Transatlantic Studies ( It is a great opportunity for US Studies scholars in Bulgaria to publish articles, to network with colleagues from Europe, the US and the rest of the world and get updated on recent trends and developments in the field. The Fulbright Commission will never tire of working for international education, for the internationalization of Bulgarian education, and the development of American studies and English language training. It will make every effort to expand the Fulbright exchange by providing more and diverse grant opportunities, reliable information and useful guidance as well as by helping establish international undergraduate and graduate programs in Bulgarian universities.



Julia Stefanova is Executive Director of the Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission. 2 Bi-nationalism in Academic Exchanges is defined in Chapter 100: Program Planning and Administration, article 110.2.

Works Cited Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission. Globalization and Cultural Differences, Proceedings of the Fourth Fulbright Conference, Sofia, May 19-21, 2000. Sofia: BulgarianAmerican Commission for Educational Exchange, 2000. Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission. Knowledge, Power and Freedom in a Changing World, Proceedings of the Fifth Fulbright Conference, Sofia, May 16-18, 2002. Sofia: Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange, 2002. Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission. Strengthening Transatlantic Cooperation and European Integration through Educational and Cultural Exchange, Proceedings of the Sixth Fulbright Conference, Pamporovo, July 31 August 1, 2004. Sofia: Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange, 2004. CD. Bulgarian-American Fulbright Commission. Culture, Education and Leadership Today and Tomorrow, Proceedings of the Seventh Fulbright Conference, Sofia, May 12-13, 2006, Sofia: Bulgarian-American Commission for Educational Exchange, 2006. CD. Chapter 100: Program Planning and Administration. 18 Sept. 2009. < aDtIPvPex1PP9NKB6XdqVQ/chap100.pdf>. Fulbright-Hays Act. 1946. 25 July 2009. < fulbrighthaysact.pdf>. Fulbright, James William. Remarks on the Occasion of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Fulbright Program, 1976. Journal of American and Transatlantic Studies. 25 July 2009. <>. 267

Part IV The Comparative Perspective

Back to the Pre-history of English Literary Studies in Bulgaria: Ivan Shishmanovs Academic Project
Cleo Protohristova
The research presented in this paper retraces the initial steps of university lecturing on English literature in Bulgaria. Those early efforts were consolidated within the framework of Professor Ivan Shishmanovs courses in General and Comparative Literary History at the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia, carried out with certain interruptions between 1889 and 1928 (for details see Vesselinov 2008). It seems legitimate to regard these lectures as the initiation of academic English literature teaching in Bulgaria, since it was not until 1923 that Konstantin Stefanov, the first professor of English language and literature, started his English literature lectures. In this paper I focus exclusively on Shishmanovs course in eighteenth-century West European literature for two reasons. To begin with, Shishmanovs lectures on eighteenth-century West-European literature are the ones that are best documented among his numerous and diverse academic endeavours. A representative selection of these were published in an impressively comprehensive volume, Sravnitelna literaturna istoriya na XVIII vek (angliyska, frenska i nemska literatura) in Selected Works, volume 3 (Shishmanov 1971). In addition, these lectures provide an excellent opportunity for analysing the specificity of this unprecedented Bulgarian account of English literature against the backdrop of literatures of the Enlightenment from other West-European countries, specifically France and Germany. In this paper I examine three key aspects of Shishmanovs course. First, I discuss the syllabus of the course and its internal logic. Then I draw comparisons between the parts of the course dedicated to the different European national literatures during 271

the eighteenth century. And, finally, I attempt to elucidate the rationale of the eighteenth-century English literature module of the course in relation to eighteenth century West European literature, and thus clarify its normative function. An underlying argument in my interpretation is that Ivan Shishmanovs course in the comparative history of West-European literatures resonates with his overall academic project. It is important to note that Shishmanovs teaching of English literature went beyond his lectures on the eighteenth century. His numerous lectures on Renaissance literature and especially his continuous engagement with Shakespeares work prove to be an extremely valuable and informative source. There are literally thousands of pages dedicated to Shakespeare in Shishmanovs archive. His interpretations of Renaissance literature in England and his views on its relation to humanistic writings in Italy or France present a separate issue that is worth investigating further. Strangely enough, neither the lectures focused on Shakespeare, nor those dedicated to eighteenth century English literature, have yet been subjected to the scrutiny they deserve. As already indicated, Shishmanovs lectures on English literature were designed as a separate module of a general course on the literature of the Enlightenment period. The lectures on English literature followed directly after the introductory survey lectures on the Enlightenment in general and on the comparative study of eighteenth century West-European literature. In the introduction to the English literature module Shishmanov presented his programme, which included, in his own words, a history of English poetry, a survey of the English bourgeois novel of the century and a history of English drama, tragedy and comedy, as well as the resurrection of Shakespeare, almost forgotten in the 17th century. The authors included in the separate parts were as follows: Poetry: Alexander Pope, James Thompson, Edward Young, James Macpherson, Thomas Chesterton and Robert Burns; Novelists: Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Tobias Smollett, Lawrence Sterne, Oliver Goldsmith; 272

Bourgeois drama: George Lillo; Comedy: Richard Sheridan; Literary criticism: Samuel Johnson. Besides these, a special part addressed the resurrection of Shakespeare in the eighteenth century. In the context of the entire course the contents of the module testifies to Shishmanovs special interest in English literature or marked preference for it. This is evident in the number of writers, poets and playwrights included. The comparison between the constituent parts of the course dedicated to the various national literatures shows that English literature is represented by sixteen authors, French literature by seven (Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Bernarden de Sent Pierre, Beaumarchais, and Mirabeau), and German literature by only six (Gottsched, Klopstock, Wieland, Lessing, Herder, and Goethe). The disproportion looms even more conspicuous in view of the European perception of the eighteenth century as a French century and as the age of the encyclopaedists. Shishmanov repeatedly emphasized the crucial importance of cultural processes in England for the development of Enlightenment literature in other countries of Europe and charted a map of influences. His pronounced interest in English literature was also manifested in his treatment of the comparative characteristics of the different national literatures, wherein English literature was usually presented as the paragon. Also, the text of his lectures reveals a greater interest in the reception of English authors and their works in France and Germany than in the reception respectively of French or German literature. For instance, he provided extensive information about Alexander Popes reception in Europe (Shishmanov 1971: 67) and about Richardsons influence on German and Russian literature (69), emphasized Fieldings impact on the development of the European novel (119) and mentioned particularly the reception of his work by Lessing and Goethe (125). Additionally, he traced Swifts influence on Rousseau (133) and Voltaires imitation of Swift in Mikromegas (140). Ivan Shishmanovs approach to eighteenth-century English literature corresponded to his take on Enlightenment literature generally and informed the overall model of his lecture course. This take was panoramic and rationalized as a process; it was 273

based on the interrelatedness between general principles and specific national peculiarities, and accordingly functioned in the mode of a consciously maintained, although not completely sufficient, contrastive analysis. Further, it was founded on a balance between objective historical data and subjective creative approaches, as well as between collective attitudes and individual psychology. When discussing Swift, for example, Shishmanov firmly emphasized the specificities of his temperament (the writer was repeatedly qualified as a misanthropist) and the fact that he belonged to the bourgeois class (124-25). In a similar manner, he characterized the peculiarities of Fieldings novels as follows: Fielding is in many respects a synthesis between Richardson and Swift. Like the first, Fielding is a representative exactly of the bourgeois family novel, but it is the novel of the more select, more subtle, more literary educated bourgeoisie, the right wing. Very much like Swift, he is witty, ingenious and a publicist. But Fielding represents, remember this, an absolutely new element of the English novel. This is the humour, the nave, but also subtle joyfulness, which is as much different from the puritanical somberness of Richardson, as it differs from the caustic satire of the always seething with rage and always indignant Swift. (136) Shishmanov professed a strongly enthusiastic attitude towards the eighteenth century itself. He found sound reasons for his admiration for the Enlightenment spirit and its architects, which included the democratic strivings of the epoch, the ideas of development and progress, the beauty of the slogan brotherhood, equality, and liberty. Such a general approach encouraged the reading of eighteenth century English authors predominantly according to the framework of Enlightenment ideology. Within the logic of the general course in the comparative history of West-European literatures, the lectures on the eighteenth century had a further and different sort of significance. Shishmanovs decision to set the Middle Ages and the end of the eighteenth century as the borders of his series of courses is indicative. His decision to deliberately disregard the nineteenthcentury conferred additional significance to the eighteenth, and turns it into the terminal point of a teleological model of the de274

velopment of literary history. The latter relied on sociology, evolutionism, and some sort of discreet yet quite perceptible philosophy of history as its methodological props. In presenting and rationalizing the eighteenth century Shishmanov did not remain within the limits of an implicit axiological modus. He clearly and emphatically articulated his conviction in the exceptional significance of the Enlightenment period. On the one hand, he defined the scale of this significance in terms of the realities of the epoch (the intensive spiritual life, the pre-revolutionary energy, and the astounding intellectual and aesthetic achievements). On the other hand, he was concerned with the substantial and exceptionally intensive relation between the Enlightenment world and his own contemporary world. According to Shishmanov, the age of Enlightenment was that spiritual laboratory where the larger part of the spiritual principles on which contemporary Europe rests, was produced (34). Without doubt, he regarded literature as the promoter, the disseminator and partially the creator of those principles (34). If we speak frankly, Shishmanov observed, we have to admit that practically we are still living with the traditions of the eighteenth century with its corresponding political and social ideas (30). Thus, in the flow of Shishmanovs scholarly work of marking significances and making qualifications, the Enlightenment appeared as the ongoing project of modernity, thus anticipating theoretical frameworks which were formulated much later. In many respects his approach to the eighteenth century might be reasonably considered to rest in overvaluation. For him the Enlightenment was one of the most famous epochs in the life not just of Europe but also of all humankind (30). Another feature of Shishmanovs eighteenth-century literature course was its strongly expressed auto-reflexivity. He continuously subjected his own methodological choices and arguments to analysis. He provided numerous formulations and reformulations of his understanding of the interrelation between literary historical and social historical processes; insisted that there could be no alternative to the comparative method of exploring and teaching West-European literatures; and spoke to justify the so-called psychosociological method which he applied in his studies (see Likova 1972, Dimov 1985, Schwarz 1988, Hadzhikosev 1993, 275

Damyanova 2005). Further information on Shishmanovs approach to the English authors discussed in his course can be gleaned, for example, from his notes from 16 November 1919 where he discusses with Ivan Vazov his ideas about Richard Sheridan and Samuel Johnson, as well as about eighteenth century interest in Shakespeare and Garricks contribution to the revival of his works (Shishmanov 2003: 286). In the initial part of the course Shishmanovs lectures were on books of practical theory, in which the subject of contemplation was not so much on the literary material as on literary history itself. Shishmanov clarified his disagreements in principle with certain historians and theoreticians of literature (especially energetic was his polemic against Hegel and Taine), expressed his agreement with others (such as Gustave Lanson, Ferdinand Brunetiere, Plekhanov), and subjected statements by authors to sceptical analysis. A specific characteristic of Shishmanovs lectures on English literature was that they expressed the point of view of a Bulgarian scholar. The comparative perspective extended not only to the interpretation of the three separate national literatures, it also produced original juxtapositions of English and Bulgarian authors. Thus John Toland and Alexander Pope were compared to Khristo Botev (Shishmanov 1971: 48, 67). This strategy was perfectly natural at that historical moment, soon after the Liberation, when teaching foreign literatures was also a matter of constructing the Bulgarian literary canon as well as the idea of a national cultural identity. Shishmanov was very much involved in that process, in his capacity both of a professor of literature and a minister of education. Another obvious peculiarity of the course was its enviable lavishness in terms of curriculum space allocation. From certain observations that Shishmanov inserted in his lectures it is clear that the course used to stretch over several (minimum three) semesters, each of them dedicated to a single national literary tradition. Unfortunately records of the lecture schedule have not been maintained in the archives of the University of Sofia, and the actual process of the course can only be indirectly reconstructed from sporadic traces to be found in the official minutes of the Universitys academic meetings (for partial information about the courses of foreign languages programmes, see Veseli276

nov 2008) and in the diaries that Shishmanov kept most of his life (some published in Shishmanov 2003). In terms of content, the module on English literature particularly and the course as a whole generally was predominantly factual and biographically oriented. In some cases (such as the lecture on Defoe, for example) the biographical data was disproportionately emphasized. Occasionally, Shishmanov provided extensive psychological portraits of the authors in question, foregrounding a huge number of facts and details. But despite such extensive evidencing these passages appear excessive and not to the purpose. It is interesting that the presentation of English authors was much more disciplined compared to those of French writers, such as for Voltaire and Rousseau, in which the emphasis on biography often goes overboard. And yet, it would not be unjustified to regard the biographical references in Shishmanovs account of Jonathan Swift as rather too circumstantial, especially in the discussion of his intimate relations with the notorious Stella and Vanessa (110-11). One of the most interesting issues emerging from a reading of Shishmanovs lectures concerns their implied audience. It is not sufficient to say that Shishmanov addressed his course to well-educated students. He expected the addressee of his ideas to possess solid experience in the humanities and an enviable proficiency in foreign languages. This is evident from the numerous references to various kinds of texts and authorship, the recurrent historical allusions, and the profusion of quotations in the original language. At the same time, there is evidence that students were not required to have read the authors discussed in advance. Most telling among his strategies in this respect was Shishmanovs practice of retelling the contents of different works, sometime in great detail as in the discussion of Alexander Popes The Rape of the Lock (64-66) or Swifts The Battle of Books (108-9). Even Gullivers Travels was presented with a detailed summary (113-16). Beyond such evidence of the scholars particular teaching methods, there are other, more subtle indications, such as his habitual practice in the course of lectures to make comprehensive excursions into literature of the Renaissance period or of the seventeenth century. The contents and character of these excur277

