Oversize Cohen certificates
This collection contains the teaching, research, and personal papers of Ralph Cohen, the William R. Kenan, Jr. professor of English from the University of Virginia from 1948-2016; and the records of the "New Literary History", an international, interdisciplinary, award-winning journal that Cohen founded and edited from 1969 to 2009 at the University of Virginia. The records of the New Literary History Journal (1969-2016) (Series 1) contain correspondence, contributors' articles, proofs, financial information, audiocassettes of prominent scholars (of literary theory in the 1990's), computer disks with contributor's articles (1998-2006), and information from the Commonwealth Center of Literary and Cultural Change (1988-1995). The Center was founded and directed by Ralph Cohen at the University of Virginia and is represented in a quarterly issue of the New Literary History Journal (starting with Volume 20 in 1990). Some of the correspondence and articles from contributors are not included for some issues. (See Arrangement for details). The last issue of correspondence and articles represented in the paper collection is Volume 28 (1997).
Both the highly regarded New Literary History Journal and the Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change reflect Cohen's belief that there is a need to understand multiple disciplines when evaluating literature and human nature. He also felt that it is necessary to nurture a genuine respect for different perspectives of other individuals as a pathway to becoming a better society. Each issue of the New Literary History Journal selects a theme and invites authors to create opposing dialogues. As a strong promoter of multiculturalism and feminism, he included authors from the non-western world, and men and women with varying points of view and different backgrounds. Frequent authors/contributors are George Garrett, Joyce A. Joyce, Ihab Hassan, Toril Moi, Xiaoying Wang, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., David Bleich, Hayden White, Paul Ricoeur, Helene Cixous, William K. Winsat, Robert Weimann, Jonathan Culler, Martha Nussbaum, E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Gerald Graff, Murray Krieger, Michael Riffaterre, Barbara Hernstein Smith, Fredric Jameson, Jerome McGann, Wolfgang Iser, Jean Starobinski, Northrup Frye, Geoffrey Hartman, Wolf Lupenies, Eddie Tomarken, Rene Welleck, Marshall McCluhan, Tzvetan Todorov, Terry Eagleton, Brian Stock, Catharine R. Stimpson, Frances Ferguson, Rita Felski, Rey Chow, Cora Diamond, Michael Prince, Winfried Fluck, Sandra Gilbert, Gary Saul Morson, Katherine Neeley, Stanley Fish, James M. Holquist, Keith Moxey, Richard Rorty, Walter Sokel, and many others.
In Series 2 the Ralph Cophen papers reflect his teaching and lecturing from the years 1948 to 2011 on Eighteenth-Century literature and literary theory such as correspondence, lecture notes, class materials, articles, conferences, manuscripts, and printed journals. The content in this part of the collection spans Ancient and Medieval Literature ("The Greats"), English and Continental Literature 1660-1770, English and Continental Literature 1770 to 1900, British Literature, American 19th and 20th Century Literature and literary history, literary change, literary criticism, aesthetics, psychology, and genre. These materials cover a complete and impressive range of literary authors and their works throughout the history of literature including the Bible, ballads and medieval manuscripts, Chaucer, Homer, Virgil, Pope, Donne, Blake, Hume, Thomson, Dryden, Milton, Machiavelli, Dante, Shakespeare, Goldsmith, Austen, Cather, T.S. Eliot, George Elliot, Ellen Glasgow, Emily Dickenson, the Romantics, the Nature Poets, Swift, Olaudah Equiano, James, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Woolf, and many more. These lecture notes reveal the scope and wealth of Ralph Cohen's vast knowledge of literature and offer an opportunity for others to continue learning through his papers.
Of interest are papers written by Ralph Cohen when he was a young college student, and which are included with the papers written by his students on similar subjects. There are also drafts of articles by Ralph Cohen outlining his plans for the New Literary History, and interviews with Ralph Cohen about his teaching. As an editor, Ralph Cohen sought to publish the work of his colleagues, but this collection has some of his original drafts of articles on literary theory. (Series 2: Box 85 and 86)
The collection also includes the personal papers of Ralph Cohen's family including his wife, Libby Okun Cohen and their two children, Ruth Cohen Morris, and David Morris. The Cohen's daughter was married to David B. Morris who co-taught some classes with Ralph Cohen. There are mementos and readings documenting many of the family Seder (Pesach Haggadah). Libby Cohens' papers show her love of learning; her work in an intergenerational project (L'Dor V'Dor) with students and older generations; a Holocaust Oral History project, independent research in genealogy, and her career as an outstanding librarian.
- Creation: 1964-2016
- From the Collection: Cohen, Ralph, 1917-2016 (Teacher, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for use except for restricted materials due to FERPA Boxes 138-150.
From the Collection: 75 Cubic Feet (This collection contains 150 document boxes, over 100 computer disks, 686 audio-cassettes, articles, lectures, class materials, newspaper clippings, photographs, albums, certificates, and seven oversize folders of certificates and photographs)
Language of Materials
Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository
Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States