English professor Dr. Ken Roemer reviews the American literary “canon wars” of the 1980s in the Focus on Faculty presentation at noon Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the sixth floor parlor of the Central Library.
The “canon wars” pitted critics who wanted to conserve classic literature as representative of American culture against those who argued for including more women and minority authors, and a diverse genre mix.
Dr. Roemer leads a team of librarians and graduate students addressing the problem by creating a fully searchable and comprehensive digital archive of the tables of contents of American literature anthologies. The database will offer opportunities to compare live women of color and dead white males, complex poems and folk songs, classic novels, and obscure diaries to learn when they became the voices of American culture.
His work was featured in the 2010 College of Liberal Arts Report.