sions suggest that Shishmanov expected students attending the eighteenth century literature course to be acquainted with lectures on earlier periods. The many parallels between Enlightenment literature and Renaissance and Classical literature that appeared in the general outlines of the course, as well as in the characterizations of eighteenth century authors, came with the presumption that such knowledge is not just unconditionally necessary for students but already cultivated. This implicit attitude in Shishmanovs style of lecturing testifies to the courses subordination to the academic imperative of Bildung. More precisely, Shishmanov viewed his separate courses in general and comparative literary history as constituents of an integral project, which aimed to lay the foundations of a solid, logically structured and reliably coordinated knowledge about the entire history of literatures in West-European countries. At the same time, Sishmanovs manner of presentation in his lectures suggests that he was confident of being able to initiate a community of followers through his efforts. He expected to nurture people who, while sharing a mutual interest in comparative studies of West-European literatures, would take part in a kind of social (and academic) contract, whereby a certain intellectual and spiritually uplifting distance would come to prevail. The final section of this paper concerns the normative function that Shishmanov eighteenth-century English literature module can be put to in relation to current courses in the field. There are indicative parallels that may be drawn here between the current West-European-literature exam questions lists for Bulgarian philology students (BA programmes) from several Bulgarian universities, such as the Universities of Sofia, Veliko Turnovo, Shumen and the Southwestern University in Blagoevgrad. If regarded as functioning in rapport with the academic tradition established by Shishmanov, these syllabi provide telling observations. The common tendencies at present, in terms of choice and justification of material, are towards limitation and simplification. These tendencies should be understood in the context of the current curriculum space provided for West European Literature courses, which is comparatively modest at 75 to 90 contact hours (in view of Shishmanovs course which ran for at least three terms). Most often English eighteenth century lit278

erature is confined to the study of novels, and that too in a limited way usually including only Defoe and Swift, and, very occasionally, also Fielding and Sterne. In one of the exam questions lists from the University of Sofia (, where the formulations of the topics have a more general and theoretical character, eighteenth century literature is presented in two basic themes: The Enlightenment: philosophical, aesthetic and socio-political aspects of literature. Approbation of publicity, progress and decline of the Enlightenment rationalism and The dialogue between literary and paraliterary genres in the novel of the Enlightenment. The dismantling of the genre: provocation and demasquing of the narrative techniques. Eighteenth century English authors specifically named in the list of mandatory readings include Defoe with Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders, Swift with Gullivers Travels, Fielding with Tom Jones and Sternes Sentimental Journey. In another exam questions list ( the lectures on eighteenth century literature are reduced to a survey of the European novel in terms of the historical development of the genre. English literature of the age is represented here only by Defoe with Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders and Swift with Gullivers Travels. In the programme of the University of Shumen ( the themes Specificities of the English Novel from the Age of the Enlightenment: Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe, Jonathan Swift Gullivers Travels and The Sentimental Novel are to be found. The latter includes Sternes Sentimental Journey alongside Goethes The Sorrows of Young Werther. In the somewhat more ambitious examination questionnaire from the University of Veliko Turnovo ( me= BF_Z_ZapEvrLit.doc) there is a special section on eighteenth century philosophy in which John Locke and Shaftesbury appear. The literature of the epoch is seen exclusively through the novel again, and the authors under discussion are Defoe, Swift and Richardson. The course at the Southwestern University ( is no exception to the general tendency to focus on the novel but the number of authors considered is larger Defoe, Sterne, 279

Richardson, Fielding, and Swift. In my view, the eighteenthcentury English literature module of Shishmanovs course on General and Comparative Literary History is comparable at present only to the programmes of specialized English literature courses taught at English philology departments. Some aspects of Shishmanovs module on eighteenth century English literature may seem debatable from a contemporary perspective on the English literary canon. We may take issue with the outdated transliteration of certain names and the rather arguable interpretations of Sternes work that appeared there, as well as with the lack of awareness about the distinction between English and British authors. The latter is in fact still the case for West European literature courses in Bulgaria, and such awareness is only occasionally registered in sporadic literature courses of English Departments. Despite all that, Ivan Shishmanovs lecture course could certainly be labelled as the first Bulgarian academic course in English literature. Moreover, it presented not just an arbitrary choice of authors or works, appropriate for specific comparative procedures; it was a profoundly thoughtthrough, comprehensive account of the national eighteenth century literature, which posited a stable course model which is still valid for contemporary academic purposes. Works Cited Damyanova, Rumyana. Psihosotsialniyat metod na professor Ivan Shishmanov [The Psycho-sociological Method of Professor Ivan Shishmanov]. Ivan Shishmanov forumut. [Ivan Shishmanov the Forum] Sofia: BAN, 2005. 42-52. Dimov, Georgi. Nemskata literatura ot V vek prez pogleda na Ivan Shishmanov [Eighteen Century German Literature through the Eyes of Ivan Shishmanov]. Bulgarsko-nemski literaturni i kulturni vzaimootnosheniya prez V i vek. [Bulgarian-German Literary and Cultural Relations in the 18th and 19th century] Sofia: 1985. 124-144. Hadzhikosev, Simeon. Ivan Shishmanov kato suzdatel na bulgarskoto sravnitelno literaturoznanie [Ivan Shishmanov as the Founder of Comparative Literature Studies in Bulgaria]. ... (Literary Magazine for Pupils). 1993, issue 5-6 (July). 20-25. 280

Likova, Rozaliya. Psihosotsialniyat metod na Ivan Shishmanov i niakoi vuprosi na suvremennostta. Tretiyat tom ot Izbrani suchineniya na Ivan Shishmanov [The Psycho-sociological Method of Ivan Shishmanov and Contemporary Issues. The Third Volume of Ivan Shishmanovs Selected Works]. Plamuk [Flame], 1972, issue 1. 48-54. Shishmanov, Ivan. Dnevnik. 1879-1927. [Diary 1879-1927] Sofia: IK Sineva, 2003. Shishmanov, Ivan. Sravnitelna literaturna istoriya na XVIII vek (angliyska, frenska i nemska literatura) [18th Century Comparative Literary History (English, French and German Literature)]. Izbrani suchineniya [Selected Works]. Ed. Georgi Dimov, Vol. 3, Sofia: BAN, 1971. Schwarz, Wolfgang F. Ivan Sismanovs Leipziger Doktorarbeit. Methodologische, wissenschaftshistorische und soziologische Bemerkungen. Nemsko-bulgarski kulturni otnosheniya. 1978-1918. [German-Bulgarian Cultural Relations 1978-1918] Sofia, 1988. 244-252. Vesselinov, Dimitar. Letopisna kniga na Fakulteta po klasicheski i novi filologii (1888-1965). [Annals of the Faculty of Classical and New Philologies (1888-1965)] Sofia: St. Kliment Okhridski University Press, 2008.


Myth and Ideology: British Romanticism in Comparative Literature Textbooks
Vitana Kostadinova
Romanticism is being represented in various ways in literary historiographies and its canon has been frequently modified ever since the first constructions of the Romantic Age. Regardless of the inevitable theoretical debates and clashes, the field currently accommodates both the advocates of old aestheticism and the warriors of new historicism. In 1953 Abrams renewed the Arnoldian reading of Romanticism as autonomy from politics (Klancher 1989: 84), arguing that the aim of any good aesthetic theory is not to establish correlations between facts which will enable us to predict the future by reference to the past, but to establish principles enabling us to justify, order, and clarify our interpretation and appraisal of the aesthetic facts themselves (Abrams 1971: 4). Needless to say, aestheticism did not reign unchallenged; Abrams himself considered the Romantics in view of the spirit of the age (1962), but as late as 1994 a new reaction against over-politicising the discourse of literary criticism exploded the peaceful transition to a new-historicist mode of thinking: The movement from within the tradition cannot be ideological, or place itself in the service of any social aims, however morally admirable. One breaks into the canon only by aesthetic strength, which is constituted primarily of an amalgam: mastery of figurative language, originality, cognitive power, knowledge, exuberance of diction. [...] Whatever the Western Canon is, it is not a program for social salvation. (Bloom 1994: 27-8) In the meantime, the assertion that the scholarship and criticism of Romanticism and its works are dominated by a Romantic Ideology, by an uncritical absorption in Romanticisms own 283

self-representations (McGann 1983: 1) had marked the beginning of a new Marxist era in Romantic studies, even though the old one was still alive and kicking in the then communist bloc. Considered from within the bloc, communism was the vision of the bright future, while the present was socialism put into practice. Resorting to one of those former socialist states, this essay discusses the academic constructions of British Romanticism in two Bulgarian language textbooks of Comparative Literature, Mitov and Peshev's The Literature of Western Europe from the French Revolution to the Paris Commune (1963) and Hadzhikosev's West-European Literature, Part Three (2005).1 In its heyday, the former was the ultimate socialist source on the subject; alternatives only appeared in the last twenty years. The latter was published in 2005 as part of a larger project addressed to students of literature as well as to a wider reading public. Both textbooks outline national romanticisms, which makes it easier to compare and contrast their respective representations. Both talk about England, not Britain, and refer to the works and authors as English rather than British. Understandably, both are exponents of, to borrow Welleks phrase, the unity of European Romanticism (Wellek 1949: 147). The Literature of Western Europe dates back to 1963. The section on Romanticism was written by D. B. Mitov, who, judging by the occasional footnotes, has drawn upon French and Russian sources and has quoted Marx, Engels and Lenin for good measure; customarily, Bulgarian textbooks do not provide references or bibliographies. Mitovs chapter on Romanticism in England is the lengthiest at eighty-nine pages; by comparison, thirty-two pages are allotted to Germany, sixty-seven to France, sixteen to Italy, and eight to Austria. Its quality is however suspect; in Simeon Hadzhikosevs unrelentingly fastidious judgement: the chapter on English Romanticism does not meet any scholarly criteria; by way of consolation, the chapter on German Romanticism is even worse (Hadzhikosev 2005: 311). In the context of socialism, discussing the social and historical setting is of paramount importance for literary criticism and an outline of the events of the day provides the introductory lines to the English Romantics. By the second paragraph Mitov 284

claims that Byron is the most important representative of the period (61). Later on, readers are informed that Byron and Shelley shaped English Romanticism as revolutionary romanticism and changed the course of the literary trend (64). The figures of the period are interpreted as progressive or reactionary and the latter deserve merely a mention. Thus, the Lake school of poetry is explored within four pages or so, and Wordsworth and Coleridges Lyrical Ballads are stigmatised as the manifesto of English reactionary romanticism (66, 67). Mitovs attitude towards the older Romantics may appear inconsistent to many scholars because in a gesture of disregard for Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey, Francis Jeffrey, who coined the phrase Lake-school, referred to them as a sect of poets and dissenters from the established systems in poetry and criticism, and inferred that A splenetic and idle discontent with the existing institutions of society, seems to be at the bottom of all their serious and peculiar sentiments. (Jeffrey 1802: 71). Explicating Jeffreys sentiments, David Perkins has pointed out, To compare them to Dissenters was not yet to call them revolutionaries, but the Dissenters [...] were frequently associated with radical causes and agitation [...]. Fear of revolution, in other words, did not influence merely Jeffreys characterisation of them; it also prompted him to see them as a group (Perkins 1992: 90). Thus, the Lake school recalls the revolutionary turmoil that the moderate Whig of The Edinburgh Review associated with these poets in 1802. Nevertheless, Mitov defames them for betraying the ideals of their youth. Southey is denigrated as a renegade and a champion of obscurantism and it seems that everything we need to know about him can be found in Byrons Dedication to Don Juan. It is no secret that Byron held a lifelong grudge against the poet laureate and at last had his famous and most thorough revenge in Don Juan, where Southey is made a symbol of all that is hateful and despicable in poetry, in politics, and in hypocrisy (Jackson 2009: 108). Nevertheless, Mitov offers Byrons animosity in lieu of a critical evaluation of Southeys works. In Mitovs account Thomas Moore bridges the gap between reactionism and progress, his major culpability being that he gave in to peer-pressure and allowed the reactionaries to destroy 285

