The Critical Pulse: Thirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics

The Critical Pulse: Thirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics

By: Heather Steffen (editor), Jeffrey J. Williams (editor)Paperback

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This unprecedented anthology asks thirty-six leading literary and cultural critics to elaborate on the nature of their profession. With the humanities feeling the pinch of financial and political pressures, and its disciplines resting on increasingly uncertain conceptual ground, there couldn't be a better time for critics to reassert their widespread relevance and purpose. These credos boldly defend the function of criticism in contemporary society and showcase its vitality in the era after theory. Essays address literature and politics, with some focusing on the sorry state of higher education and others concentrating on teaching and the fate of the humanities. All reflect the critics' personal, particular experiences. Deeply personal and engaging, these stories move, amuse, and inspire, ultimately encouraging the reader to develop his or her own critical credo with which to approach the world. Reflecting on the past, looking forward to the future, and committed to the power of productive critical thought, this volume proves the value of criticism for today's skeptical audiences. Contributors: Andrew Ross, Amitava Kumar, Lisa Lowe, Vincent B. Leitch, Craig Womack, Jeffrey J. Williams, Marc Bousquet, Katie Hogan, Michelle A. Masse, John Conley, Heather Steffen, Paul Lauter, Cary Nelson, David B. Downing, Barbara Foley, Michael Berube, Victor Cohen, Gerald Graff, William Germano, Ann Pellegrini, Bruce Robbins, Kenneth Warren, Diana Fuss, Lauren Berlant, Toril Moi, Morris Dickstein, Rita Felski, David R. Shumway, Mark Bauerlein, Devoney Looser, Stephen Burt, Mark Greif, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Mark McGurl, Frances Negron-Muntaner, Judith Jack Halberstam

About Author

Jeffrey J. Williams is professor of English and literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University. His books include Theory and the Novel: Narrative Reflexivity in the English Tradition; PC Wars: Politics and Theory in the Academy; The Institution of Literature; and Critics at Work: Interviews. He is also a former editor of the minnesota review and coedits the Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. Heather Steffen is a Ph.D. candidate in literary and cultural studies at Carnegie Mellon University. She is working on a dissertation about academic labor and criticism of the university in the Progressive Era.


Acknowledgments Introduction: Criticism in a Difficult Time A Critic's Progress 1. The Case for Scholarly Reporting, by Andrew Ross 2. Declarations of Independence, by Amitava Kumar 3. On Critique and Inheritance, by Lisa Lowe 4. What I Believe and Why, by Vincent B. Leitch 5. Hearing Losses and Gains, by Craig Womack 6. Long Island Intellectual, by Jeffrey J. Williams Academic Labor 7. We Work, by Marc Bousquet 8. What Is Criticism on Academic Labor For?, by Katie Hogan 9. "All Things Visible and Invisible": Believing in Higher Education, by Michelle A. Masse 10. Against Heroism, by John Conley 11. Pack Consciousness, by Heather Steffen Declarations of Politics 12. Activism and Curriculum, by Paul Lauter 13. Revolutionary Consciousness, by Cary Nelson 14. Geopolitical Translators, by David B. Downing 15. Critical Credo, by Barbara Foley 16. This I Believed, by Michael Berube 17. "Hope Dies Last": Cultural Studies and Studs Terkel, by Victor Cohen Pedagogical Moments 18. Credo of a Teacher, by Gerald Graff 19. Of Credos and Credibility, by William Germano 20. Teaching Friction, by Ann Pellegrini 21. Coerced Confessions, by Bruce Robbins 22. On Race and Literature, by Kenneth Warren 23. Teaching Theory, by Diana Fuss 24. Affect Is the New Trauma, by Lauren Berlant The Defense of Literature 25. Access to the Universal: Language, Literature, and the Humanities, by Toril Moi 26. Wrestling with the Angel: A Modest Critical Credo, by Morris Dickstein 27. Everyday Aesthetics, by Rita Felski 28. Criticism Is Vital, by David R. Shumway 29. Critical Credo, by Mark Bauerlein 30. Why I'm Still Writing Women's Literary History, by Devoney Looser New Turns 31. Without Evidence, by Stephen Burt 32. All There Is to Use, by Mark Greif 33. Open, by Kathleen Fitzpatrick 34. Timing, by Mark McGurl 35. The Politics of Small Problems, by Frances Negron-Muntaner 36. The Power of Unknowing, by Judith Jack Halberstam List of Contributors

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780231161152
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9780231161152
  • ISBN10: 0231161158

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