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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...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Narratives of Lack

I realized while writing my MLA paper that my own generation's narrative of Hispanic exceptionalism in the 80s and into 90s was that we needed to be more theoretical in the field to keep up with other fields. That is no longer the narrative. People no longer want to do "theory," but "cultural studies." That is the new object of desire.

2 comments:

profacero said...

I have decided this is because people no longer have the background to do literature or theory. I realize that sounds terrible to say but I think it is part of the story.

Leslie said...

I have a better idea about this now.

Theory made it impossible to teach literature in a conservative way, and impossible to seek Volksgeist in the canon.

So, people moved to cultural studies. They got to look hip and theoretical, but in cultural studies you can still slip in ideas about national character, or questions about it, which would not be allowed in a naive way in literary studies any more.

Just my Saturday musing but I think there may be something to it.