Our profession is brought to a crisis of self-scrutiny by the current malaise among students and within ourselves. The malaise is real and must be reckoned with however we may account for it: whether as a profound shift of sensibility resembling that which took place at the Reformation or as an equally profound unsettling of our central American myths of concern. How shall we respond? Some urge retreat–into professionalism. Others proclaim defeat–on the ground either that literature is irrelevant to a world trying to educate its minorities and its poor, or that literature is merely supportive of the status quo. None of these arguments will bear inspection. A more practical and wiser response for teachers and scholars in our discipline is a program of outreach: toward (1) the schools, (2) the disadvantaged, (3) the general community of educated men and women, (4) the mass media, (5) more inventive collaborations with each other, (6) new arrangements of literary study; and, above all, (7) the larger tasks to which our calling commits us in purifying the language of the tribe, disseminating the world's great literature, and helping to reconstruct by the power of imagination a fully human world.