Friday, August 26, 2011
Are you Culturally Literate?
So a professor of mine was discussing these "cultural literacy" tests that are available to test how culturally literate you are. I find this concept both amusing and perplexing at the same time. Either way, I made my way to the website and decided to take the test. I took the "American Literature" test and it dawned on me... Literature = Status.
The memorization of Dostoyevsky or the casual mention of Thoreau in a discussion at a cocktail party means just as much about status than it does anything else. Why is that? Who determines canonicity? What led critics to determine that "The Great Gatsby" was more important than any other works at the time? Can Harry Potter be literature? Can a cookbook be literature? What are your thoughts?
Take the cultural literacy in YOUR field of knowledge and see how you score.