Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Humanities and Social Sciences



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Emily Issacs

Committee Member

Caroline Dadas

Committee Member

Laura Jones


This master’s thesis explores the diversity of full-length texts taught in the American literature courses at one New Jersey high school. Chapter one begins with an overview of American literature anthologies and covers the integration of more diverse texts throughout the 1960s and beyond.

Chapter two offers summary and analysis of the case study conducted for this paper. The case study includes interviews and surveys of teachers as well as student surveys and analysis of documents, such as the course curriculum and the state standards.

Analysis of the data reveals that while the curriculum advocates for diversity in race and gender, there is little diversity in the texts taught in the American literature courses at this high school. Further analysis of teachers’ responses and other evidence gathered indicates that the reasons for this are varied and complex. A significant effort would have to be made by administrators and teachers to more closely align the goals of inclusion and diversity in the curriculum to actual practice in the classroom. Chapter three explores the difficulties and possibilities in this endeavor.

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