Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type




First Advisor

Prof. Elisa Facio


The following thesis serves to critically address the overarching question, “Should Things Fall Apart be included in the Humanities canon (if it is not already)?” In examining this primary question, I discuss the canon itself, which includes: the origins of the canon, the canon maintenance, the different canon camps, and the criteria that merit a work of literature canonical. This work uses seven canonical criteria to evaluate Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, as a way of testing the work’s canonicity. In my research, I utilize the following lenses: new criticism, literary analysis, cultural studies, feminist theory, and postcolonialism in order to analyze both the construction of the canon and Achebe’s ork as canonical. In addition to understanding the canon as a cultural artifact created throug a series of players and ideologies, this thesis provides a concise list of criteria for scholars in the Humanities field to evaluate new texts as to their canonicity, as well as reevaluate works previously considered canonical. This thesis focuses solely on the Humanities literary canon.