Byrons memoirs. Walter Scott, Byron, Shelley, and Keats get their own subchapters. Walter Scotts historical novels exonerate his political conservatism because in his narratives he more often than not takes the side of the people (74). The textbook offers critical summaries of Waverley, Guy Mannering, Old Mortality, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe, and Quentin Durward. The next thirtysix pages are dedicated to Byron, one of the greatest poets in world literature and a major representative of the revolutionarydemocratic tendency in English literature (90). The latter part of that statement is what actually matters: in the tradition of the Bulgarian socialists of the 1890s who declared that Shelley was the greatest English poet because of his political credo (Den 1892: 493), Mitov prioritises ideology over literariness. The use of ideology here needs some clarification. I find myself in agreement with David McLellan, who advises caution: the simple thought that all views are ideological [...] is so all embracing as to be almost meaningless and contains the same logical absurdity as the declaration of Epimenides the Cretan who declared that all Cretans were liars (McLellan 1995: 2). For the purposes of this discussion, it is essential to distinguish between a philosophical disposition towards Marxism and the political agenda to subordinate literature to the directives of the (ruling) party. Therefore, it is not in the broad sense of thought subject to social determination that renders it partial that ideology figures here, but rather in the more restricted, negative sense of self-interested illusions perpetuated by social groups (McLellan 1995: 42), bordering on the view of ideology as a dogmatic system linked to totalitarian politics (Carver 2001: 35). But when it comes to Byron, it cannot be all ideology: myth has a lot to do with the poets positioning as the most important Romantic on the Continent. From a Barthesian perspective, Byrons appeal would be relying on his all-encompassing reputation; he is, indeed comparable to Barthess Einstein: his name is identified with the best and the worst, the man personifies the most contradictory dreams, and his poetry mythically reconciles the infinite power of man over nature with the fatality of the sacrosanct, which man cannot yet do without (Barthes 1999: 70). And it matters not that in the estimation of many he is neither a great poet nor a great man who wrote po286

etry because in the end the myth recasts him as a tremendous cultural force that was life and literature at once (Frye 2005: 56). Thus, Byrons name becomes normative in Mitovs textbook: his appreciation of Coleridges talent seems to be the recommendation the latter needs (67); Hazlitts literary portrait of the bard is among the more valuable of his essays (71-2); Scott acknowledges Byrons supremacy in the field of poetry (73-4); Shelley is a close friend of the great poet (127); and Keats can be aligned with Byron and Shelley, although he is not as consistent a rebel as those two fighters for freedom and democracy (148, 149). Not only is Byron the arch-Romantic (Frye 2005: 68), his attitudes inform us of literary quality. An outline of Byrons life introduces the greatest of poets but his lordly title is duly censored out of the textbook. His writing is divided into no less than four periods. Despite the socialist disregard for Nietzsche and the kinship between Byrons Manfred and Nietzsches Superman, the dramatic poem is discussed as the major achievement of the poets Swiss period; the quotations from the text are in Kiril Khristovs translation (1920), possibly because Khristov and Mitov were close friends. Byrons shorter poems are given some attention too, but it is Childe Harolds Pilgrimage which is discussed in detail. Cain is singled out for analysis when it comes to the poets tragedies and mysteries, while The Age of Bronze introduces the last period in Byrons writing. Bearing in mind that Mitov was a Francophone and a Russophile, it comes as no surprise that Don Juan is praised as the wisest and the most profound of Byrons works. Soviet criticism detects both romanticism and realism in the poem (comparable to the transition from romanticism to realism in Pushkins novel in verse [cf. Ivask 1954: 170]) and this idea is maintained in the Bulgarian textbook as well. Interpretations are inevitably in terms of ideology and in the style of socialist propaganda. Here is a case in point: Byron is said to have left England in 1816 because the hypocrites and frauds who ruled the country joined efforts in disparaging him, enraged as they were with his speech on the Luddites; the poet, on the other hand, was frustrated by the expansion of reactionism in Western Europe and the unheard of exploitation of the working people and bid his native shores adieu (95-6). According to his biographers, the facts are rather different: Had the 287

scandal been only of the breakdown of his marriage Byron might, if he had chosen to do so, have ridden out the storm. It was the additional element of incest, and more critically sodomy, that made his departure unavoidable (McCarthy 2003: 275). But incest and sodomy must have been the slanders that Mitov is talking about. The textbook consistently translates literature and reality into its political jargon but it also renders the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar. For instance, claret, a word from the First Canto of Don Juan, is footnoted as English rakiya (122), which of course it is not. In tune with the revolutionary overtones of the socialist reading of Romanticism, Shelley is featured with Queen Mab and Prometheus Unbound, even if Alastor and Adonais are also discussed. His lyrics are profusely quoted from, making use of the Bulgarian translations published in the 1959 edition of Shelleys poetry. Even Pencho Slavejkovs poetic elaboration on the Heart of hearts theme (1892, 1907) gets a mention but Teodor Trayanovs Cor cordium (1929, 1934) is ignored. Whereas the former was institutionalised by the national curriculum in Bulgarian literature, the latter was a symbolist and, therefore, not in favour with socialist literary criticism. The overview of Keats enumerates his longer poems but it seems centred around the shorter ones available in Bulgarian translation. La Belle Dame Sans Merci and Ode on a Grecian Urn come as no surprise there. His appreciation of nature is preferred to the mysticism of the Lakers (147) and the first two stanzas of To Autumn are quoted to illustrate the beauty of his poetry. It is worth pointing out that Keats was not politicised: this was to come with new-historicist interpretations of his poetry, according to which the truest political poetry often turns out to be that which feigns its lack of interest in politics (ONeill 1995: 146). Nicholas Roe, for example, maintains that the conspiracy of sun and season may now appear less of an escape from historical tensions than as a harvest-home fulfilling the call for justice from the less fortunate multitude in Keatss To Autumn (Roe 1997: 261); with reference to same ode, Andrew Bennett attempts to read against the grain, to listen to the fractious intertextual cacophony of history, politics, economics, noises which Autumn seems to silence (Bennett 1994:161). Back in the 1960s though, 288

the absence-as-presence approach did not dominate the discourse, so Keats was simply attached to the heroes of the day. It goes without saying that the uneasy relationship with Byron has no place in the textbook and the chapter ends with the sonnet Keats dedicated to Byron and Shelley (149). Regardless of the leniency to Keats, the ideology of the socialist state governs all discussions of literariness in the textbook, and Marx and Engels are the witnesses invited time and again to confirm the literary verdicts. Until 1989 the volume was the definitive textbook in Comparative Literature covering the Romantic period but it seems to be still in use as late as 2005 (Guidelines 2005). 2005 saw the publication of Simeon Hadzhikosevs textbook on the literature of the Romantic period. It is part three of a series intended to replace socialist-era editions like Mitov and Peshevs The Literature of Western Europe from the French Revolution to the Paris Commune (11). A volume of nearly six hundred pages, it only deals with authors who wrote in German and in English: nearly two hundred pages go under the heading of German Romanticism, about thirty are concerned with German-Austrian Romanticism, while English Romanticism boasts more than two hundred and fifty pages. The author refers to Mitovs outline and to Marco Mincoffs account of English Romanticism. Mincoffs History of English Literature (1970) is written in English and is addressed to students of English Philology. Hadzhikosev discusses the approaches in these two textbooks and observes that Mincoff has paid tribute to the indecisive estimation of Romanticism in English studies (Hadzhikosev 2005: 312). Indeed, defining the period seems to be a major dividing line between English Studies Romanticists and Comparative Literature critics. This said, for his chapter on English Romanticism Hadzhikosev draws upon William Renwicks and Ian Jacks volumes from the Oxford History of English Literature (1963). Nevertheless, his perspective remains Bulgarian, Balkan, Slavonic, and European, as he himself names the concentric circles of detachment from the subject of his research (316). Hadzhikosev refuses to give up the term pre-Romanticism and firmly places Blake among the pre-Romantics (315). The collective term Lakers is used to refer to Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey, and Thomas de Quincey is added to that 289

poetic generation. Following the European tradition, Byron and Shelley stand out as the most significant English Romantics (319). In addition, the critic has employed the phrase the London circle with regard to Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Charles Lamb and Keats, explaining the pejorative connotations of the cockney school. He claims that the representatives of German Romanticism appear more unified and consistent in their aesthetics and poetics. In his introduction to the Lake School, Hadzhikosev discusses Wordsworths theorising as independent of Coleridges and postulates that the Lakers are closer to the classicist understanding of art than Byron is. This section occupies fortyeight pages, out of which eleven belong to Wordsworth, twenty to Coleridge and nine to Southey. A couple of unexpected encounters include a parallel between Wordsworth and Elin Pelin (a Bulgarian writer of short stories famous for the gripping realism of country-life depictions) (337), the back-handed compliment to The Prelude, which is not a mediocre work, even if nowadays it is not regarded as highly as Wordsworth would have expected (341) (in his monograph on The Prelude Stephen Gill defines it as landmark [Gill 1991: 1]), and the comparison between Blake and Wordsworth as poets of the urban on the grounds of the sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1803 (342) (it is not on an impulse that Wordsworth is celebrated as a nature poet, he invariably valued the rural over the urban). The subdivision on Coleridge establishes him as a great poet; it elaborates on his biography and then focuses on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan and Christabel. The critic goes back to the Rime at the beginning of the Southey subdivision in order to discuss Vessela Gaidarovas Lake School (2001) that he belatedly discovered. Thus, the once celebrated poet-laureate remains in the shadow of Wordsworth and Coleridge even in a Bulgarian overview of the period. What strikes the reader is the similarity to Mitovs approach in reading English Romanticism through Byron: the Rev. William Bowles is introduced as the central character in Byrons letter on the Pope-Bowles controversy; the lords invitation to Leigh Hunt to visit him in Italy gets a mention; his dislike for the Lakers is repeatedly pointed out; his opinion of Coleridges Christabel is quoted at length; his involvement in the publication 290

of the poem is not missed out; and so on and so forth. Byronism is discussed in detail by way of introducing the rebellious poets of genius, namely Byron and Shelley, while Keats is grouped with them by default. Lord Byrons slot (his title restored) takes up fifty-seven pages, which makes it the most generous allowance in the textbook. Surprisingly, the references to his life draw upon Andre Maurois biographical novel, Byron (1930), which the critic recommends to his readers. Hadzhikosev considers Byron the uncontested spiritual leader of the age (380) and is nonplussed that Ian Jack does not consider him a great poet (Jack 1963: 76); further on, he is most bewildered by Mincoffs inexplicable antipathy for the Romantic (Hadzhikosev 382). Childe Harold, Manfred, Cain and Don Juan are in the limelight of the discussion of Byrons works. The author is reluctant to close off the section because he would have liked to discuss more of Byrons poetry. Byron is often brought up in the Shelley section as well. The birth of the heart of hearts myth is ascribed to Byrons testimony about the cremation of his friend; actually, it was Trelawny who snatched what they thought was the heart, salvaged it from the fire, and then circulated the story most enthusiastically. Furthermore, the Bulgarian critic claims that Byron demanded the cor cordium inscription on Shelleys tomb in Rome, while it was Leigh Hunt who suggested the phrase. Hadzhikosev even supposes Byron the author of Nothing of him that doth fade, / But doth suffer a sea-change / Into something rich and strange; the lines are from The Tempest (Shakespeare I.ii.400-402). These assumptions, following the attention lavished on Paul Johnsons essay on Shelley (from his book Intellectuals, 1988), highlight Hadzhikosevs impressionistic style of writing. The author discusses Shelleys prose and lyrics before switching to the long poems. The Revolt of Islam and Prometheus Unbound are recognised as the poets most essential works. A free association brings the Bulgarian poet Khristo Botev into the discussion to illustrate the impact of the Shelleyan idea that love and happiness are impossible without freedom, and therefore freedom fighting takes precedence over private life. Simeon Hadzhikosev ends the Shelley section with a few lines on Peter Bell 291

the Third rather than with a discussion of Adonais and this means more parallels with Byrons Don Juan. Giving an account of Keatss life, the critic points to the lack of a Romantic personality comparable to Byrons or Shelleys (489). (In his opinion, this is Wordsworths problem too [333].) He then goes through Keatss major poems and ends on a biographical note, evaluating Keatss fate as existentially more tragic than the theatrical lives of the other two of the great English Romantics, which calls for our human sympathy. The concluding sketch is that of Walter Scott. Hadzhikosev explains his decision to place him at the end by referring to Ian Jacks volume on Romanticism and by arguing that Byrons poetry and Scotts novels appeared simultaneously on the European stage. Later on the critic offers his analysis of their reception at the start of Byrons career. But the analogy between the two is taken further by a psychoanalytical interpretation of their choice of the mermaid as a symbol in their respective coats-of-arms: Hadzhikosev assumes both men must have been proud of their limp. Byron wasnt. What seems true enough, nevertheless, is that they both had a leg to stand on when it came to controversial issues and, maybe, they both preferred swimming to walking or at least Byron did.2 Hadzhikosev relies heavily on biographical detail and his term Romantic personality confirms that the lives of the Romantics are an essential aspect of his understanding of the period. He distances himself from the Marxist teleological approach to literary phenomena (11) and describes Romanticism as a literary style, a worldview, and an experience of the world (18). The scholar seems preoccupied with generic labels as if labels would bring order to the chaos of Romantic dispositions. His canon does not radically differ from the Romantic canon in Mitov and Peshev's textbook Hadzhikosev does discuss Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey at greater length but his decision to qualify Blake as a pre-Romantic and therefore ignore him does not allow for the return of the repressed. Blake is more or less absent from the socialist period. Up to his bicentenary in 1957 there are no Bulgarian translations of his works and entries in reference books and encyclopaedias are only occasional and brief (cf. Lyubenov 2000: 98-104). The poet is not even mentioned in Mitov and Peshevs The Literature of West292

