De autonomisering van de twintigste-eeuwse Amerikaanse literatuurgeschiedschrijving een systemische benadering



This article offers an impetus to a semantic analysis of the discipline of
American literary history from a systems theoretical perspective. The analysis
is based on a representative selection of four literary histories in the field. The
main argument is chat these histories make use of a double legitimization
strategy to authorize themselves as definitive reference works on American
literature. On the one hand, they significantly broaden the object of study as
it has been demarcated in previous works. On the other, they plead for a
reconnection of the study of literature to its original social mission. The function
of this double strategy is to assert the autonomy of American literary history.