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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Good Fight

What is worth fighting for:

(1) Preserving traditional academic values of critical thought and autonomy. Outrage at the threatened dismantling of an English department at a CUNY branch is highly appropriate. We can also be outraged at SLU's proposal to do away with key protections of tenure. Looking out for adjuncts that are going to be fired by an out of control administrator is not incompatible with looking out for tenured professors.

(2) The actual content of our disciplines, whether philosophy, English, or anthroplogy. The study of the highest achievements of human culture is inherently valuable.

What is not worth fighting for?

I am not going to argue for the academic culture of self-hatred and depression. I understand why it exists, but I won't fight to preserve it. I won't get into small squabbles if I can help it.

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