ern Europe, although he produces his works after the French revolution.3 Hadzhikosevs construction of Romanticism focuses on the rise of the individual. As ideas translate better than the beauty of poetry, these are naturally favoured in foreign language discussions of verse. It comes as no surprise then that Byrons European triumph owes to a life and poetry inspiring the rise of the individual. Philosopher Bertrand Russell notes that the poet is adequately appreciated on the Continent but deserves a higher place in the English-speaking world (Russell 1940: 24), and goes on to affirm that The romantic movement, in which Byron was the most romantic figure, aimed at liberating human personality from the fetters of social convention and social morality (37). An aristocratic rebel defying norms and the laws of creation itself (it must be for a reason that he is demonised as the central figure of a Satanic school [cf. Butler 1993: 141]), Byron checked his downfall by investing his passion into revolutionary activity. Although Marx had seen him as a would-be reactionary bourgeois had he lived longer (Marx and Engels 1976: 320), Gorkys distinction of passive versus active Romanticism (Gorky et al 2000: 10) afforded him most amiable treatment on this side of the iron curtain. Thus, myth and ideology attempted a peaceful coexistence in the Bulgarian socialist era. But with the iron curtain drawn aside and Byron still on the Comparative Literature stage, myth seems to have superseded ideology. Notes

In Bulgaria, academic courses in Comparative Literature are included in the curricula for philology students at undergraduate level and are taught in Bulgarian. They offer an overview of Ancient Greek, Roman, and West-European Literature. Some of quotations on the topic of Byrons deformity from Fiona MacCarthys Life of Byron (2003): He was always to be conscious that his lameness marked him out as a freak and an object of derision, discounting the degree to which his deformed leg contributed to his image of perverse attractiveness. (4) Byron learned to manipulate his fame, avoiding appearing in public in the morning, steering clear of situations where his lameness would show him at a disadvantage. (161)


On the subject of Byrons remarkable amphibiousness another of his swimming companions made the comment that, while obviously handicapped in riding, fencing and even walking, in the water a fin is better than a foot, and in that element he did well; he was built for floating with a flexible body, open chest, broad beam, and round limbs.(342-3)

Only a few poems are printed in the press in December 1957 and January 1958; a few more appear a decade later, one of them being included in an anthology of love lyrics from around the world (1967). It is not until 1983 that a collection of his poems is published in Spas Nikolovs translation. Ludmila Kostova, whose doctoral research is on William Blake, testifies that the poet was considered problematic in the socialist era and Spas Nikolov was instructed to translate only poems included in the Soviet edition of his poems.

Works Cited Abrams, M. H. The Mirror and the Lamp. Oxford, London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. Bennett, Andrew. Keats, Narrative and Audience: The Posthumous Life of Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1994. Butler, Marilyn. Cultures Medium: The Role of the Review. The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism. Ed. Stuart Curran. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Carver, Terrel. Did Ideology Fall with 'the Wall'? Marx, Marxism, Post-Marxism. Reassessing Political Ideologies: The Durability of Dissent. Ed. Michael Freeden. London: Routledge, 2001. 35-48. Den.Edin poet sotsialist [A Poet Socialist] Den [Day] 1892, 7: 490-492. Frye, Northrop. Lord Byron. Northrop Fryes Writings on the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Ed. Imre Salusinszky. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005. 50-71. 294

Gaidarova, Vessela. Lake School/Ezerna oblast. Bilingua Series. Sofia: Letera, 2001. Gill, Stephen Charles. William Wordsworth The Prelude. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Gorky, Maxim, et al. The Art and Craft of Writing. Trans. Alex Miller. University Press of the Pacific, 2000. Guidelines. Svituk za studenta. Spetsialnost Bibliotechnoinformatsionni deinosti. Redovno/zadochno obuchenie. Chuzhdestranna literatura. [Guidelines for the Student. Library and Information Technologies Major. Full/Part-time. Foreign Literature] Shumen University Konstantin Preslavski Dobrich College. 2005. 15 August 2009. < College/BID/II%20kurs/10SS_BID_ChL.doc>. Hadzhikosev, Simeon. Zapadnoevropeiska literatura [WestEuropean Literature] Part 3. Sofia: Ciela, 2005. Ivask, George. The Empire Period. The Russian Review, 13:3, 1954. 167-175. Jack, Ian. English Literature 1815-1832. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. Jackson, Emily Bernhard. Plunging into the Crowd: Islands and Selves in Byron. Alistair Heys and Vitana Kostadinova eds. Byron and the Isles of Imagination: A Romantic Chart. Plovdiv: Context, 2009. 107-134. Jeffrey, Francis. Thalaba, the Destroyer: A Metrical Romance. By Robert Southey. The Edinburgh Review, I, Oct. 1802. 63-83. Johnson, Paul. Intellectuals. London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 1988. Klancher, Jon. English Romanticism and Cultural Production. The New Historicism. Ed. Harold Aram Veeser. New York: Routledge, 1989. 77-88. Lyubenov, Lyuben. William Blake. Prevodna retseptsiya na evropeiskata literatura v Bulgaria: Angliiska literatura [Reception of European Literature in Translation in Bulgaria: 295

English Literature] Ed. Alexander Shurbanov and Vladimir Trendafilov. Sofia: Academic Publishing House Professor Marin Drinov, 2000. 98-104. MacCarthy, Fiona. Byron: Life and Legend. London: Faber and Faber, 2003. McGann, Jerome. Romantic Ideology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983. McLellan, David. Ideology. Buckingham: Open University Press, 1995. Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. On Literature and Art. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1976. Maurois, Andre. Byron. Trans. Hamish Miles. London: J. Cape, 1930. Mincoff, Minco. A History of English Literature. Sofia: Naouka i izkustvo, 1970. Mitov, Dimitar and Alexandar Peshev. Zapadnoevropeiskata literatura ot velikata frenska burzhoazna revoljutsija do Parizhkata komuna. [West-European Literature from the Great French Bourgeois Revolution to the Paris Commune] 4th edition. Sofia: Naouka i izkoustvo, 1963. ONeill, Michael. When this warm scribe my hand: Writing and History in Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. In Nicholas Roe ed. Keats and History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995. 143-164. Perkins, David. Is Literary History Possible? Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. Renwick, W. L. English Literature 1789-1815. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. Roe, Nicholas. John Keats and the Culture of Dissent. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Russell, Bertrand. Byron and the Modern World. Journal of the History of Ideas 1 (1940): 24-37. Wellek, Ren. The Concept of Romanticism in Literary History: II. The Unity of European Romanticism. Comparative Literature 1 (1949): 147-172. 296

Studying the Gothic Novel from a Comparative Perspective: Issues of Translation and Canonization
Ognyan Kovachev
In this paper I present and discuss my observations on and experience of researching and teaching the British Gothic novel, as a literary and aesthetic phenomenon, in Bulgaria. There are a number of reasons for studying the Gothic novel within the frame of Comparative Literature in the Bulgarian context. To begin with, it seems to be found in a more integral and systematic mode precisely in the domain of Comparative Literature here rather than in that of English Literature, where the Gothic is perhaps more at home. But this is a rather accidental circumstance, and dwelling on it might give rise to a conflict of faculties, albeit of a non-Kantian sort. I therefore move promptly to another more obvious and at the same time more abstract reason. This other reason has to do with the apparent discontinuity between the subject of study and the context where study is undertaken. My choice of the British Gothic Revival as a dissertation subject in the early 1990s in Sofia evoked encouraging curiosity among some colleagues and scepticism or even derisive dismissiveness among others. The distance between the Gothic tradition on the one hand and the Bulgarian cultural and mental and academic tradition on the other hand seemed to make the dialogue between subject and context next to impossible. However, certain critical ideas about history came to my aid, according to which the existence of and interactions between traditions are not given in terms of a petrified cultural heritage but are developed through critical and/or theoretical discussion. My strategy was to turn those perceived lacks and impossibilities into resources for my research. Instead of trying to circumvent them I attempted to use them as means of discerning 297

and articulating various problems. This was effectively my epistemological frame, which I thought of as the application of a principle of the constitutive blank. The principle presupposes an attitude towards the past that differs from habitual straightforward historical narrative and is akin to Michel Foucaults well-known conception of the discursive character of human knowledge (see Foucault 1981, Foucault 1984). Approached thus, critical and historical engagement consists in looking at a series of incomplete descriptions, and forming a possible genealogy of the studied object an open system, connecting constitutive lacks, ruptures, heterogeneous fissures and discontinuities. Genealogy is not a teleological narration that aims chiefly at maintaining and strictly guarding its linear coherence and nonconflicting inner logic. Its textual corpus is better described as a multilayered palimpsest, in which erased, rewritten and piled up scriptures contain traces of non-hierarchically interrelated discourses. The processes of deciphering and disentangling the various discursive practices bring to light their dynamics, reversibility, mutual exclusiveness and conventional underpinnings. At the same time they attest to the self-conscious capacity of the genealogical recreation of the past. So, the second reason for my undertaking a comparative study of the Gothic novel was because it enabled me to transfer a typically British literary genre of the Late Enlightenment/Early Romanticism into the radically different Bulgarian temporal, linguistic, territorial, cultural, historical etc. environment. A third reason arises from the implicitly heterogeneous context of the original Gothic novel (1764-1820). The latter comprehends a rich network of topics, such as architecture, history, family and kinship, the origin of the nation, dreams, the supernatural, the sublime and the horrible or terrible, genius, the nature and knowledge, sight and the other senses. Further, a fourth reason derives from the multifarious critical, academic, canonical, aesthetic and sociological re-evaluations of the Gothic that have taken place, alongside the consolidation of Neo-Gothic culture in North America and Western Europe over the last fifty years. In Bulgaria a process of Gothicization began only after 1990. I focus here in more detail on two aspects of British Gothic literature: the reception and transformation of the genre and its canon in Bulgaria, and the translatability and/or misreading of core 298

works and terms therein. I hope thus to acquire a more functional understanding of the area both in the Bulgarian context and in a comparative perspective than is available at present. The most active processes of mediation which are germane to my approach to the area are translation, readers and critics responses, and academic study. However, for the context discussed here these remain in the background, and the penetration, engrafting or inscribing of Gothic elements in Bulgarian literary and cultural perception remains largely unidentified and unrealized. Leaving aside the two translations (1919 and 1975) of R. L. Stevensons Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), which have failed to strike gothic roots in our native soil, the first integral Bulgarian translation of a classical Gothic novel is of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein, published in 1981. It was followed soon by translations of Horace Walpoles The Castle of Otranto (1764) and William Beckfords Vathek (1786), issued together with Frankenstein (1818) under the title Gothic Novels (1984) in a volume of the representative World Classics Library series. All three novels were translated by Zhechka Georgieva. It may be justifiably assumed that their publication in such an authoritative series should have had a legitimizing and canonizing influence on the reception of the Gothic genre in Bulgaria. Unfortunately the impact was negligible. The works of important Gothic authors, such as Ann Radcliffe, Charles Maturin, William Godwin and Mathew G. Lewis are still unavailable in Bulgarian. The random and unsystematic approach to the Gothic here is evidenced by the fact that Lewiss notorious novel The Monk (1796) is not yet translated, though we do have translations of two significant and popular novels which were greatly influenced by it: E. T. A. Hoffmanns Die Elixiere des Teufels (1815) and Victor Hugos Notre-Dame de Paris (1831). Only after 1990 has the Gothic become a recognizable genre and acquired some popularity in Bulgaria, though that has been more due to the liberalized import of Gothic and Horror films (usually film adaptations from literature) than to new literary translations. The first Bulgarian translation of Bram Stokers novel Dracula (1897), for instance, was issued simultaneously with the release of F. F. Coppolas film adaptation in Bulgaria in 1993. That was also a shortened and adapted version. Bulgarian Gothic criticism and academic research has been unable to surmount the established persistence of lacks and 299

