From ‘Our Island Story’ to ‘Citizens of Nowhere’ : Culture, Identity and English Literature

Talbot, Daniel (2022) From ‘Our Island Story’ to ‘Citizens of Nowhere’ : Culture, Identity and English Literature. Changing English, 29 (3). pp. 285-296. ISSN 1358-684X

Full text not available from this repository.


There is a growing consensus that the study of literature in English secondary schools is suffering a crisis: a fixation with knowledge and facts, a loss of creativity, and a denigration of students’ own experience, to name a few. This article argues that this is, in part, a result of the conception of culture embedded in the current National Curriculum; a conception in which the study of literature exists primarily to valorise and maintain a clearly definable national culture. In response to this, I suggest that recent thinking in the tradition of cultural cosmopolitanism can expose the inadequacies of this model and offer a set of conceptual resources for thinking about the role of identity and culture in relation to literary study in the secondary school. I also suggest that, as far back as the 1921 Newbolt report, fragments of this more capacious understanding of culture run through much of the most important thinking about the subject.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Changing English
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? culturecosmopolitanismidentitycanonnational curriculumcultural studieseducation ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
04 May 2022 13:05
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 22:30