Wednesday, 24 October 2007

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I Have Been Assigned (As Have Some of You) (Note: This post isn't intended to needle Adam.) Have academic blogs influenced literary theory? Of course they have. They're assigned in literary theory classes. What do the students think of our work? One student tackles my friend's exercise in erasure and says something smarter about it than he said in it. (By which I mean: the student seems to've read and understood the Foucault, whereas my friend—who I most certainly am needling—only read it.) Another notes that I've only appeared once (where? was I comped? what was the honorarium?), links to my advice for bloggers, and concludes (correctly) that that post slays itself, myself and all of y'all. One student insists N. Pepperell's fictional, and I'm inclined to agree. No actual person could write that much that quickly and remain sane. Dr. B.'s talk at the MLA is a popular subject (as well it should be), as is Jodi Dean's post about the creation of readers. Then there are the gracious souls who not only like the likes of us, but appreciate Ray Davis. Why would she do that? Look at the bit she quotes: Analytic philosophers often sound like a blind man describing an elephant by holding the wrong end of a stick several blocks away from the zoo ... What's not to like about Ray? (The fact that his RSS feed seems to have stopped working? Perhaps.) These students of literary theory have stumbled into the academic blogosphere and found: a graduate student in English an Australian graduate student in ... sundry fields a former professor a political scientist a Ray Davis I should say something profound about assignments like this legitimizing something or other ... but I can't muster profundity tonight. (Or any night really.) All I can say is that I'm proud that these students didn't stoop to consider the author-functionality implicit in writing one act plays ...

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