blanks (not constitutive, alas) in the area. One of the biggest challenges that I have to deal with even now is the lack of specifically Bulgarian studies of the Gothic novel. In fact, I had at my disposal only four Bulgarian sources for my research: Dmitri Ivanovs preface in the first edition of Frankenstein (1981); Georgi Tzankovs preface in the Gothic Novels volume (1984); and chapters in Marco Mincoffs A History of English Literature: Part II (1976) and Simeon Hadzhikosevs West European Literature: Part II (2006). As it happens the latter are the most dismissive critical appraisals of the Gothic that I have come across. According to Mincoff, even the best representatives of the school have no value of their own and only suggest the background against which the romantics proper should be read, and the soil out of which they sprang (Mincoff 1976: 179). In fact, Mincoff labels Gothic literature as reactionary romanticism, though more on an aesthetic than on a philosophical or political basis: The movement was essentially reactionary, and if the term reactionary romanticism is used at all in connection with English literature, it is here that it can best be applied; but it is reactionary through its sensationalism and divorce from life rather than through any philosophy it may seem to suggest. (180) By referring to this negative evaluation I do not intend to question a distinguished scholars authority. I just want to put to discussion the assumptions underlying such negations and to shed light on such critical judgments, which are responsible for the academic disregard of the Gothic in Bulgaria. Paradoxically, this lack of predecessors supplied me with critical encouragement along the lines of authority to be overcome, secret to be revealed, or prohibition to be removed, all the more so since Gothic societies and writings are often wrapped in an aura of the mysterious, mystical, impenetrable etc. As I progressed with my research though, I gradually realized that the absence of information and critical readings is actually the lesser problem. A considerably more serious obstacle was posed by the difference of cultural codes and contexts that have formed the Gothic tradition. From this followed the most serious lack that of an appropriately cultivated Bulgarian 300

discourse by means of which the foreign traditions lineage, nodes and branches could be translated and grafted into our cultural milieu. Consequently, the systematization of basic thematic fields, aesthetic categories and conceptual frames in contemporary Gothic studies, as well as of the modes of their interpretation, conferred an introductory function to my research. Besides establishing standards, my research also introduces or poses new questions for future Gothic studies in Bulgaria. A discussion of some of these follows. The reception of the Gothic in Bulgaria, however unconsidered and unsystematic, has left quite distinct traces in Bulgarian literature which are yet to be systematically discussed and analyzed. I have four phenomena in mind, two of which I have analyzed in detail elsewhere (Kovachev 2008). These connections to the Gothic are far from commonly accepted, and are usually treated with suspicion and doubt by readers and scholars. The phenomena in question relate to: Ivan Vazovs lyric-epic cycle Epopee to the Forgotten (1881-1884); Bulgarian symbolist poetry; and historical novels by Emilian Stanev and Anton Donchev. Far be it from me to redefine their generic categories; here I simply attempt a clearer delineation of the Gothic figure in their carpets, to evoke Henry Jamess metaphor. In Vazovs odes, for example, this Gothic figure is suggested by the characterization of a monk who renounces his vow (in the poem Levski), and by that of another one who writes in his cell by the light of a flickering taper (in Paisii). The Gothic figure also appears in descriptions of hero-rebels who are exceptional, demonic, solitary and/or wrapped up in mystery (in Levski, Rakovski, Benkovski, Kableshkov etc.). Further, Gothic resonances are available in scenes of violence, desecration and death in the Perushtitza church (in Kocho), and in the elements of graveyard poetry and the supernatural sublime union of dead and alive in the final poem. Bulgarian symbolist poetry, though completely different from Vazovs, contains a surprisingly large number of Gothic motifs and figures. They are most evident in Dimcho Debelyanovs longer poem Legend of the Abandoned Princess (1914), Hristo Yasenovs lyrical volume A Knights Castle (1921) and Teodor Trayanovs cycles Regina Mortua (1909) and 301

Pantheon (1934). When the readers imagination and the scholars eye begin to discern the presence of abundant Gothic symbols, their remoteness from Bulgarian cultural and literary traditions actuate two kinds of temporal correlations. The more popular and nave identifications associate certain icons, such as knights, castles, towers, vaults, crypts, dungeons and cathedrals, with clichd images of the Western medieval past. This seems quite reasonable, but it is worth asking by what process have the Western medieval and gothic paradigms come to be united and constructed in the Bulgarian lyric system? This cannot be explained away as resulting from some improbable intercultural communication rooted in the dark Middle Ages, when contacts between the Bulgarian and the Occidental were overtly hostile and only tacitly sympathetic. The more discerning identifications associate these icons with the pre-romantic genres of the Gothic novel, Gothic drama and graveyard poetry, and understand them as derived from the latter by narrative remodelling and symbolic sublimation. The cultural asymmetry of the relationship in GothicSymbolism enables a triadic frame to be outlined between body, architecture and nature. Within this frame the isomorphic signs and features of the uncanny Gothic and of native Symbolist discourses are distributed. By means of Dobrin Dobrevs A Handbook of Symbols in Bulgarian Symbolism (1996) I have identified the following associations: (ghost) with functional synonyms (wandering spirit), (vampire), (demon), (monster); (captive), (locked in) and (slave); (castle), (palace) and (towers); / (jail/dungeon), / (throne/royal chair), (dilapidated pillars); (abyss) and its functional synonyms (precipice), (pit) and (swamp), as well as (grave), (sepulchre) and (graveyard). The question that arises in contemplating these is: do such associations appear in Bulgarian symbolist poems due to consciously created intertextual links or are they unconsciously assimilated as a set of striking and impressive ornaments, borrowed from the European poetic patterns? It seems likely to me that the unexpected kinship between the gothic and the symbol302

ist in Bulgarian poetry derives from a trace left by the frantic (even in its fictional infirmity) search and reconstruction of alterity, parallel worlds and doubled identities, which are so deeply embedded in Gothic literature. At the heart of the final such phenomenon to be discussed lie conceptual homologies between Gothic and nationalist discourse. This can be exemplified with reference to a loose trilogy of Emilian Stanevs novels, entitled Legend of Sibin The Prince of Preslav (1968), Tikhick and Nazareus (1977), and Antichrist (1970), and Anton Donchevs novel Time for Parting (1964). I focus on three common denominators of complex, unstable or even disruptive national, aesthetic or personal identity, which play a crucial role in the interplay between narrative discourse and historical representation. These are: the symbolic bond of blood and soil, nourishing the mythology of vampire and nationalist narratives alike; the literary mystification technique; and the figurations of narrative doubles. The abovementioned stories are embedded within local grand narratives of medieval ethnic and religious discords, and the five centuries of Ottoman occupation that followed. In all four novels, values which characterise the ideology of both romance narratives and nationalist imaginings are pitted against the authority of the oppressive Other. These values include love of freedom and the native land, love for the family and the past, ethnic and religious tolerance, and self-sacrifice. As I have explained elsewhere, eighteenth century Gothick poetics established such virtues as indispensable to the romance narrative (Kovachev 2004); and in the nineteenth century East and South European national revivals inscribed these values in the rhetoric of nation building. Such transfer from literary into political plots, however speculative or transgressive it may seem, falls within the complex interplay of aesthetics and ideology, and was central to the formation of a bourgeois nationalist discourse. Therefore both the Gothick and the national revivals have left an ambivalent historical legacy for contemporary Balkan and specifically Bulgarian identity discourses. Last but not least, I have some observations arising from my research on the translation and translatability of basic terms, aesthetic notions and concepts from Gothic discourse, rather than of 303

Gothic works themselves. To begin with, theres the verb (gothicize), which sounds rather eccentric in Bulgarian and probably grates on the ears of native English speakers too. This neologism is inevitable (as well as the reluctance it initially arouses) and cannot be replaced with the more natural sounding , because it designates just the opposite action. The latter, analogically to verbs like (vandalize), (Europeanize) etc., denotes a metonymic transfer of the doers properties to the deed, which leaves only external traces of impact on the object. The notion of (Gothicizing) denotes a process, which is much closer to the production of a metaphor. Similar to (electrification) or (mystification), it inscribes, immures, infiltrates inside the object properties and faculties that are not typical of it and substantially modifies, replaces or recovers its identity. Then theres the English literary term romance, which has almost no equivalent in Bulgarian literary studies. Bulgarian Medieval literature lacks works that can be defined as belonging to that genre, while literary discourse during the National Revival (1762-1878) appropriates only the term , corresponding to novel, most probably through the mediation of Russian and French. On the other side of Europe, such major British Gothick Revival authors as Horace Walpole and Clara Reeve made romance an object of theoretical discussion in the last decades of the eighteenth century. This contributed significantly to the development of Gothic narrative and aesthetics in general, as well as to the formation of the forthcoming Romantic ideology. However, the distinction between romance and novel in eighteenth century Britain has had no resonance either then or thereafter in Bulgaria. Yet, the lack of a name does not necessarily mean the lack of a referent. When I apply the notion of romance to nineteenth century Bulgarian contexts I attempt to stretch a very incoherent Pan-European generic continuity and simultaneously underline a clear-cut cultural discontinuity. In this intercultural juxtaposition the transfer of a term acquires the characteristics of a transference, which invests the term itself with new connotations. Therefore, romance in my use challenges certain limits of both a generic and a national tradition of naming in a 304

tropological mode. This act of signification not only introduces a name but also invents a tradition (in the terms of Eric Hobsbawm 1983); it articulates something whose absence becomes tangible thanks to the supplementation of another tradition. Dealing with this kind of Freudian sense of Das Unheimliche is enjoined on Bulgarian translators and indeed translators in general. Indicative of the degree of misunderstanding that could be at stake here is the fact that the one and only Bulgarian translation (from 1991) of Freuds essay on Das Unheimliche (1919) published up to now skips the whole linguistic excursus on which Freud grounds the introduction of his term. Another curious case is the use of its habitual English translation uncanny to translate the French letrange in Tzvetan Todorovs study of the Fantastic genre (1970). Thus Todorovs critical discourse is, perhaps unintentionally, drawn closer to Freudian psychoanalysis. It is noteworthy that the Viennese doctor illustrated this theory by an analysis of E. T. A. Hoffmanns story The Sandman (1816), and not by a case study. As a matter of fact, Todorovs and Freuds theories have three essential components in common: the intellectual uncertainty, which causes the feeling of the uncanny/letrange; the motif of the double, having turned from a guarantee of immortality into a dreadful harbinger of death; and the animation of inanimate matter and vice versa, displayed by the transformation of a human being into an automaton. Therefore, among all existing Bulgarian translations of the term uncanny I prefer for the time being. Finally we have the Gothic dessert the issue of clear definitions of and discrimination between the notions of horror and terror. Ann Radcliffe attempted to do this in her dialogue On the Supernatural in Poetry, published posthumously in 1826. The Great enchantress, as her contemporaries called her, insisted that horror is characterized by uncertainty and obscurity by means of which it contracts, freezes, and nearly annihilates the faculty of man to experience the sublime. While terror is so far opposite that it expands the soul, and awakens the faculties to a high degree of life (Radcliffe 1826: 150). Since the Bulgarian-English, English-Bulgarian and Bulgarian dictionaries make no semantic difference between them, I decided that 305

for terror and for horror are appropriate translations. This demarcation is not universally accepted in Gothic studies; all the more so since Radcliffe herself had not adhered to it in her novel writing. More valuable to me were her observations about the relation between her conceptualization of horror/terror and Edmund Burkes theory of the sublime. Thus, with her post-Kantian treatment of the sublime she consolidated the bond between two key notions in Gothic aesthetics and poetics. Thanks to Radcliffe, and to Foucaults approach to discourse too, I feel that the connection between the genre and terror can be succinctly put as follows: Gothic is a cultural frame of the (pre)Modern Age, which intensifies considerably the process of putting terror into discourse. In conclusion, let me reiterate that owing to cultural differences and unsystematic and unconsidered reception in Bulgaria the Gothic has been subject to aesthetic and evaluative prejudices. Moreover, responses to the Gothic in Bulgarian literature, appearing as it does from a different canonical content and order, and the (im)possible intertextual relations that the Gothic has with Bulgarian literature, have been largely disregarded. My research and study of the Gothic have consequently sought to reverse prevailing attitudes, in a way which has been experienced by scholars of popular culture or postcolonial literature. Works Cited Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. London: R. Dodsley, 1757. Dobrev, Dobrin. Spravochnik na simvolite v bulgarskiya simvolizum. [A Handbook of Symbols in Bulgarian Symbolism] Shumen: Glaucus. 1996. Donchev, Anton. Vreme razdelno. [Time for Parting] Sofia: Bulgarski pisatel, 1964. (English Transl. Marguerite Alexieva. William Morrow & Co. 1967). Foucault, Michel, The Order of Discourse. Robert Young ed. Untying the Text: A Poststructuralist Reader. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981. 51-78. 306

Focault, M. Nietzsche, Genealogy, History. Paul Rabinow ed. The Foucault Reader. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984. 76-100. Freud, Sigmund. Uzhasnoto. [The Uncanny.] Estetika. Izkoustvo. Literatura. [Aesthetics. Art. Literature.] Transl. Haritina Kostova-Dobreva. Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 1991, 501-523. Goticheski roman. [Gothic Novels] Sofia: Narodna kultura, 1984. Hadzhikosev, Simeon. Zapandoevropeiska literatura. [WestEuropean Literature: Part II.] Sofia: CIELA, 2006. Hobsbawm, Eric. Introduction: Inventing Traditions. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger eds. The Invention of Tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983. Ivanov, Dmitri. Strahut na malkata Meri [Little Marys Fear.] Preface to Mary Shelley. Frankenstein. Sofia: Narodna Kultura, 1981. Kovachev, Ognyan. Balkan Gothic: Horrible dictu or Horror vacui? tudes Balkaniques, 2 (2008):149-165. Kovachev, Ognyan. Goticheskiyat roman. Genealogiya, zhanr i estetika. [The Gothic Novel: Genealogy, Genre, Aesthetics.] Sofia: Ednorog, 2004. Mincoff, Marco. A History of English Literature: Part II. Sofia: Naouka i Izkoustvo, 1976. Radcliffe, Ann. On the Supernatural in Poetry. The New Monthly Magazine, 16: 1 (1826): 145-152. Stanev, Emilian. Antihrist. [Antichrist]. Sofia: Balgarski pisatel, 1970. Stanev, Emilian. Legenda za Sibin, preslavskiya knyaz [Legend of Sibin, the Prince of Preslav]. Sofia: Narodna mladezh, 1968. Stanev, Emilian. Tihik i Nazarii [Tikhick and Nazareus]. Izbrani suchineniya v tri toma. [Selected Works in 3 Volumes] Vol. III. Sofia: Balgarski pisatel, 1977. 307

Todorov, Tzvetan. Introduction la littrature fantastique. Paris: Seuil, 1970 (Todorov, Tzvetan. The Fantastic. A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre. Transl. Richard Howard, Cleveland, 1973). Tzankov, Georgi. Sledi ot kopitata na dyavola [Traces from the Devils Hoofs] Goticheski romani. [Gothic Novels.] Sofia: Narodna kultura, 1984. Vazov, Ivan. Epopeya na zabravenite [Epopee to the Forgotten] Subrani suchineniya. [Collected works] Vol. 2. Sofia: Bulgarski Pisatel, 1975.


