The process of listmaking— defining the boundaries of the canon— is endless. One of the notable attempts in the English-speaking world was the Great Books of the Western World program. This program, developed in the middle third of the 20th century, grew out of the curriculum at the University of Chicago. University president Robert Hutchins and his collaborator Mortimer Adler developed a program that offered reading lists, books, and organizational strategies for reading clubs to the general public.
There has been an ongoing, intensely political debate over the nature and status of the canon since at least the 1960s. In the USA, in particular, it has been attacked as a compendium of books written mainly by "dead white European males", that thus do not represent the viewpoints of other people (i.e., most people in the world). Others, notably Allan Bloom in his 1987 book The Closing of the American Mind, have fought back vigorously.
One of the main objections to a canon of literature is the question of authority— who should enjoy the power to determine what works are worth reading and teaching?
Authors such as Yale Professor of Humanities Harold Bloom have spoken strongly in favor of the canon, and in general the canon remains as a represented idea in most institutions, though its implications continue to be debated heavily.