The essay about which we've been talking is Nina Baym's
"Melodramas of Beset Manhood: How Theories of American Literature
Exclude Women Authors" (American Quarterly 33 ). It's
reprinted in Showalter's _New Feminist Criticism_ and other places.
I was responding to a comment that someone had been to
a conference where everyone swore not to teach Twain. Is it possible
that the writer was referring to this year's NCTE Summer INstitute?
The keynote speaker, Judith Fetterley, did say that she was
through with teaching "the boys"--that "the boys," by which she
meant a kind of aggressive, individualistic, expansionist ethos,
had for too long been defined as THE American text or ideal. The
consensus in the discussion groups, however, seemed to be that
we might more profitably teach Huck Finn in different ways, particularly
in the context of works such as Jewett's "A White Heron" and other
regionalist works. Comments? Did