British Literature in the Context of Stage and Screen Arts Higher Education
Iskra Nikolova
Introduction: The Small Read At the beginning of October 2008 The Big Read show started in Bulgaria with the goal of identifying Bulgarian readers favourite book from world literature through viewer voting. In this connection, I would like to begin my paper with a brief description of a survey which I conducted with students attending my lecture course in Western European literature in the spring term of the academic year 2007-2008 at the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA), Sofia, Bulgaria. These were first year students in Acting, Directing, Scriptwriting and Film Studies. In contrast to The Big Read I shall call this survey The Small Read 07 (chronologically it actually preceded the Bulgarian Big Read). In the early spring of 2007 I concluded one of my lectures by inviting the students to vote for their favourite Western European author. For a period of one week students could cast their ballot-notes in an improvised voting-urn. They could identify more than one writer and/or book. There were no strict genre restrictions, but possibly because there was also a question about their favourite literary character most of the students chose novels or short stories; others voted for plays. I got 36 responses to the survey. This number may not be statistically significant on a large scale, but it could be considered as quite representative for a relatively small higher school such as NATFA. Roughly, this number corresponds to about one-third of all first year students at the Academy. The voting results can be summarized as follows:


(Some of the students have written only the name(s) of the author(s), others have noted particular titles. In the chart below the titles, where present, are given in parentheses.)
1. Ranking first, with 38.8% of the vote: Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Happy Prince, The Fisherman and His Soul; The Soul of Man under Socialism) 2. Each of the following authors got about 10% of the vote: William Shakespeare Samuel Beckett Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha) Antoine de SaintExupry (The Little Prince) 3. Each of the following authors got about 7% of the vote:

Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote) Honore de Balzac Harold Pinter Victor Hugo (Les Misrables, Notre-Dame de Paris) Hans Christian Andersen Charlotte Bront (Jane Eyre) Erich Kstner Other Western-European authors noted in the vote: Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka (The Castle, The Trial, Metamorphosis), Rainer Maria Rilke, Federico Garca Lorca, Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus), Jean-Paul Sartre, Erich Maria Remarque, Boris Vian (Foam of the Daze), Heiner Mller, Max Frisch (Homo Faber, Don Juan or the Love of Geometry), Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, Giovanni Verga, Selma Lagerlf, Astrid Lindgren, Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers). Other British authors noted in the vote: Charles Dickens, Emily Bront (Wuthering Heights), Virginia Woolf, John Fowles, Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting). Also: Alexander Milne with Winnie-the-Pooh, J. R. R. Tolkien with The Lord of the Rings, James Matthew Barrie with Peter Pan, Douglas Adams with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Terry Pratchett with the Discworld novels, J. K. Rowling with the Harry Potter novels.

In general, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the students responses. What seemed somewhat unexpected to me was the strong preference for Oscar Wilde, who was ranked not only high above traditionally well-loved authors like, say, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Lorca, 310

Beckett, Pinter, but also above contemporary favourites like Welsh, Tolkien, etc. Doubtlessly, the results of the Small Read 07 survey show the strong position of British literature as a whole (there were five British authors out of twelve at the top three positions, and many more were noted in the vote). There is, however, some imbalance with regard to authors and periods. For instance, the great English novelists of the 18th and the 19th century seem to be somewhat underrepresented (the only ones noted are Dickens and the Bront sisters), even in comparison to other Western European authors of the same period. Consequently, in subsequent sessions I devoted some time and effort to drawing the students attention to the works of Swift, Fielding, Sterne, Thackeray. On the other hand, British literature achieved outstanding results for children's classics and contemporary authors and genres. This, I think, gestures toward the need to respond to student interests by allotting some time to authors who are usually inadequately represented or not included in the academic syllabus, such as Milne, Tolkien, Rowling, Douglas Adams, etc. Of course, the Small Read 07 survey just gives a rough and momentary snapshot of students preferences, which may have been influenced by a number of subjective and objective factors. It is likely that the survey would reveal different results if conducted with the same respondents today. It should also be noted that the survey was conducted at the beginning of the course, because I wanted to get an overall picture of the literary background and interests of the audience. It provided me with useful feedback and was fun for the students at the same time; so I am planning to conduct a Small Read survey on a regular basis, in each new lecture course. I will also attempt to develop a two-stage format, both at the entry and the exit level, to investigate the dynamics of the responses. Literature in Relation to Stage and Screen Arts Education In this part of my paper I would like to focus on some methodological and conceptual aspects of teaching literature to students in stage and screen arts and studies. Some of the main goals of literature classes in this environment are to support and stimulate specific creative activities among and to develop the profes311

sional skills of the students, as well as to broaden their general cultural horizons. In his seminal book The Post-Dramatic Theatre, the German researcher Hans-Thies Lehmann describes the so-called project theatre as one of the innovative forms of contemporary dramatic art (Lehmann 2001: 203-204). The project principle is widely implemented, in various forms, also in the sphere of screen arts, where each screenplay or script could be regarded as a basis for a project. As a key element of the structural organization of contemporary stage and screen arts, the project principle requires persistent work and the ability to notice and assess the dramaturgical potential of literary materials. Such materials1 have always been in demand, but now more than ever, in a world of postmodern intertextuality and ever-growing competition, theatre and cinema seem to be in constant search of interesting and adaptable (fictional, documentary, visual) sources. Moreover, in the flexible and dynamic network of the creative and cultural institutions nowadays, the function of sourcehunters is performed not only by playwrights and screenwriters, dramaturges, theatre and film directors, producers and managers. Today, to a much greater degree, a theatre or film project could be initiated by an actor or a group of actors; by a scenographer, choreographer, composer, etc. In this context literature presents an inexhaustible resource, a fertile ground for exploration and discoveries. Therefore, the development of the theatre and film students literary competences has a direct practical bearing on their creative, critical and research activities and intentions. Literary studies at NATFA aim to provide students with skills for exploring and developing the dramaturgical (stage and/or screen) potential of a literary text. Considerations along similar lines are very likely to have influenced, for example, the Small Read survey results discussed above. This practical hands-on approach to literature encouraged me to undertake research into the various forms and techniques of theatre and film adaptation. Some theoretical and practical aspects of the adaptation process are presented in my book Texts in Motion: Problems of Translation and Adaptation (2005). It explores interdisciplinary issues of theatre translation, 312

stage and screen adaptation and is intended to be of use to practicing professionals and to students in stage and screen arts and studies, as a learning resource and reference guide. I shall not dwell here on the arguments for and against adaptation, and on the problems of fidelity and equivalence which have long been the subject of much debate and controversy in both translation and adaptation studies. I would just like to refer to the essay Adaptation, or Cinema as Digest, which was written by the prominent French film critic and theorist Andr Bazin in 1948, and which anticipated in many ways some key developments in the field of adaptation. (The essay focuses mainly on screen adaptation but is also relevant to other media such as theatre, radio, etc.). The introductory part of this essay offers the following remark: More than one writer, more than one critic, more than one filmmaker even, has challenged the aesthetic justification for adaptation of novels on the screen; however, there are few examples of those who take actual exception to this practice, of artists who refuse to sell their books, to adopt other peoples books, or to direct them when a producer comes along with the right blandishments. So their theoretical argument doesnt seem altogether justified. (Bazin 1996: 41) So, more than half a century ago Bazin pointed out that the adaptation of original works of art has become so customary and so frequent that it is next to impossible to question their existence today (49). His observations, written in the middle of the 20th century, hold true even more today, in the postmodern era and at the beginning of the new millennium. A cursory glance at cinema posters, theatre bills and TV programmes in any part of the world would be enough to prove the validity of his conclusions. Not only in practical but also in theoretical terms Bazins insightful prediction that we are moving toward a reign of adaptation in which the notion of the unity of the work of art, if not the very notion of the author himself, will be destroyed (49) has come true to a considerable extent. It has been confirmed by the subsequent death of the author polemics and by the rich diversity of postmodern intertextual practices. Broadly speaking, adaptation involves interchange between different sign systems, arts, genres, media and cultures. It spans 313

a vast and varied territory bordering on translation, on the one hand, and on the intertextual and intercultural collage, on the other hand. It is often a collaborative process, in which the transition from page to stage or screen requires not only conceptual, semiotic and intermedial transformations but also adaptation to specific target audiences, horizons of expectation and modes of reception. These various aspects of the adaptation process have been integrated into a project assignment which aims to motivate students at NATFA to develop and present their ideas for a screen or stage adaptation of a literary work of their own choice. To a certain extent, the assignment is designed as a simulation of and preparation for the so-called pitching sessions for early-stage startups. The requirements, format, deadlines, and assessment criteria are specified in detail in the guidelines for the assignment. So far I have emphasized some special skills which literary studies seek to foster in the context of stage and screen arts higher education. Of equal importance also is the enhancement of more general, transferable skills and abilities such as literary competence, interpretive, analytical and critical abilities, creativity, communication and presentation skills (for instance, through the creation and presentation of the students project assignments). And, finally, the overall objective of literary lectures, seminars and tutorials is to stimulate students to experience and share the delights of reading, and to encourage their intellectual, aesthetic and emotional involvement with books. Literature and the Performing Arts In the above-mentioned essay, Andr Bazin investigates both the aesthetic and pedagogical functions of adaptation. In a similar vein, I focus briefly in this final part of my paper on some performance practices and their relationship to the aesthetics and pedagogy of adaptation. There are many examples of creative interaction between literature, theatre and cinema. Numberless stage and screen adaptations (successful and otherwise) of major literary works have attracted theoretical and critical attention. Not so widely researched, however, are some experimental performance prac314

tices at the intersection of theatre and literature. They may evolve both on the professional and the amateur stage, and may pursue not only aesthetic but sometimes also pedagogical purposes. One interesting and useful study of this experimental field belongs to the American theatre educators and researchers Ronald E. Shields and Allen N. Kepke (1996). In their study Shields and Kepke provide a brief historical overview of literature-inspired projects and performances in the North-American cultural and educational scene: Beginning with the conceptual and performance features of the Speech Choir as introduced in America during the 1930s by Marjorie Gullan, a pioneer in choral speaking, and extending to Readers Theatre, as introduced by Leslie Irene Coger, and Chamber Theatre, as promoted by Robert Breen, the activity of voicing and staging literature has occupied the talents and time of directors, adaptors, teachers, and students for more than half a century. (Shields and Kepke 1996: 71) Then they proceed to explore some site-specific, environmental stagings of multiple literary texts in group performance, which they designate as Gallery Theatre in contrast to Readers Theatre. One such multiple text is entitled Poets and Paintings (dir. B. W. Long); it explores the relationship between Pre-Raphaelite poetry and visual art, with performers offering the poetry as explanation, interpretation, or verbalized guide posts for the projected images (77). Other contemporary theatre formations and institutions also show particular interest in the interaction of theatre and literature. In many countries "Reading Festivals" are held on a regular basis, presenting theatralized readings or oral interpretations (group or individual) of literary works. Fringe theatre companies in North America such as Book-It (Seattle) and Word for Word (San Francisco) both formed in the 1990s have experimented in theatrical narrative storytelling. Sometimes their performances are exactly at the opposite pole of adaptation; as theatre critic Kerry Reid points out, they strive to bring classic and contemporary works of literature to the stage without cutting or changing a word of the author's text(Reid 1997). In Bulgaria the Sfumato Theatre-Laboratory (founded in 1989) has been 315

involved in a number of successful literary performance projects. Not only professional companies but also student amateur theatres are eager to explore the contact zone between literature and the performing arts. Furthermore, Readers Theatre and group performance techniques are adopted by non-theatre disciplines to serve pedagogical purposes, both at school and University level. The use of performance techniques in a literary workshop is described, for instance, by John Glavin (2003) in the Georgetown University Bulletin. The workshop conducted by Glavin presents an attempt to teach Dickens through a combination of adaptation and performance. Two of Dickenss novels Little Dorrit and Our Mutual Friend were staged during the workshop. According to Glavin, the project has been inspired by the Poor Theatre of Jerzy Grotowski: For our performances we relied on the theory and practice of the Polish theatrical genius, Jerzy Grotowski, as they were developed during the 1960s by his own Laboratory Theatre, and codified in his 1968 collection of essays, Towards a Poor Theatre. Poor Theatre served us in three ways. It was cheap. It was founded on adaptation. And it contained its own acting technique, so that rehearsal became identical with the education of the performer. That last feature was enormously important in running a classroom-workshop. (Glavin 2003) Glavins experimental workshop demonstrates that interactive, performative and proactive methods may be applied effectively in a wider academic and socio-cultural context, not necessarily related to students in stage and screen arts. Of course, such methods are not meant to replace the traditional modes of teaching, but at some appropriate point they can be used to promote a more proactive and experiential study of literature. More specifically here, the intercultural exchange between performing arts and literature may be examined with regard to the interaction between British literature and Bulgarian theatre. As far as I know there have been no comprehensive studies on the ways in which Bulgarian theatre has adopted and adapted works from British literature. I shall briefly touch upon this interesting topic here, mainly on the basis of the information I have from various professional and public sources. 316

