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Reading Norton Anthologies

About the project

Status: archive

Project team: Erik Fredner, David McClure, J.D. Porter;

Start date: Sep 1, 2017

End date: Jun 15, 2018

Last updated: Jan 1, 2023

As the longest-running series of commercial literary anthologies and a pedagogical tool commonly used at both undergraduate and graduate levels, Norton has been in the business of binding literary canons for more than half a century. How, then, has the Norton helped to create a literary canon, and how has this canon changed over time? This project examines every text included in every edition of the various Norton series since M.H. Abrams edited the first Norton Anthology of English Literature in 1964. This approach allows us to explore the trajectories not only of individual authors and works, but broader trends of inclusion and exclusion in the Norton’s canon.