Louise Rosenblatt papers, 1904-2005 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
Louise Michel Rosenblatt, named after Louise Michel, a modern-day Joan of Arc for the downtrodden in France, was still making scholarly contributions to the English Education field more than a century after her birth and just several weeks before her death. Beginning with her seminal work, Literature as Exploration, published in 1938, until her latest book, Making Meaning With Texts: Selected Essays (2005), which included essays she wrote from the 1930's to the 1990's, Rosenblatt was continually at odds with the New Criticism and its theory that the "meaning" of a poem or other text was embedded itself in the text, a concealed objective truth.
Rosenblatt's long career of writing, teaching, and presenting her work at conferences, is documented in this collection via her many drafts and notebooks, letters and speeches. Categorization of this collection was challenging because of the volume of unorganized material and the close associations of, for example, "Writings" and "Teaching Materials," "Conventions" and "Presentations."
Whatever the case, the researcher can delve into personal correspondences of Rosenblatt with friends, family, and some "famous" acquaintances, such as Margaret Mead, Sinclair Lewis, and John Dewey. They can look through the many photographs and notebooks, her speeches, writings, and various editions of her books. And hopefully, he can appreciate Rosenblatt's life's work as influencing teachers of reading and English literature, a key player in the field of literary theory for almost a century.