This information corroborates to a certain extent the results from the Small Read survey and sheds light on the formative impact of existing adaptations on some of the students preferences. For instance, there have been many stage adaptations of the works of Oscar Wilde it seems that Bulgarian theatremakers find his prose to be as appealing as his plays. The Happy Prince, The Fisherman and His Soul, The Nightingale and the Rose, The Canterville Ghost have been frequently adapted over the years, for the theatre and/or puppetry stage. A major Oscar Wilde adaptation was The Picture of Dorian Gray, adapted for the stage (under the title Decent Murders) by playwright and screenplay writer Yurii Dachev, directed by Bina Haralampieva at The Theatre off the Channel (2004). The adaptation won the playwright award of the Bulgarian Theatre-makers Union (UBA) in 2005.

Scene from The Picture of Dorian Gray, (Decent Murders), Theatre off the Channel, Sofia, 2004

Another theatre production which received critical acclaim was The Fisherman and his Soul, adapted for the stage and directed by the well-known Bulgarian actor and director Marius Kurkinski. The production was selected for the influential Varna Summer international theatre festival in 2005. For the part of the Witch the young actress Radena Valkanova was nominated for the UBAs 2005 award for best supporting actress. 317

Scene from The Fisherman and His Soul, Theatre 199, Sofia, 2004

There are also a number of British authors who are often adapted for the speech and/or acting public exams at NATFA and other theatre schools. They range from Chaucer (some of his Canterbury Tales) to classic and modern writers such as Charlotte Bront (Jane Eyre), the Romantic poets (Byron, Keats, Shelley), Alan Sillitoe (The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner), John Fowles (The Collector), etc. A subgroup of theatre productions based on literary sources consists of adaptations that were first made and produced abroad in English and then translated and staged in Bulgaria. Such is the case, for example, with the dramatized version of Keith Waterhouses novel Billy Liar which I translated into Bulgarian some time ago and which has been produced several times by metropolitan and regional theatre companies. The Bulgarian production of Lionel Barts musical Oliver! (based on Dickenss Oliver Twist), which has been running at the Youth Theatre in Sofia since 2007, deserves special mention too.


Scene from Oliver! Youth Theatre, Sofia, 2007

The interest in British childrens literature manifested in the The Small Read 07 survey seems to be the expression of another general trend in the relationship between British literature and Bulgarian theatre. Over the years there have been innumerable theatre and puppet theatre adaptations of A.A. Milnes Winnie-the-Pooh. Other ever-greens include Swifts Gullivers Travels, Lewis Carrolls Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Kiplings Just So Stories and The Jungle Book, J. M. Barries Peter Pan, P. L. Traverss Mary Poppins, Donald Bissets stories.

Scene from The Elephant's Child(after Rudyard Kipling), running since 2003 at the Central Puppet Theatre, Sofia


Even from this brief overview it is evident that the exchange between British literature and Bulgarian theatre has been fairly lively and fruitful. In an intercultural world, particularly in Europe, the great literary works will undoubtedly continue to be a source of enrichment and inspiration. Conclusion In my presentation I have looked at literary studies in the context of stage and screen arts higher education, and have outlined some specific modes of interaction between literature and performing arts. Other relevant lines of research might involve, for example, the ways in which literature, in its turn, influences contemporary dramaturgical practices; also the impact of cinema on literature and theatre texts. But these are topics which deserve separate study and consideration. Notes

The term material in regard to literary works was adopted and notably used by Bertolt Brecht (18981956) whose renderings or rewritings (the German term is Umarbeitungen) of literary texts (both dramaturgical and belletristic) for the stage were an essential element of the aesthetics of his epic theatre.

Works Cited Bazin, Andr. Adaptation, or Cinema as Digest. Bazin at Work: Major Essays and Reviews from the Forties and Fifties. Ed. Bert Carullo. Trans. Alain Piette and Bert Cardullo. New York: Routledge, 1996. 41-51. Glavin, John. Inexpensive Theatrical Production. Georgetown University Bulletin, Washington D. C., 2008. Lehmann, Hans-Thies. Postdramatisches Theater. Frankfurt a. M.: Verlag der Autoren, 2001. Reid, Kerry. A Dark Adapted Eye. SF Metropolitan, February 1997. Shields, Ronald E. and Allen N. Kepke. Prolegomenon to Gallery Theatre: Staging/Performing Fusing, Shifting, and Contrasting Horizons. Theatre Topics 6:1 (1996): 71-90. 320

Abrams, M. H., 283, 294 Adams, Douglas, 310-311 Afros, Elena, 110, 118 Alecsandri, Vasile, 62 Amaral, Alberto, 228, 229 Andersen, Hans Christian, 310 Anderson, Benedict, 69, 72 Anikst, Alexandr A., 81-82, 84, 92, 101-102 Arnold, Matthew, 25, 53 Auerbach, 26, 75-76, 80-81, 93 Austen, Jane, 53 Azar, Betty, 160, 163 Blcescu, Nicolae, 62, 64 Baldick, Chris, 25, 41 Balzac, Honore de, 310 Banta, Andrei, 70, 72-74 Baron, Scarlett, 114, 118 Barrie, James Matthew, 310, 319 Barry, Peter, 57-58 Bart, Lionel, 318 Barthes, Roland, 172, 177, 181, 191, 286, 294 Baudelaire, Charles, 310 Baxter, Judith, 116, 119 Bazerman, Charles, 109-110, 119 Bazin, Andr, 313-314, 320 Beaumarchais, Pierre, 273 Becher, Tony, 109, 111, 119 Beckett, Samuel, 310-311 Beckford, William, 299 Behn, Aphra, 51-52, 59 Bennett, Andrew, 57-58, 288, 294 Benveniste, mile, 140 Berkenkotter, Carol, 111, 119 Berns, Margie, 130, 134 Beza, Marcu, 68 Bhabha, Homi K., 175, 177 Birrell, T.A., 29-30, 41 Bisset, Donald, 319 Blake, William, 53, 289-290, 292, 294-295 Bloom, Harold, 48, 58, 183, 191, 283, 294 Bodea, Cornelia, 66, 72 Bojadzhiev, Zhivko, 139, 154 Bolintineanu, Dimitrie, 62 Bolliac, Cezar, 62, 64 Borras, Frank, 241 Botev, Khristo, 276, 291 Botez, Ion, 68 Botticelli, Sandro, 51 Bowles, William, 290 Bracewell, Wendy, 90, 92-93 Bront, Charlotte, 53, 310311, 318 Bront, Emily, 53, 310-311 Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 53 Browning, Robert, 53 Brunetiere, Ferdinand, 276 Bunyan, John, 11, 53 Burbank, John, 67, 69 Burke, Jim, 205-206 Burke, Edmund, 306 Burns, Robert, 53, 272 Butler, Marilyn, 293-294 321

Butler, Samuel, 70, 72 Byron, George Gordon, 9, 53, 63, 72, 82, 85, 89, 9293, 285-287, 289-296, 318 Calhoun, Craig, 222, 229 Clinescu, George, 62-63, 68, 72 Camus, Albert, 108, 310 Carlyle, Thomas, 25 Carroll, Lewis, 319 Cartianu, Ana, 68 Carver, Terrel, 286, 294 Cazamian, Louis, 70, 75, 82 Ceauescu, Nicolae, 252 Cercel, Petru, 66 Cervantes, Miguel de, 178, 310 Charles, Maggie, 109, 119 Charlton, H. B., 82, 84 Chateaubriand, 63 Chaucer, Geoffrey, 12, 49, 53, 70, 72, 255, 318 Chen Shubo, 176, 178 Cherrington, Ruth, 176-177 Chesterton, Thomas, 272 Chioran, Dimitru, 70 Chopin, Kate, 53 Clare, John, 53 Clark, Katerina, 91-92 Clausen, Wendell, 27-28, 41 Coffin, Caroline, 109, 119 Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 12, 25, 53, 285, 287, 289290, 292 Collins, Wilkie, 53 Conan Doyle, Arthur, 53 Conrad, Joseph, 53 Cook, Albert, 26 322

Coppola, Francis Ford, 168, 175, 299 Cornea, Paul, 62, 72 Crampton, Richard, 251 Crawford, Robert, 25, 42 Crystal, David, 140 Cunningham, Valentine, 189, 191 Dahinden, Janine, 88, 92 Damrosch, David, 76, 93 Damyanova, Rumyana, 276, 280 Danchev, Andrey, 139, 235 Davenant, William, 50 Davidson, Cathy N., 205-206 Davis, Hayley, 147, 154 Debelyanov, Dimcho, 301 Defoe, Daniel, 11, 53, 57, 272, 277, 279 Descartes, Ren, 61 Dewey, John, 146, 154 Dickens, Charles, 7, 53, 57, 310-311, 316, 318 Diderot, Denis, 273 Dilthey, Wilhelm, 83 Dimitrov, Georgi, 252 Dimov, Georgi, 275, 280-281 Dirven, Rene, 150, 154 Dixon, John, 25, 42 Dobrev, Dobrin, 302, 306 Dobson, Michael, 50, 58, 69, 72 Donne, John, 51-53, 89 Doyle, Brian, 25, 42 Drury, Helen, 109, 119 Dryden, John, 49, 53, 89 Dumas, Alexandre, 310 Dumitriu, Geta, 68-69, 73 Durant, Alan, 250

Duridanov, Ivan, 139, 154 Duru-Bellat, Marie, 217, 229 Duescu, Dan, 70, 72-73 Eagleton, Terry, 54, 58, 171, 177, 183, 191 Easthope, Anthony, 169, 177, 182, 189, 191 Eco, Umberto, 185, 191 Elin Pelin, 290 Eliot, George, 53 Eliot, Thomas Stearns, 52, 59, 90 Elistratova, Anna, 82, 84 Eminescu, Mihai, 62 Engels, Frederick, 83, 93, 284, 289, 293, 296 Engler, Balz, 25, 36, 42-43, 67, 73, 94 Fantham, Elaine, 23, 42 Fasold, Ralph, 147, 154 Faulkner, William, 11, 108 Fielding, Henry, 53, 70, 272274, 279, 311 Filipova, Kalina, 235 Fish, Stanley, 183, 192, 228 Fishman, Joshua A., 127, 134 Foucault, Michel, 173, 178, 298, 306-307 Fowler, Alastair, 48, 59 Fowles, John, 104, 310, 318 Freire, Paulo, 198 Freud, Sigmund, 305, 307 Frisch, Max, 310 Fromkin, Victoria, 140, 154 Frow, John, 189, 192 Frye, Northrop, 287, 294 Fulbright, James William, 261-262, 267 Gaidarova, Vessela, 290, 295

