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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...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Elitism / Anti-elitism

The biggest internal contradiction in my tribe is between elitism and anti-elitism. To be a scholar in the first place is to have accumulated a lot of cultural capital, and the traditional function of education in the Humanities is the transmission of such capital. It is hard to see how a superficial commitment to anti-elitism could tip the balance in the other way. I found Avelar yesterday using "beg the question" as though it meant "raise the question." This immediately disqualified him in my eyes, but that is a dumb reaction on my part, because in principle I think such shibboleths are over-rated.

The study of popular culture does not make us non-elite.


***

Here is a good quote for my project: "The academic practice of Hispanism ... has been closely connected with different cultural nationalisms, and with exceptionalist readings of different national histories and national 'missions' or 'destinies.'" (Faber 64). Not something I didn't know, or a new idea, but a good "confirmatory" quote.

1 comment:

profacero said...

Shibboleths like speaking English?

It is his 3d language, and who knows what copyediting software they used on his text.