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Deborah Appleman with Amna Khalid and Jeffrey Snyder






About the Book:


Can educators continue to teach troubling but worthwhile texts?

Our current “culture wars” have reshaped the politics of secondary literature instruction. Due to a variety of challenges from both the left and the right—to language or subject matter, to potentially triggering content, or to authors who have been canceled—school reading lists are rapidly shrinking. For many teachers, choosing which books to include in their curriculum has become an agonizing task with political, professional, and ethical dimensions.

In Literature and the New Culture Wars, Deborah Appleman calls for a reacknowledgment of the intellectual and affective work that literature can do, and offers ways to continue to teach troubling texts without doing harm. Rather than banishing challenged texts from our classrooms, she writes, we should be confronting and teaching the controversies they invoke. Her book is a timely and eloquent argument for a reasoned approach to determining what literature still deserves to be read and taught and discussed.




This is an invigorating call for educators 'to continue to teach challenging texts.

— Publishers Weekly


Now more than ever, educators need to feel encouraged and empowered to teach literature that reflects what is happening in the world today, that acknowledges and reckons with the past, and that enlivens hope for an equitable and just future. Literature and the New Culture Wars is the book that honors and makes visible those educators doing this necessary work.


— Marcelle Haddix, Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Syracuse University


If I could buy just one book for every English teacher in America at this time, it would be this one.

— Jim Burke, Middle College High School, San Mateo, CA, author of The English Teacher’s Companion (Heinemann) and Uncharted Territory


You need this book and need it now.

— Carol Jago, high school English teacher, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and author of The Book in Question: Why and How Reading Is in Crisis


Deborah Appleman is one of the legendary mentors of our profession. Her latest and perhaps most courageous book arrives at the right moment to rescue literary education in American schools from the anti-literate, parochial, and self-righteous censors from across the political spectrum, who don’t begin to understand that the function of literature is to awaken our sense of outrage and empathy, trouble our platitudes, and arouse us to moral action.

— Sheridan Blau, PhD, Professor of Practice in the Teaching of English, Teachers College, Columbia University



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ISBN: 9781324019183


About The Author:


Deborah Appleman is the Hollis L. Caswell professor of educational studies and director of the Summer Writing Program at Carleton College. Professor Appleman’s recent research has focused on teaching college-level language and literature courses at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater for inmates who are interested in pursuing post-secondary education. She is also the author of Reading for Themselves: How to Transform Adolescents into Lifelong Readers Through Out-of-Class Book Clubs, Teaching Literature to Adolescents, Critical Encounters in High School English: Teaching Literary Theory to Adolescents, Braided Lives: An Anthology of Multicultural American Writing, Adolescent Literacy and the Teaching of Reading, and Reading Better, Reading Smarter: Designing Literature lessons for Adolescents, co-authored with Michael Graves.


Amna Khalid is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. She specializes in modern South Asian history and the history of medicine. Born in Pakistan, Amna completed her Bachelors Degree at Lahore University of Management Sciences. She went on to earn an M.Phil. in Development Studies and a D.Phil. in History from Oxford University.  Amna is the author of multiple book chapters on the history of public health in nineteenth-century India, with an emphasis on the connections between Hindu pilgrimages and the spread of epidemics. 


Jeff Snyder is an Associate Professor in the department of Educational Studies at Carleton College. He studies modern U.S. history, from the turn of the twentieth century to yesterday. Snyder's work explores the connections between the history of education and broader trends in American cultural and intellectual history, examining questions about race, national identity and the purpose of public education in a diverse, democratic society. His teaching focuses on past and present educational policy and school reform movements.









Date: 02/07/2023
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm

38 Snelling Ave S
St Paul, MN 55105
United States