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Everywhere and Nowhere: The Sociology of Literature After theSociology of LiteratureJames F. EnglishNew Literary History, Volume 41, Number 2, Spring 2010, pp.v-xxiii (Article)Published by The Johns Hopkins University PressFor additional information about this articlehttp://muse.jhu.edu/journals/nlh/summary/v041/41.2.english.htmlAccess Provided by Johnson C. Smith University at 10/31/10 3:23PM GMTEverywhere and Nowhere:The Sociology of Literature After theSociology of LiteratureJames F. EnglishThe sociology of literature has always named a polyglotand rather incoherent set of enterprises. It is scattered across somany separate domains and subdomains of scholarly research,each with its own distinct agendas of theory and method, that it scarcelyeven rates the designation of a field.1 But for purposes of clarity andsimplicity, I will focus here on the fate of sociology in the recent historyof literary studies. Is literary studies actively invested at present in theproject of sustaining a sociology of literature? As currently configured,and facing the particular disciplinary circumstances that we do, are literary scholars capable of producing a new sociology of literature? Wouldthey be favorably disposed toward one if it came their way?One hesitates to answer such questions in the affirmative. New orold, the sociology of literature seems to possess little traction in literarystudies. Nobody appears to regret the passing of a

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