Garrick, David, 276 Gaskell, Elizabeth, 53 Gavriliu, Eugenia, 36, 42 Georgiev, Vladimir, 139, 154 Gheorghioiu, Andreea, 70, 72 Gill, Stephen Charles, 290, 295 Gladstone, William Ewart, 252 Glavin, John, 316, 320 Goastellec, Gaelle, 217, 229 Godwin, William, 299 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 63, 273, 279 Goldsmith, Oliver, 272 Goldsworthy, Vesna, 252, 259 Goodman, Lizbeth, 51, 59 Gorak, Jan, 48-49, 59 Gorbachev, Mikhail, 254 Gorky, Maxim, 293, 295 Gottsched, Johann, 273 Graddol, David, 116, 120 Gray, Thomas, 53 Green, Keith, 172, 178 Greenblatt, Stephen, 91, 93 Greenshaw, Edwin, 26 Gregory, Marshall, 196, 204 Grimm, Peter, 68 Grosman, Meta, 78, 93 Grossberg, Lawrence, 189, 192 Guillory, John, 47, 59 Gumbrecht, Hans, 29, 42 Haas, Renate, 25, 36, 42, 43, 67, 72, 94 Habermas, Jrgen, 257 323

Hadzhikosev, Simeon, 275, 280, 284, 289, 291-293, 295, 300, 307 Hamilton, Paul, 24, 42 Hardcastle, John, 24-25, 42 Hardy, Thomas, 53, 70, 73 Harris, Roy, 147-148, 154 Harwood, Nigel, 109, 120 Hattaway, Michael, 236 Hayles, Katherine, 201-202, 206 Herbert, George, 53 Herder, Johann Gottfried, 23, 273 Herrick, Robert, 53 Hesse, Hermann, 310 Hewings, Martin, 119, 157163 Hobsbawm, Eric, 305, 307 Hoffmann, E. T. A., 299, 305 Holquist, Michael, 91-92, 194, 203-204, 207 Holt, Stephen, 235, 251, 256 Hopkins, Gerard Manley, 53 Hristoforov, Assen, 87, 93 Hugo, Victor, 63, 299, 310 Hulban, Horia, 36, 42 Humboldt, William von, 2324, 42 Hunt, Leigh, 290-291 Hutcheon, Linda, 91, 93, 181-182, 192 Huxley, Aldous, 25 Hyland, Ken, 109, 121 Ibsen, Henrik, 310 Iorga, Nicolae, 68, 73 Ivanov, Dmitri, 300, 307 Ivask, George, 287, 295 Jack, Ian, 289, 291-292, 295 324

Jackson, Emily Bernhard, 285, 295 James, Henry, 53, 301 Jeffrey, Francis, 285, 295 Jenkins, Jennifer, 117, 121, 129, 134 Johnson, David, 25, 42 Johnson, Paul, 291, 295 Johnson, Samuel, 273, 276 Johnstone, Bruce D., 218, 220, 229 Jordan, Glenn, 169, 178 Kachru, Braj, 125-126, 132, 134 Kafka, Franz, 310 Kstner, Erich, 310 Katamba, Francis, 145, 155 Keats, John, 53, 86, 89, 286292, 294, 296, 318 Kepke, Allen N., 315, 320 Kermode, Frank, 51-52, 59 Khristov, Kiril, 287 Kipling, Rudyard, 319 Klancher, Jon, 283, 295 Klopstock, Friedrich Gottlieb, 273 Knights, Ben, 105-106, 108 Koglniceanu, Mihail, 62, 64 Korda, Mihai, 227, 230 Kristeva, Julia, 252 Krylov, B., 84, 93 Kushner, Eva, 169, 174-175, 178 Lagerlf, Selma, 310 Lamartine, Alphonse de, 63 Lamb, Charles, 290 Langland, William, 104 Lanson, Gustave, 276

Larsen-Freeman, Diane, 162, 163 Lea, Mary R., 109-110, 112, 121 LeBihan, Jill, 172, 178 Leech, Geoffrey, 140, 163 Legouis, Emile, 75, 82 Lehmann, Hans-Thies, 312, 320 Lerer, Seth, 81, 91, 93 Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim, 273 Leung, Constant, 117, 121 Levichi, Leon, 70, 72-74 Lewis, Mathew G., 299 Likova, Rozaliya, 275, 281 Lillo, George, 273 Lindgren, Astrid, 310 Lorca, Federico Garca, 310 Lyons, John, 140 Lyubenov, Lyuben, 292, 295 MacCarthy, Fiona, 293, 296 MacDonald, Susan Peck, 109-110, 121 Macpherson, James, 272 McCrum, Robert, 123, 134 McEwan, Ian, 188, 192 McGann, Jerome, 284, 296 McLellan, David, 286, 296 Malmkjr, Kirsten, 145, 155 Man, Paul de, 28-29, 42, 191 Mann, Sandi, 206-207 Martin, Philip, 59, 120 Marvell, Andrew, 53 Marx, Karl, 83, 93, 284, 289, 293-294, 296 Masefield, John, 53 Maturin, Charles, 299 Maurois, Andre, 291, 296

Maybin, Janet, 12, 134 Mill, John Stuart, 25 Milne, Alexander A., 310311, 319 Milton, John, 12, 49, 53, 74, 255 Mincoff, Marco, 37, 75-77, 79-93, 101-102, 235, 289, 291, 296, 300, 307 Mineva, Milla, 250, 259 Mirabeau, Honor, 273 Mitov, Dimitar, 101-102, 284-285, 287, 289-290, 292, 296 Molhova, Zhana, 239 Molire, (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin), 61, 63, 69 Montesquieu, Charles, 63, 273 Moore, Thomas, 285 Morell, Teresa, 206, 207 Moretti, Franco, 85, 92-93 Moskov, Mosko, 139 Mueller-Vollmer, Kurt, 24, 42 Mller, Heiner, 310 Natoli, Joseph, 192 Nelson, Cary, 189, 192 Newmark, Peter, 31 Nicolescu, Adrian, 70, 73 Nicolescu, Liminita, 227, 229, 230 North, Sarah P., 109, 111, 120, 121 Ohala, John, 144, 155 Ohmann, Richard, 27, 43 ONeill, Michael, 288, 296 OReilly, Laurie M., 124125, 134, 160, 163 325

Ossian, 63 Palmer, D. J., 25, 43 Palmer, Francis, 140 Paquette, Gabriel, 228, 230 Pennycook, Alastair, 131132, 134 Pepys, Samuel, 50 Perkins, David, 83-85, 91, 94, 285, 296 Peshev, Alexandar, 101-102, 284, 289, 292, 296 Petriceicu Hadeu, Bogdan, 68 Phillipson, Robert, 117, 121, 127-129, 132, 134-135 Pinter, Harold, 310, 311 Piru, Alexandru, 66, 73 Pittock, Murray G. H., 87, 92, 94 Plekhanov, Georgi, 276 Pleu, Andrei, 90, 94 Pocock, John, 257 Polo, Marco, 185, 192 Popa, Ecaterina, 36, 42 Pope, Alexander, 49, 53, 89, 272-273, 276-277, 290 Pound, Ezra, 8, 50, 59, 90 Pratchett, Terry, 310 Preda, Ioan Aurel, 70, 73 Protopopescu, Dragosh (Drago), 69, 74 Pushkin, Alexander, 63, 287 Quirk, Randolph, 123, 135, 157, 159, 161-163 Radcliffe, Ann, 299, 305, 307 Rdulescu, Ion Eliade, 62, 72 Reid, Kerry, 315, 320 Remarque, Erich Maria, 310 Renwick, W. L., 289, 296 326

Richardson, Samuel, 272274, 279 Rilke, Rainer Maria, 310 Ringold, Dena, 222, 230 Robins, R. H., 140 Robinson, Andrew, 206-207 Rodman, Robert, 140, 154 Roe, Nicholas, 288, 296 Ross, Trevor, 47, 59 Rossetti, Christina, 53 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 273, 277 Rowling, J. K., 310-311 Royle, Nicholas, 57, 58 Ruhnken, David, 48 Russell, Bertrand, 293, 296 Russell, Charles, 181, 192 Russo, Alecu, 62 Said, Edward, 27, 43 Saint-Exupry, Antoine de, 310 Salkeld, Duncan, 84, 94 Samraj, Betty, 109, 121 Santos, Denise, 116, 119 Sarasin, Lynne, 152, 155 Sartre, Jean-Paul, 310 Saussure, Ferdinand de, 24, 43, 140, 147, 149 Savoy, April, 206, 207 Scatton, Ernest, 236 Schellekens, Elisabeth, 189, 192 Schiller, Friedrich, 63 Schlegel, Friedrich, 23 Schleiermacher, Friedrich, 23-24 Scholes, Robert, 26, 43 Schryer, Catherine F., 110, 118

Schwarz, Wolfgang F., 275, 281 Scott, Sir Walter, 7-8, 63, 286-287, 292 Seidlhofer, Barbara, 129, 135 Sennett, Richard, 257 Sent Pierre, Bernarden de, 273 Shakespeare, William, 12, 42, 48-53, 56-59, 69, 7274, 82, 84-86, 109, 255, 272-273, 276, 291, 310 Sharp, Anna M., 153, 155 Shelley, Mary, 53, 307 Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 9, 53, 85-86, 285-288, 290-292, 299, 318 Sheridan, Richard, 89, 273, 276 Shields, Ronald E., 315, 320 Shishmanov, Ivan, 271-278, 280-281 Sillitoe, Alan, 318 Sivori, Franco, 66-67 Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove, 128 Slavejkov, Pencho, 288 Smirnitski, Alexandr I., 139 Smollett, Tobias, 272 Solntsev, Vadim M., 139 Southey, Robert, 285, 289, 292, 295 Spasov, Dimiter, 157-158, 160-163 Spenser, Edmund, 49, 53 Spiering, Menno, 91, 94 Spitzer, Leo, 26, 75 St Clair, William, 49, 59 Stamenov, Christo, 36, 43, 76-77, 79-80, 82, 91, 94

Stanev, Emilian, 301, 303, 307 tefnescu-Drgneti, Virgiliu, 70, 74 Stefanov, Konstantin, 79, 91, 94, 271 Sterne, Lawrence, 10, 272, 279-280, 311 Stevenson, R. L., 53, 299 Stoker, Bram, 168, 175, 299 Stone, Donald, 176, 178 Street, Brian V., 109, 112, 121 Strindberg, August, 310 Strom, Kirsten, 173, 178 Swales, John, 109, 121-122 Swift, Jonathan, 53, 272-274, 277, 279, 311, 319 Swinburne, Algernon, 252 Taylor, Gary, 50, 59 Taylor, Samuel, 53 Taylor, Talbot, 146, 149, 154 Tennyson, Alfred, 53 Thackeray, William Makepeace , 70, 74, 311 Thatcher, Margaret, 254 Thomas, Dylan, 255 Thompson, Ann, 236, 256 Thompson, James, 272 Thompson, Paul, 109, 122 Thurgar-Dawson, Chris, 105, 108 Tihanov, Galin, 85, 86, 94 Tillyard, E. M. W., 82, 84 Titsworth, B. Scott, 206-207 Todorov, Tzvetan, 252, 305, 308 Todorova, Maria, 251, 259 Toland, John, 276 327

Tolkien, J. R. R., 310-311 Trask, R. Larry, 140 Travers, P. L., 319 Trayanov, Teodor, 288, 301 Treichler, Paula, 189, 192 Tribble, Chris, 109, 122 Trollope, Anthony, 53 Trow, Martin, 217, 230 Tyson, Lois, 170, 174, 178 Tzankov, Georgi, 300, 308 Ullman, Stephen, 140 Van Valin, Robert, 143, 155 Vaughan, Henry, 53 Vazov, Ivan, 276, 301, 308 Vega, Quinn, 152, 155 Verga, Giovanni, 310 Verma, Shivendra K., 126127, 135 Verspoor, Marjorin, 150, 154 Vesselinov, Dimitar, 271, 281 Vian, Boris, 310 Vishwanathan, Gauri, 25, 43 Volney, Comte de, 63 Voltaire, (Franois-Marie Arouet), 61, 63, 273, 277 Wadham-Smith, Nick, 166, 170, 178 Walsh, Marcus, 69, 74 Warnke, Frank J., 78-79, 94

Warren, Austin, 75, 94 Waterhouse, Keith, 318 Watson, R.W. Seton, 68, 73 Weimann, Robert, 82, 84, 92 Wellek, Ren, 26-27, 43, 75, 89, 92, 94, 284, 296 Wells, H. G., 53 Welsh, Irvine, 310, 311 Wieland, Christoph Martin, 273 Wignell, Peter, 109, 122 Wilde, Oscar, 53, 70, 74, 310, 317 Wilson, J. Dover, 82, 84 Wolf, Alison, 217, 230 Woolf, Virginia, 52, 310 Wordsworth, Dorothy, 53 Wordsworth, William, 53, 192, 285, 289-290, 292, 295 Wyatt, Sir Thomas, 53 Yasenov, Hristo, 301 Yin Qiping, 176, 178 Young, Edward, 49, 63, 272 Young, Robert J. C., 87, 92, 94, 306 Young, Tory, 114, 122 Zhivkov, Todor, 252 Ziolkowski, Jan, 28, 41, 43 Zvegintsev, Vladimir A., 139


English Studies On This Side

Post-2007 Reckonings
Prepress: Georgi Tashkov Plovdiv University Press, 2009 Plovdiv, 2009 ISBN 978-954-423-568-0