Quote of the Day

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“My guess is that [literary] theorists are motivated partly by a desperate realization that, in the process of deconstructing the profession, we in the literature business have shot ourselves not in the foot, but in the head. At a time of contracting education budgets, the public is no longer willing to pay for courses titled ‘Bat[woman] and Cat[man]: Queering the Canonical Comix.'” — Scott Herring in The Chronicle of Higher Education

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3 thoughts on “Quote of the Day

  1. J. Allan

    Isn’t this the kind of argument that Lynne Cheney advanced during the Culture Wars? “During her chairmanship of the agency from 1986 through 1992, Cheney was known for killing research projects deemed offensive to conservative orthodoxy, scribbling “not for me!” on proposals dealing with race, gender discrimination or the legacy of slavery.” (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/08/26/lynne_cheney)

    1. Michael Happy Post author

      Is it? Cheney actually wielded the power to “kill research projects” according to her ideological whims. Herring’s opinion is just free speech. It’s just one opinion that’s part of an ongoing debate in which lots of opinions are put forward.

  2. J. Allan

    True, that she had considerable power, whereas Herring is expressing an opinion — but it is a potent one nonetheless. I think this is a debate that is needed, but at the same time, I appreciate and enjoy literary theory. Whenever I hear the “death of the discipline,” I always, for one reason or another, feel a need to rebel. I don’t think it is “theory” that killed literary studies or devalued literary studies, and yet, I am not certain what is the cause of this devaluation.


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