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Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Political Change

by Fish, Stanley

  • ISBN: 9780198123736
  • ISBN10: 0198123736

Professional Correctness: Literary Studies and Political Change

by Fish, Stanley

  • List Price: $33.50
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 02/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780198123736
  • ISBN10: 0198123736
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Description: In recent years the world of literary and cultural studies has been riven by a fierce debate between those who would transform interpretative work so that it directly engages with and influences political issues and those who fear that this would destroy the very essence of literary criticism. In Professional Correctness Stanley Fish contends that neither the hope nor the fear are in fact realizable because, given the structures of power and hierarchy now in place, academic work - and especially literary studies - cannot reach an audience that might use it as the basis for effective political action. Proficiency in literary interpretation will be a ticket of entry to English departments and scholarly journals, but not to the arenas in which urgent social and political questions are being debated. Movements such as the new historicism, gender studies, or cultural studies can change the objects of their attention, change their vocabularies, change the scope of their claims, indeed change their very names, but nothing they do will bring them into closer contact with the larger structures they would alter or transform. The moral, Fish says, is that if you want to do work that resounds beyond the academy, get out of it: 'The academy - love it or leave it'.
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