Underwood, "Culture and Discontinuity (in the 1840s and in Foucault)"

For a little over a century and a half, professors of literature have been celebrating historical specificity, while chafing against the constraints of continuous narrative. Literary historians' enthusiasm for Michel Foucault's critique of historical continuity is only the latest instance of this long-standing disciplinary preference. Underwood traces the social and institutional authority of discontinuity in literary study back to the first 'period surveys,' and in particular to the pedagogy of F. D. Maurice.